Because We Don’t Know What’s Ahead – Gratitude

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. [a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Proverbs 3:5-6, AMP

Gosh, I’ve missed talking to you all. My daughter has battled illness for about a month. Our focus has been on caring for her and I report today that she is so much better. We thank God for healing her and for protecting her from so many things – things we didn’t even know about. Have you ever thought about that? We know only a small portion of what we really face. Holy Spirit dropped that into my heart as I was thanking Him for her healing. Although that reminder from Him was sobering, it also was humbling. Thankful seems like an inadequate word to use, but I am so thankful.

Last night at church our co-pastor, John Skipworth, spoke so eloquently on gratitude. He shared how deeply thankful he is for his life today – a life that could have been so much different. He is a felon, former inmate, and former drug addict who can now say, “But, Jesus…”

As I sat in the pew and pondered my story, my heart and mind drifted over my life. My first thoughts were that my story didn’t seem as dramatic as Pastor John’s. Then, I remembered the sobering, humbling word that Holy Spirit dropped in my heart recently.

I know what I have faced, I have little idea from what I have been protected. 


Middle-age gives me the opportunity to look back over my life and recognize some of that favor. How did I escape some of the traps? How did I not let some of the struggles and pain carry me down very dark paths? How have I stayed sane? How am I not addicted to some kind of substance? How have I stayed married for 39 years? How did I raise a godly young woman? How did I get out (I still put one leg in there sometimes) of the pit of fear and insecurity? How…? Oh my goodness, the only answer was and is, “Jesus”. Jesus’ unmerited grace, mercy and favor. 

Friends, all of our conversions, redemptions and restorations are dramatic. Gratitude overwhelms me. 

Our lives could have been so different. We can all say as Pastor did, “But, Jesus…”

Will you share one thing you are grateful for in the comments?

 footnote [a.] Proverbs 3:6 One of the ancient rabbis said that all the essence of the Torah (Law) depends on this verse. 


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  1. I’m so glad to hear that God has brought healing to your daughter. Today I am thankful for the strength to get off the couch and organize my closet, despite Fibro pain wanting to keep me down.

  2. Carmen, I think about this very thing often. There are so many things He has brought us through that we don’t even know about:) I love it when we can look back at certain circumstances and realize that He has us on a specific path for a reason, closing certain doors that He knew we would veer down if given the chance. Yet He gently directed us. I am grateful for that today!

  3. Grateful for Grace & Second Chances! :-D

    It’s so good you posted when you did Carmen. I was about to email you and find out where you were hiding out. ;-) I have been praying for you and your blog as promised this year and now know God had you doing your biggest job of all…being a momma. I pray he has blessed you with strength as you cared for your daughter and am glad she is improving. May God continue to restore her health.

    Great to have you posting again.

    (Pink)Smiles, BRC

  4. Thank you Carmen for your message. I feel the same. I thank God every night and day for how he has helped me through difficult times and made
    Me stronger. As you know my life could Have turned out so different. I am so thankful for Aunt Alta encouraging me over the years to look up not behind me. She taught me by example reading scripture everyday.
    I have learned from my mistakes and when I could have gone down a more difficult path he guided me through people, and thoughts that could have turned out wrong and just plain putting up road blocks. I thank the good Lord everyday for the good sense he gave me as a teenager Not to follow the path that I saw so many people taking. Sometime I had to set my own rules to be a better person and not make mistakes like smoking and having sex. He gave me the grace to be different.
    I pray everyday for all my family to want to know God and give him the glory he deserves when we have good in our life for no other reason than by his grace.

    1. Love this, Aunt Cheryle! This is a part of your testimony I haven’t heard. Aunt Alta made such a difference in the family. She was a special lady.

      Thank you, Lord for grace, sweet grace!

  5. Love this Carmen…. As soon as I saw the title I thought of that verse that says, “we know in part and we prophesy in part.” It is so awesome how God reveals little tidbits..that connect to a much bigger picture…. using each part of His Word and His body to make know the mystery of the Gospel…. Thank you for sharing