“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Three years ago, I started a hashtag on Instagram titled #ichoosethankfulness.
There were zero posts the evening that I typed that hashtag in the search bar.
Tonight….as I write this blog post, there are 2,681 photos using the hashtag.
The phrase was inspired by my sister Melissa, who went to Heaven on November 14, 2010.
I CHOOSE THANKFULNESS is about being thankful in all things and in all seasons. Its choosing thankfulness even though our hearts are broken & burdened. It’s choosing faith over fear. It’s choosing joy. It’s choosing Jesus. Always.
I treasure the stories that have been shared using #ichoosethankfulness. I love that its been used all year long and not just around the Thanksgiving holiday. I have met some incredibly brave women who were vulnerable enough to share their heart…..and in turn has inspired an online community.
A lot has happened in 5 years. I have walked through the valley of death 3 separate times.
In these past 5 years…..I’ve lost my dad, my little sister and most recently, my momma.
Its been tough. Losing my mom this past May was a doozy for me. It hit me hard. There are no words to describe what it feels like to me…..to be here on this earth….without parents. I’ve never walked this out before. I came into this world with parents….and now, at 37 years old…..my parents are gone. For the first time….I’ve look at this world as a place that truly is not my home. This whole thing has set my gaze on Eternity and on Heaven, my homeland.
It’s natural for us to think that as time goes by…..we get further and further from the ones who have left this earth, but its just the opposite. As each day goes by….we get closer and closer to Heaven, which is very near.
Will you join me in sharing the ways that you are choosing thankfulness this month? This year? Some have posted a photo a day for the month of November, while others have posted randomly through out the year. Whatever you choose to do…….be encouraged to share your story and inspire others.
My pastor, Levi Lusko and his wife Jennie know the incredible pain of loss. The way in which they are sharing their story of pain….and using it as a microphone has been powerful. It has encouraged and inspired me greatly. I will be giving away 4 autographed copies of his book, Through The Eyes Of A Lion this month. I’ll be scrolling through the #ichoosethankfulness hashtag and will be choosing one photo a week.
Join me! And be encouraged, my friends. xoxo
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18