I love the changing of the seasons. Sure, it’s just the weather shifting but I love the way it marks the end of one thing and the beginning of another. I think our lives constantly go through the changing of seasons. We enter one phase while experiencing the growth of another. Each season brings with it new challenges and new joys, and there is always an opportunity for each of us. As I continue with this series on living a thankful life, I want to take a look today at the importance of understanding the power of the past and how having gratitude can change our future.
I used to get annoyed by people who would write about one thing they were thankful for on their blogs every day in the month of November. Kind of a strange thing to get annoyed at, because when I look back, it was a practical method to look at what God had given them during that season of life. As I have walked through different seasons, this mindset is vital. Living a thankful life brings joy, but sometimes, we walk through tough seasons and it becomes difficult to have any desire to be thankful. We sometimes just want to rush through this moment because it’s hard or because it’s not where we think we should be. I’ve found that rushing through seasons means that you miss out on what’s important for your future.
In every season I am reminded of this piece of scripture. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus. Don’t try to stop what the Holy Spirit is doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Change is good.
Change can be one of the hardest parts about life, but it is vital to growth. One of the hardest battles you will face is that as you go through seasons and begin to change from who you were, to who you are called to be, there will be people that won’t grasp this. In high school I attended a church and as I grew out and completed college, I still went to this church. The thing was, I was often still looked at like a kid in high school, when I had grown through several seasons into my adulthood, yet I was still held back because of the mindset of everyone else. I discovered that as I had grown, not everyone takes time to acknowledge this. I learned that I needed to move into a different place in order for others to get to know who God made me know. It’s a small example, but it shows that change is good. It allows for you to become closer to who God has made you to be as well as how to prune different areas of your own life in order to grow further.
Remember the past, but don’t let it control you.
I am so thankful for every season that has brought me to this point, but I never want to stuck in the past that I forget what God is doing now. Dear Danielle helps me with this one a lot, so often I wish I could change the crummy stuff that has happened, but she reminds me that all of those hard moments and good moments, have helped me grow closer to God. I never want to be stuck in what could have been or have rose colored glasses on, I want to step into the new that God is bringing. As you enter the new seasons of your life, allow it to be a blank page, don’t taint it or try to have it look like something you’ve already done, let the Holy Spirit write an incredible story.
As we move closer to thanksgiving, I encourage you to look back at the seasons of your life. In the good, bad, and ugly seasons; capture what changed you and helped shape you to who you are now. Write it down and have gratitude, know that you are stronger and wiser, closer to who God has called you to be. It may be hard to remember some of the season’s past, but choose to look at what you can be grateful for even during those moments. As you take time to do this, each day, choose to journal down what you are thankful for. As you do this, you’ll be amazed to see how your heart becomes filled with joy. In this season of uncertainty, choose to live a thankful life by having gratitude in every season.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__