To Hell and Back... I am forever thankful for a redeemed life // November 27, 2008

I have quite a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. After pounding tons of food, feeling like my belly might be full like “twins,” I sat downstairs, just talking with the women of the house about family and God and literally, just our lives. Where we’ve been, where we’ve come, everything in between. We shared testimonies and things the Lord had done for us. Wow. Hah. How awesome it is to think of everything: every battle, every victory, every situation and trial… and how I am still alive, a smile on my face, Joy in my heart, eyes on Jesus.

I went to Dallas this Thanksgiving, a little different than the norm. I was given the honor of staying with a family over the ORU Thanksgiving Break. HOW AWESOME IT FELT, to be with a family.

I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in 5 years. I wish I could be. My family means the world to me and I am forever thankful for them.

Tonight, I sat and listened to a woman share about the death of her son, nearly two years ago. I listened to a woman talk about the prayers that had gone out, and had been faithfully answered by God. I sat remembering what life was like before giving my life to Jesus, what it felt like to live without Truth inside of me. I shared about the second chance God gave me, redeeming my life and giving me a life I never thought possible but only heard about.

God ordains my feet. He knew I was supposed to be in Dallas this weekend, He knew I was supposed to be at ORU as a freshman 5 years ago, He knew that I needed him, He knew I had a reason to be alive.

I have SO much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my Jesus, my Savior. He redeemed my life, unlocked my self-created cage of torment, sin, deceit and manipulation, giving me a hope of earthly and eternal life! His love is all that I need and HE is the ONLY thing that I found that has set me free from it all!

I am thankful for my family. They have brought me joy, and laughter, and at other times have frustrated me, teaching me to love unconditionally, to love despite, and to look to Jesus. They are my support, my encouragers, my dreams-supporters, and they believe in everything I put my hand to. They love me so much, they tell me, and they don’t even need to, I already know. They are my prayer warriors, they too have come to know Jesus. They break for the things of God and are determined. They are the guards of our families heart, it beats for love and unity, though it wouldnt always look like it. They are lovers and cuddlers, they love attention and love to give it.

I am thankful for my friends. For their honesty, their faithfulness, their ability to love me while I walk through processes and trials, they make me laugh, they challenge me to walk with high standards and never look away from God and his plans for our lives. They sharpen as iron, refining, shaping, influencing, and the ones that will pray for me regardless of the time or hour. They tell me when I don’t listen or need to listen better. They know when to talk and when not to. They ask me for help when they need it, or I ask them when I do. They listen, they pray, and they point me to the Lord. They know they are only human, but are confident that God is God.

I am SO thankful for My life and everything in it. I have traveled the World, done exciting things. I own a car, I have gifts and abilities, some even call me a jack of all trades. I can sing (I think and hope), and can play instruments, I am a problem solver, I can snowboard, skateboard, play sports, and read. I am great with people, thats what Im told, and I have to agree... i love people. I can communicate (some times better than other times). I can write my full name on a piece of paper, my mind thinks clearly most of the time, the best when I am alert. I can speak and I can walk, even run when I feel like it. I have no limits, and when I exceed them, that is when I will meet my Jesus in Heaven. Ha. I can take risks and have the ability to feel emotions and the effects of them on me. I know what goes into loving someone, and know what its like to be broken and damaged as a result. I am a lover and a forgiver, and I will fight through anything. I want to be one that gives life. I have reasons to smile, but even when I don’t feel like I have them, I still smile. I am even thankful for the name given to me. Maggie, it means Pearl. A pearl is the rarest of all the precious stones because it is the only one that is created from something living. I didn’t realize or learn this until just a few months ago actually, and it is a reminder of my value and the thoughts of God towards me. I always have wanted to be someone that is life-giving, speaking life and encouragement, brightening someone’s day. Without them knowing my heart, people have told me that I radiate Christ, something I once dreamed of during a time when I was once lifeless, joyless, hopeless and trapped. Dreams do come true, thanks to the lover of my soul.

I pray that my life is a life of thanksgiving. That praise to God would continually be on my lips. That in all things I thank the Lord for what he has done. I will praise and thank Him in the Good times and the Bad, because he is the one who loved me enough and brought me into this awesome life. I want to live a life of love. With God inside of me, I will have no problem doing this, because he is my continual help. He shows me how to love Him, love myself, and love those around me. He is my ability and confidence to love people, even the ones I meet on the streets of India or Spain, or even the Wal-Mart across the street. He has taught me Truth, and the ways of life. Which way to walk and where not to. It’s up to me, to make the choice.

I am forever thankful for this life I have been given. My life will never be the same because of Christ. My life is not my own ☺