When is the last time you counted your blessings with your loved ones or with the ones you love that aren't living exactly as you hoped?
The other day, Cliff and I were discussing how time seems to be moving so quickly when suddenly he looked at the calendar and said that he was about to celebrate 10 years clean. Ten years! Now that's something to be thankful for from his perspective and mine!
After spending 15 years on the pathway to destruction Cliff had his moment with God who heard his heartfelt plea and removed him from the cavernous call of addiction into a life of freedom. The walk of freedom hasn't been without struggles, sometimes really hard struggles, but the call back to heroin has not been in his timeline since that day. In the same way the chaos has begun to become a thing of the past for me. Changes for me have also not come easily as one who was enmeshed in codependency and enabling. I thought I was being a good and loving mom. Ugh.
As Cliff and I chatted he couldn't help but acknowledge just how much God had intervened and spared his life in moments of danger, provided food in moments of deep hunger and kindness from strangers when he was cold or alone. The conversation was one of gratitude and thanksgiving for Cliff. It soothed my soul as well as I thought of just how much God answered prayers in all kinds of ways for all types of situations.
Sometimes when we're caught up in the molasses of someones addiction we struggle to find one thing to be thankful for. We can't see past our pain to the promise or hope for the future especially for the ones we love. But God says to give thanks in all circumstances!
What?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that! Can't you see what I'm dealing with here?
We speak to ourselves in negative and heavy ways and moment by moment we struggle to even get our eyes up off the ground. We shake our fists at God in frustration and anger. We are so stinkin' tired of the battle that we lose sight of the hope and promise God is offering to us.
But He says: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
You argue in your heart and mind with this thinking. But as simple as it sounds, if we practice counting our blessings one by one, as we ask God to protect the ones we love and call them into healthy living, our own mindset and outlook on life gets changed. Do you have a roof over your head, food on the table and something warm to wear when you are cold? Be thankful! You've worked hard for it, for sure, but are you thankful for your job even if the circumstances are less than ideal? Do you own a car? Do you have pet who loves you even if you're grumpy, sad or tired?
Honestly, you can't do anything about another persons life choices. Nothing. What should be our response? Giving it all over to God in prayer and asking Him for help in our own situations that our attitudes and behaviors would be honorable. As a parent, child or spouse of one who is still caught up in a deadly life style, you have to let them go and take care of yourself. Don't waste the years on what you cannot change. Only God has that kind of life-changing ability!
"If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings"