Last Thanksgiving I had 11 migraines in a three-week period. At the time my usual migraine count averaged 6 or 7 per month. I had been eating well and sleeping well…until about a week before Thanksgiving. Then my mind started to obsess over the number of things I wanted to accomplish and how perfectly I wanted it to all play out.
I’ve discussed my To-Do List problems already, but this was extreme. So much so that when I informed my neurologist of my surge in migraines, he doubled my preventative medication. Supplements, I am happy to take, but pharmaceuticals? I’m trying to eliminate those! Once the New Year started I was determined to solve my problem.
Turns out, my problem was me. If you’ve been reading my blog, right about now you’re noticing a pattern…
First thing I’m thankful for this season:
God works miracles in the most broken people.
Great, something I could control! “Okay, God,” I stated proudly, “I just won’t get worked up over stuff anymore. Problem solved.”
Yea…that didn’t work. I continued to get worked up. Except now, my angst glared unpleasantly in my face and often. Was I always this wound up? Geez. I’m frustrating myself.
“Dear Lord! What is my malfunction!? Why can’t I just let things go?”
Don’t you just love when you’re talking to God and you practically answer your own question? Or maybe it’s that once you ask the right question, God can easily walk you to the answer.
Regardless of how that actually works, the answer became clear. I was making Thanksgiving about me. Never did I pick up the phone and ask my mom (who is actually cooking the Thanksgiving meal), what can I bring? What can I do for you?
Worse, it wasn’t just Thanksgiving. I was making a lot of stuff about me. My husband and kid dealt with a stressed out mom. My stress levels rose because I was focused on my goals, my To-Do lists, my down-time, and my frustration when I couldn’t get it all done.
Notice all the personal possessives?
Second thing I’m thankful for this season:
When God points out my faults, He is present and leads me to Christ-like change which produces Fruits of the Spirit.
This month marks a whole year God has been working on this with me. What a difference God makes! Being mindful of my motivation and how it morphed into something jerky, certainly motivates change! But I’ve gained a lot from this lesson.
Third thing I’m thankful for this season:
God takes my bad/miserable/painful circumstances and turns them into something awesome (Rom. 8:28).
Coming full circle, I started last season with an inundation of debilitating migraines. Yet by allowing God to transform me (Rom. 12:2), I am starting this season with peace. I could even say I’m thankful for migraines. Yep, I think I will. Because without them I wouldn’t be who God wants me to be.
Fourth thing I’m thankful for this season:
I follow Christ, instead of popular culture’s plethora of theories that claim my life consists of a meaningless stream of chaotic coincidences. Being the latter, means all I’ve been through was for nothing, therefore there is no journey. Being a Christian means every step I take has meaning and purpose, hope and joy, blessings and thanksgiving.
What about you? What lessons has God been teaching you over the past year? What are you thankful for since last Thanksgiving?