Choosing gratitude in every season. 

Choosing gratitude is a choice we make in each moment, each hour, each day, week, or season of life. 

It’s an ongoing choice and an ongoing battle at times to choose gratitude.

It’s easy to feel gratitude in the up seasons of life when we are experiencing a mountaintop view. We especially feel gratitude right after a long trek up the mountaintop when we reach the top and we can finally see what we overcame and where we are headed next. It’s in those moments when we can easily jump for joy and shout about how blessed and thankful we are. I feel as though I am living in a mountaintop season right now. God has delivered me from a very dark season into a time of such hope, promise, and beauty. I can see the battlefields behind me and I can make connections that explain why I had to fight those battles.. I can see my path ahead, at least glimpses of it anyways, and I am standing on the assurance of Jesus Christ as I allow Him to build the foundation of my life this time around. This is a season of reaping what I have been sowing with the Lord in difficult times.

But each of us experience the seasons at different times of our lives and the seasons are ever changing, so while I was in Winter and scared to death, you may have been experiencing Spring and abundance. Now as I share my current season, you may be feeling as if you just stepped into a battlefield season. Thank goodness that the seasons do change! And even better news if we choose to walk with the Lord, He promises to use our dark seasons and create goodness from them. What a beautiful promise!

However, what about the dark seasons? They are very real and often painful, scary, and full of worry. Yet, they can also be a time of strengthening and planting. A time of mourning and reflection. A time to allow God to breathe life back into us and remind us that He sustains us through all seasons.

When the darkness hits and you cannot see the light, you must cling to the truth you know rather than what you can see or often times what’s scarier is what you cannot see. Cling to these truths:

*God is on your side and He works all things for the Good for those who follow Him. 

*You are loved, cherished, and adored by your Heavenly Father.

*Jesus promises to NEVER leave us or forsake us.

*You are NOT alone in your valley.

*Your dark season WILL not last forever. Seasons change.

*God is good.

*You can fight back. You do not have to accept your current circumstances as your forever fate. 

You Have Weapons.

Your weapons are many:

1. Rest in the knowledge that you are not alone. He is always with you. Take that knowledge to the next level and begin to reach out to the Lord. 

2. Pray fervently for what you need, desire, and pour out your heart before the Father. This is very scary sometimes and may feel uncomfortable at first. Our Lord can handle all of our emotions. Cry put to him like you would to a daddy. Tell him what is hurting you, what has hurt you, what you regret, what you feel and allow him to listen and after your pour out your heart, He amazingly refills it with a peace that can only come from Heaven. 

3. Praise Him and declare his goodness. On some of my darkest days, I would declare God is good. He is so good. God is working all things right now for my good. He is moving mountains on my behalf. He is healing me. He loves me. I would speak aloud His praise and my perspective would change. Light would shine in the dark. I wrote specifically about the power of praise here:

https://braveblessedandbeautiful.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/my-mouth-establishes-praise-to/

4. Stand up for yourself and speak victory. I have written about the power of the words you speak over yourself here:

https://braveblessedandbeautiful.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/affirmations/

5. And the title of this post is another weapon we can use to fight darkness….choose gratitude. Our minds have to be trained to magnify good and not what is bad. So as you take other steps to walk out of your valley, you also have power to choose what you will allow your mind to focus on. Even in the darkest nights, amongst all that is going  wrong, we can begin to speak all that is right. Thank you Lord that I woke up this morning. Thank you for the breath in my lungs. Thank you for my home, my car, my very life. Thank you for the sunrise and the birds in the sky. You can choose what to speak in gratitude, but seriously this works! Something about speaking all that is right and good no matter how small, changes our perspective and allows other challenges to appear smaller. Even mountains that we are facing begin to shrink among the backdrop of gratitude. 

As you walk through a dark season, remember this is not your destination. It’s just a season, and seasons change. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
 
Please open our eyes to hope again when we are in a dark season or when we are fighting a battle bigger than we feel equipped to handle. Show us that we do not enter the battlefield alone, but that we are equipped with the Holy Spirit. Remind us to declare, “Greater is He that it in me, than He that is in the world. ” Show us the power we have living inside of us. Remind the cherished woman reading this that she is in charge of her destiny. That she does not have the accept her current circumstances as her forever fate. Remind her that she can cry out to you anytime day or night for strength, wisdom, and peace. Show her the next part of her destiny. Lord, take her by the hand and lead her out of the valley she is in and into the sunshine.. Guide her into the promises you have set just for her and begin to shower her with peace and newfound hope that her future is bright.
Thank you Lord for your mercy and goodness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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