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Choosing Gratitude

 


Back in 2016 I was gifted a journal. Now, there wasn’t anything particularly special about this journal, but upon receiving it I felt like God was telling me to do great things with it. So, after a few days of trying to decide what to do with it, I decided to turn this journal into one exclusively written to express what I am thankful for.

Choosing Gratitude (The Power Of Thankfulness)

I journal avidly and so the idea of me having (yet another) journal to write in didn’t seem too surprising. I decided I would come up with some rules. Simple guidelines just to keep myself on track. I wanted what I wrote about to be things I am genuinely thankful for, and I didn’t want it to get too broad or redundant.

At the beginning, writing wasn’t hard, in fact I was able to write something new every day for the first few months. But trials came, as they often do. The sea that is my life couldn’t remain stagnant forever. One of the most unexpected blessings from starting this journal has been how much God has taught me from my own words.

Two years ago, I was in a job that was slowly draining the hope from me, and God told me very clearly that I needed to remove myself. But I thought I knew His timing better than He did, so I kept pushing it back until finally I ended up actually losing my job.

That situation is one where I can truly see where God stepped in. He was so faithful to remove me from a situation that was so terrible for my heart. It is amazing to look back at how even when I was in such a rough place, I still found little shreds of hope to cling to, and new things to be thankful for.

I would say that these past few years have been the most difficult years of my life, and I think it is because I have been praying that God points out things in me that He needs me to change, and He surely has.

Over this last year specifically I have learned so much about who I am as a person, and how to teach myself that it is okay to rely on God, no matter how independent I would like to be.

God has done so many great things through my little journal. He has given me the peace of knowing He is there, and all I have to do is seek Him with my whole heart. Seeking gratitude is such an underrated thing, because I think that at the end of the day, if you aren’t grateful, you aren’t joyful.

Gratitude goes hand in hand with a lot of things, and teaching yourself how to seek out things to be grateful for is definitely a bit difficult at first, and I don’t know if there is anyone who is always aware of how blessed they are.

Going the extra step and making it a point to actively choose thankfulness, and change my own perspective to find things to be thankful for has changed my life in so many ways. A grateful heart can do so much more than a worrisome one.

So on that note, my dear brothers and sisters, I pray that this tugged at your heart a little bit, and together we all take today as a new opportunity to truly choose gratitude.

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Sarah Ashley

Sarah Ashley is a second generation Arizona native. She has always enjoyed acting in a Christian based theatre group and has been a part of over 20 different productions. Sarah loves to write and enjoys sharing what the Lord is teaching her through her Instagram-run blog.

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