Thursday, February 20, 2014

The First step

This blog post is a snippet from my book The Thankful Project. The content of this post is from a chapter that I have dedicated to learning gratitude in adversity. I hope you enjoy this tidbit! 

    You’ve probably heard the old adage, “The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.” Why is this? Simply put, if you do not know what you need then you won’t know what to ask for/work for, etc. However, If you are anything like me, you’re not fond of looking at your mess up close and personal like. You know, the stinky fish in the trash that’s smelling up your kitchen, i.e the pile of bills and debt sitting on your desk? Or what about the giant elephant in the room, i.e. the infidelity, depression, etc. ruining your life? Ignoring it’s existence will not make it go away. Let me repeat that. Listen carefully. Ignoring the thing that is ruining your life is not going to make it go away. Neither will griping about it, crying about it, having a pity party or worrying. What, Shara? I can’t worry my problems away? To all of us worry warts out there, that sounds like heresy. It’s true though and you know it, because you’ve been worrying for years and your house smells like stinky fish and every time you want to watch t.v. you find yourself yelling at Gladys to get out of the way! (That’s the elephant’s name...she’s been there so long you had to finally name her.)  I am making light of this, but I know that a lot of the time it is truly hard to think there is any positive emotion that will actually benefit our situations. We are partially right about this because truthfully apart from occasional circumstances in and of ourselves we are not capable of digging ourselves out of our own ruts.  Enter God.  Enter glorious, faithful, remarkably incredible God. He will show up anywhere the praise of His people beckons him, even if that means slap dab in the middle of a dilapidated mess!
     The first thing that Nehemiah did upon arrival in Judah was to take a midnight stroll around the city to inspect the destruction. He needed to know what he was dealing with so that he could make a plan. Plenty us of have had to come home after tornados, hurricanes, or tsunami’s and see the utter heartbreak of our town torn to pieces - add to that the hate of war - and you can imagine the anguish he felt. After surveying the mess, Nehemiah was better aware of the situation, which allowed him to make a solid plan!
      So, if you've found yourself in a sticky situation, it might be time survey the damage! Don't be afraid to face your disaster head on! Do it with the confidence that God has gone before you to lead the way towards rebuilding! Ask him for wisdom and guidance on the your next steps towards restoration! 

I hope you enjoyed this (slightly adapted for blog purposes) snippet of my book, "The Thankful Project"! Keep an eye out for the book in its entirety later this year! 

XO - Shara