“The LORD bless you and keep you, the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)
I used to be described as a happy person. I looked at the proverbial glass as half full most all the time.
Even when bad things happened, I was able to see the blessings in the lessons learned and after the storm passed, give thanks daily for how He brought me out of my own stupidity.
Then life hit hard … and fast … again and again and again and …
Slowly, ever so slowly, I stopped looking for the lessons to learn in my circumstances. I was in survival mode and some days it was all I could do to crash into bed at night, dreading having to get up in less than eight hours and repeat the cycle all over again.
I lost my optimistic attitude that life would get better. The proverbial cup, although holding the same amount of liquid, became half empty.
My personality slowly changed from Tigger’s optimism to Eyeore’s negativity.
I stopped looking for blessings … and for a period of time … I even stopped believing blessings were meant for me.
Have you ever struggled with those feelings? Felt as though every direction you turn, before you can catch your breath from the last blow, you’re being pummeled over and over and over again?
In John 10:10 (NIV), God talks about how He sent Jesus so that His children “may have life, and have it to the full,” and that cannot be accomplished when we focus on the negative. The best way to overcome focusing on the negative is to live a life of thankfulness.
The way to start living a thankful life is to look up from the circumstances we’re facing and ask God to open our eyes to the blessings God gives despite the circumstances.
In 2014, about seven years into the circumstances that hit hard and fast, I wrote Spoken from the Heart, Blessed by His Love. It was during that time period in my life when God encouraged me to begin a blessings journal.
I would invite you to read for yourself in a simple 32-day devotional how the practice of such a simple little habit began to reverse the pessimism that had taken over my personality and after a while joy started to return.
It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly, ever so slowly, I went from writing down simple blessings like getting a free cup of coffee to “today is over and I can start fresh tomorrow” to much bigger blessings which included seeing God’s hand in our family’s circumstances and feeling the spark of hope when for months it had disappeared.
What about you, my friend? Have you been stuck in less-than-ideal circumstances for too long?
While it seems counterproductive, trust me when I say the first step to overcoming the negativism that comes with difficulties is to look up and start listing the blessings in your life. What is one blessing you can begin with right now?
Please share with me by hitting reply. I’d love to get to know you better and pray for you during this season.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018