I awoke with a scripture verse that resonated the very core of my heart from Ann Voskamp’s message from She Speaks. After five long, awaited years, two babies later and countless critical thoughts, words and actions recorded, I am finally here at the conference I’ve longed for, but put aside. The past year I have heard God whisper, “Expect great things, Jackie.” My heart wanted to expect a publisher to like my book idea-such a selfish thought to think God would open a door my first year, though it is done for some. But that is not the reason He brought me here.
I found what He meant last night when He’s whispered those words in my ear. It was the message of Christ’s enduring love and to give thanks for His Love endures forever. I’m not a weeper. I only shed tears when God shakes my core and not others. When God does amazing and wonderful or hurtful and tragic in the lives of others for His good, I do not cry. But last night I became a weeper and wept tears of joy for God had a message for me through the blessed words of Ann.
I’ve attempted to give thanks in all circumstances before, but Ann’s presentation of God’s love for me was more than I could bear. It caused a life change in me that dares to take on this challenge of giving thanks for 1000 gifts he’s given me.
Last night I recorded my first three. 1) I, Jackie Brown know this conference and message meant for me is a gift. 2) My husband, David Brown is my ministry partner and soul mate and he is a gift. 3) My four precious blood relatives God created from David and I are gifts.
This morning I want to pen gift number four. 4) I awoke with the scripture Ann spoke of, taught and lives:1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
This message of not only hope and deliverance from my bondage of criticism during my darkest hour or slightly grey has put a new song in my mouth. It’s an enduring, life changing, weeping, savory challenge I’m allowing God to put before me. Gratefully, He has gone before me and created a unique pathway for me to walk down and I’ve begun taking the first step with God holding my shaky hand. I know I will grasp it tightly when I want to say, “God, this is the same path as yesterday. I’m walking on the same rough rocks.”
May He gently remind me, “No, Jackie, you are on a new sojourn and the path appears the same because your flesh and mind want to react the old former way, but I created you new last night on July 23, 2011. You my child, are a gift. Now I’m asking you to tell me your gifts with hands open and not clutched.”
“I give thanks to you today, O God, your love endures forever.” What an amazing new journey you have carved for me. I am beyond ready to make lasting changes in my life, which is your life, I give with open hands. I love you Jesus and thank you for my gifts. Allow me to be a gift giver today to those around me. Open my eyes to see every single gift from above. In the precious name of my everlasting Savior,Jesus, I pray. Amen