Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for a long time! I love everything about it: The food, the fellowship, the family, the fall, and all the wonderful feels. (Hehe, I didn’t even mean to make those all words that start with F until the end. Fun! Haha) But in the past, life took a big ole dump all over my Thanksgivings. And yet, I’m here to tell you that God CAN restore what is broken!
So this year, I’m working hard at cultivating a thankful heart because, as we’ll find in this series I’m calling REDEEMING THANKSGIVING, that is the key to unleash God’s healing power!
My Thanksgiving Trauma Memories
In 2015 I caught my husband in an affair (the first time I had discovered an actual physical affair) just a few days before Thanksgiving. I don’t remember much about that Thanksgiving Day, other than feeling completely shell-shocked. Like the world was still moving silently around me, but in slow motion – while I was frozen stiff, with a ringing in my ears.
I remember feeling dead inside, and spending quite a bit of time pretending to nap so that I wouldn’t have to explain why I kept crying. Or why I was having such a hard time following any conversation. It was a miserable day. Frankly, it was a miserable year, and I wasn’t feeling all that thankful.
The following year, in 2016, my husband planned a big get-away for the two of us over Thanksgiving weekend. He had spent the previous year trying to convince me that things had changed. I felt very uneasy about the trip, and pleaded with him not to schedule it if there was anything still hidden. (As I strongly suspected there was.) He proceeded with the plans, and I cautiously got on board.
We had a lovely time together, and I even started to believe that things were really changing. I silenced the nagging concerns and decided to go all in again. In less than a month, I caught him in another affair, and in the aftermath of that discovery was given a full disclosure to all the infidelity over our 16 years of marriage. It was devastating, and obviously covered the memories of that trip in filth and deception.
Cultivating a Thankful Heart through the Redeeming Thanksgiving Series
So, I’m sure you can understand why my favorite holiday needed some redeeming. But what a perfect holiday to redeem, and our God can restore what is broken!
The years since those terrible two have been incredible! Of course, in many ways they were so hard, but also some of the best years of my life. I have never seen God work more clearly than in that first year of our recovery (2017).
So, I’d love it if you’d join me through these weeks leading up to Thanksgiving here at His Dearly Loved Daughter as we focus in on cultivating a thankful heart. There really is great power in this one little discipline!
So we’re going to reclaim what has been broken, and hand it over to the Master Builder to be lovingly restored.
Let’s start today by looking at a beautiful Psalm and using it to ignite in us the sparks of thankfulness. Let’s add kindling over at Hope for Today (through the month of November) with a new featured passage each day that focuses on thanks. Finally, let’s set our hearts on fire with gratitude each Monday as we examine more deeply another aspect of thankfulness. By the end of the month, may we be a blazing, unquenchable, pyre of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord and Savior who makes all things new!
God can restore what is broken, but often He asks us to take the first steps toward Him. Then, He takes it from there! So let’s go!
Psalms 34 – Learning that God can Restore what is Broken.
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
He saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
He surrounds and defends all who fear Him.
Sure, we could all claim our right to grieve through the holiday season. Many of us have faced trials like those I mentioned above. Some of us have been through much worse! Thanksgiving and Christmas too often hold a lot of terrible reminders, and we could choose to mourn what has been lost. Honestly, I think that would be okay. There is a time to grieve. (Read more about that here)
But I, for one, have done that, and God has been so near through it all. His faithfulness makes me want to shout praises from the rooftops! What it boils down to is, I don’t want to mourn anymore, especially not through this special time of the year. Is anyone else with me?
My Testimony of Cultivating a Thankful Heart
Like the Psalmist, I can look back and see that not that long ago, I was desperate. My world was upside down, and I was crying out to God every day. I was begging Him to help, and He listened!
He surrounded me, and He defended me. He came to my rescue, and He has shown me that I will be okay. Because my God can restore what is broken!
God has freed me from all my fears by showing me that all I need is Him. He is enough. Even if my love goes back to his addiction, I’ll be okay because God will sustain me. No matter what.
God can restore what is broken in our marriage, but more importantly, He can restore what is broken in ME! So I will always look to Him for help! All the days of my life! I will go on telling the world how He has been faithful to me. I’ll keep proclaim that He has saved me. I will use my every breath to speak His praises!
And as I do, He uses that thankful heart as a tool to mend each and every broken place in my heart.
Do we Really Believe that God Can Restore what is Broken?
Fear the Lord, you His godly people,
for those who fear Him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
It has been very hard for me to believe promises like this one in the past, but I have never believed it more than I do right now!
Not that long ago, I was still questioning God. I was still asking how He was going to keep His promises to me and show me that what He was doing was good, because it all felt SO not good! Oh friend, if that’s where you are, you are not alone. Keep asking Him your questions. Keep challenging Him to keep His promises for the glory of HIS GREAT NAME!
Because even though I was there, even though not that long ago I felt empty and I doubted the idea that God can restore what is broken, I’m standing here now, filled to the brim and overflowing with joy in His supernatural provision. Here I am, not that much further down the road, knowing that what He has given me is all I need. Trusting that He always will provide, and believing again that He is good!
I am completely confident that if you continue to fall at His feet with your sorrow, my friend, He’ll bring you to this place too!
Cultivate Gratitude by Learning to Fear the Lord
Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to
fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
His ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil;
He will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Do you fear the Lord, my friend? It is an essential aspect of a life of victory. The fear of the Lord is a key component in God’s restoration process. It is also the first step in cultivating a thankful heart.
Our God is powerful, and the Bible tells us that all powerful God bends down to listen to us. I don’t know about you, but I am so very thankful to pray to a God who hears me. I praise Him that He is a God who listens. But what would it matter if He wasn’t also capable of fixing the problems we bring before Him in prayer?
Fear of the Lord Teaches us that God Can Restore what is Broken
If we learn to fear Him, we’ll understand how His awesome power couples with His attentiveness and the countless hours we’ve spent on our faces before Him will never again feel wasted.
Through all those years, as my heart was broken again and again, and I was crushed seemingly beyond repair, my Heavenly Father came near. He gathered me into His mighty arms, and He held me close. He comforted me when I was utterly alone. And then, praise His Holy Name, He put me back together!
Not only that, He answered my prayers and pulled my love from the path of destruction and set his feet on a firm foundation!
The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time!
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!
Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve Him.
No one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.
I pray our story will encourage you to believe the truth in these precious promises. Life is full of troubles, but the Lord WILL redeem those who serve Him. God CAN restore what is broken!
Will you join me as we forever take refuge in Him, and in Him alone? As He sanctifies us, may we shout our praises forever!
“MY GOD IS GOOD! He is worthy of all glory, all praise, and all honor, forever and ever!”