Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
II Peter 1:2
It’s a New Year full of hopes and dreams! So many resolutions to fulfill and dreams to follow. January is an exciting month because you have a new opportunity to hit the “restart” button.
This year I proposed a new lifestyle for myself - one physical and one spiritual. I decided I would run more and I would adopt an attitude of gratitude in my every day. I was all set up to succeed with the addition of our new puppy. Thanks to my sweet husband and mother-in-law we welcomed Chewie into our home - the sweetest Cavapoo there ever was! This was a win-win - girls would be thrilled to finally have a puppy and I’d have the cutest partner and motivator to go running with everyday.
I was all set up to succeed with my second resolution as well. We moved into our new home and oh my were we excited and grateful for this special gift. Our new home was in the perfect location for running and well, there were so many things about it that we absolutely loved. It took a miracle to purchase this little gem and it wasn’t lost on me! Gratitude would be easy!
All was looking bright until it wasn’t! We hosted Christmas and all was going splendid until we noticed that our toilet was backed up. Shortly after, water started filling our tub. Then came the puddle in the garage from the washing machine and well, it wasn’t long before we realized our entire water line was backed up. Our house was deemed unusable! So onward we proceeded to evacuate our home. We packed up some things and went to stay at my sister’s house. The cousins, of course, were thrilled to be together one more night but my husband and I lamented leaving our home after only moving in 10 days prior. My excitement quickly dwindled. It turned out it was a huge plumbing job - bigger than we could have ever expected.
The weather didn’t help. Not only could the plumbers not work during the rain, but my goal to run more with the dog, shattered. I could barely get myself to the car let alone run a few blocks.
So here I was, two weeks in with an F on my resolution report card. Now that’s embarrassing!!!
As I pulled into my driveway a few days later, I noticed the leaves and tree bark spread out all over the front entrance of our home. The storm the night prior had wrecked the yard so I scrambled to find a broom and started sweeping it all clean. I realized that day that I had totally failed at being grateful after the plumbing issue had surfaced. For years I wanted a sweet home like the one God had just given us and I never imagined that my excitement nor my gratitude would ever dissipate. It was in that very moment I realized that I was so grateful for a plumbing issue to solve because it meant I owned a home. My perspective had changed.
Sometimes when you look out at your life it just appears everything is falling apart. Nothing seems to be working out or going your way; not the big things, not the little things. It seems impossible to be grateful for anything. But today I want to encourage you to find God’s amazing grace in the midst of it all because He is there. His love, His affection, His faithfulness are right there. And don’t dismay, if you don’t succeed in January, you have February to try again. Thankfully, we have 11 February’s to get it right! And believe that this is God’s grace.
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."