Journal Entry ~ 09/12/17

13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1:13-14

When we're walking through difficult trials, it can be challenging to hold on to an attitude of gratitude. We can lose sight of the big picture and get so narrowly focused on the challenge right in front of us. Verses like this can remind us in our troubles what we truly have to be thankful for; they can pull us out of our difficulties, and fix our eyes on Him. They remind us of the eternal perspective, and adjust our attitude. First, there are perils from which we have been rescued that we are unaware. He has delivered us from blindness and death. I can't imagine where I would be if I had not become a believer in Christ. The trail of broken relationships from my past still haunts me, I cannot imagine what my life would look like without the life-giving, God-centered relationships that are such a blessing to me.  He has restored relationships and brought forgiveness into my heart for deep, unspeakable hurts from my past.  He rescued me from the fear and anxiety that once consumed my life so fiercely that I suffered the physical effects of stress. He put an end to the constant striving for approval from others, and has taught me to rest only in Him. He plucked me right out of the darkness that once plagued me, and has blessed my life so abundantly by transferring me to the kingdom of His Son. The second half of this verse reminds us that we are loved, we are wanted, and we are cherished by the Creator of the universe. Perhaps the most devastating human emotion is the feeling of unworthiness, the feeling of being unwanted, or the feeling of being unloved. You are loved. This is forever true when you are living in Christ. You are promised a Father's love, a Savior's presence, and a family of brothers and sisters who will walk with you and encourage you. You are never alone to face the trials of this world. Finally, we are forgiven. We can start every day with a clean slate. We don't have to live in the past of who we were, in regret of foolish choices, in despair over what we did. Yesterday is gone, already forgiven, and today is a new day in Him. Stop talking about the past, stop dwelling on where you came from, stop thinking about the choices you made. It's gone. Today is a new day - He continually cleanses us from our past, and forever gives us another chance to get it right. 

A cancer diagnosis knocks the wind out of you. It can shrink everything in your life away, and so singularly focus your attention that everything else falls away. It takes time and meditation on these truths in His Word to pull back the focus and broaden your perspective. Yes, my life is forever changed by this diagnosis, and it would be easy to count the reasons I am frustrated, but God calls me to consider my trials joy. And the way I do that is to shift my focus to what I am grateful for - a cancer diagnosis doesn't change these things:  it doesn't change that He died for me and rescued me from a life of darkness, it doesn't change that He has transferred me to the kingdom of His beloved son where I am loved and cherished, and it doesn't change the fact that I am forgiven. I have so much to be thankful for in this world. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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