Gratitude A to Z: U-X

I’m grateful for ​My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, or “Ozzy” as my friends and I refer to him. This is my daily devotional book. It has 365 readings in it, one for every day of the year, and yet, year after year it’s still painfully applicable. I’m grateful that in the midst of anything good, bad or otherwise. I can quickly flip open Ozzy and find a tidbit of wisdom, a very palatable snapshot of God’s Word. A reminder that my utmost is for His highest.

I’m grateful for vanilla.​ It’s cozy and warm. It’s my most favorite smell, especially mixed with a little coconut.

I’m grateful for wandering.​ JRR Tolkien wrote in his poem, All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

This “wandering” concept keeps popping up. In the past, I wanted to have it all figured out. I wanted a plan for things, step-by-step directions to get from A to Z. Go to college, get a job, work at said job forever, mix in a family at some point along the way. But more recently, my methodical way of living has been obscured by missteps and course changes.​ I’m giving myself this time to wander, to try things, to risk making mistakes and learning from them when I do. I’m grateful for wandering because it gives me a chance to see past my plan, see what God’s got waiting for me behind doors I otherwise might not have opened. I’m challenging myself to wander and explore, rather than plan and try to foresee. Letting go of control, surrendering to the unknown is dangerous for someone like me, but I’m realizing more and more that staying in my routine would be lethal.

I’m grateful for ​eXes. Okay this one may be a cop out, but try finding words that begin with X! I’m grateful for the lessons that these folks bring into my life. Someone once told me that you learn more about yourself being in a relationship with someone than anything else. Each time I’ve found myself out of a relationship, not that there have been many times, I’ve grown in leaps and bounds. There is a moment of calm right after everything erupts, a moment when you stop and take stock of the debris left by something you once thought was perfect. It’s sometimes cataclysmic, sometimes easy, and sometimes it’s the goriest sight you’ve seen. But then it changes, somehow the pieces left are different, or more visible, than they once were. As you pick up each piece and analyze it for its place to be put back together, you see it clearer than you ever have before. You look at it closer. Why is this piece shaped like this exactly?

Each time you recover from a broken relationship, you get closer and closer to truly knowing all your pieces, and putting them back where they actually need to be. Each ex-friend, ex-boyfriend, and ex-whoknowswhat, has been the catalyst for this kind of growth. I know myself, my happy spots and gory bits, so much better than I would have without them. Yeah, breaking up is hard to do, but it can spark some of the best moments of self-realization if you choose to look close enough.


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