Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pausing for Thankfulness: In All Circumstances

It's an honor to welcome guest blogger and She Speaks graduate, Heather Ablondi
Heather Ablondi
Guest Blogger
Reclaiming Our Royal Inheritance

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Marrying my best friend. Celebrating my daughter’s first birthday. Moving into our first house. Welcoming two more daughters into our family. All of these are blessings from God for which I am very thankful.
My father’s alcohol and drug addiction. His death in a drunk driving crash that he caused. My first daughter’s premature birth and subsequent 89 day stay in the hospital. The four months that my husband worked last year, but didn’t get paid. Can I honestly say that I am thankful for these, as well?

It is so very easy to be grateful when life is going well and all is working out as planned. It can be so much harder to have a heart of gratitude when the unexpected happens or when we experience great loss.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” Does God really expect us to be thankful for the difficult and painful times? I believe that the answer can be found in the following verse:

“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

It is during the difficult times in my life that I have drawn closer to God to receive the comfort that only He can give. On the other side of the valley, I find that my faith has grown deeper and stronger. It is for that growth that I can be exceedingly grateful.

Because of my father’s death, a message of sobriety has been shared with nearly 100,000 young people across our country. I have been able to wrap my arms around a teenage girl who is aching for the love of her absent father and tell her that I understand.

Since my daughter’s premature birth, God has allowed me to walk with other families as they ride what is called the “NICU roller coaster.”

During these difficult financial times, I have been able to share how incredibly God takes care of us and provides for all of our needs.
Most importantly, I have been able to share the comfort that can only come from God, the same comfort with which I was comforted.

So while I certainly wish that my father was still alive or that my daughter didn’t have to endure the trauma of an early birth, I can honestly say that, yes, I am thankful. Thankful not necessarily for the circumstance, but rather for the opportunities to share God’s great love that came as a result.

Author Bio: Heather Ablondi is a homeschooling mom to her three preemie princesses. She resides in Fredericksburg, VA with her husband Steven. In her “BC” life (before children), she worked as the Young Driver Safety Program Coordinator for the State of Maryland. She traveled the country for 10 years sharing the story of her father’s life and death with students in an effort to keep them from making the same mistakes. Currently, she shares the messages that God has placed on her heart through her blog and at various women’s ministry events.

You may visit Heather at her blog, Reclaiming Our Royal Inheritance or on Facebook.   

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