1 more page of empty lines left in my journal. I don’t know about you, but my journal is my lifeblood – to process, pray and simply record. So this nearing-the-end thing is a cause for panic, a race to the nearest Barnes & Noble. But it’s also a time to reminisce.

As I turn back to page 1, memories come alive:

On Jan. 17th, I noticed the hurried, sloppy writing that read: “I’m terribly afraid for my heart ultrasound tomorrow, and I’m sure the wait of another test will be dreadful. Please give me faith that you have healed me. Please, Jesus.”

On May 1st, I recalled sitting in the living room across from my roommate and asked, “Brit, if you believed God would give you anything you wanted, what are 5 things you would ask for?” She laughed, humored me, dreamed and admitted the 5 things she would die for, as I also gave away mine.

Matthew 7:11 says if we give good gifts to our children, “how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him!” Because God wants to hear our honest, raw, free as a bird desires, Brit and I prayed for these 5 things, and friends, I now ask why we hesitated in our prayers before!

Lastly, flipping back to one of my favorite days that will mark my life, my eyes scan across the plain gladness I recorded on Sept. 15th as I became Mrs. Anderson.

“Dancing, bounding and rejoicing all the way down the aisle, Tyler picked me up at the very end, swung me around, and kissed me. We were now husband and wife caught up in how purely celebratory this moment and day was.”

And these are just 3 short snippets of 2013. An entire year, filled with abounding joy, creativity, and tear stains, was captured in this very red journal.

And you know what? There, as barefaced and unmistakable, I can see Jesus in it all… how He answered my prayers, changed things for my good, and protected me at every turn regardless of the twists in the road or the valleys I tried to climb out of. I can see that now.

But how did I miss that some days? Appealing for His leading when it was there all along? I found the culprit. In the day-to-day grind of things, I fall victim to something called tunnel vision. This is when, regardless of what God did yesterday or the week before, I become absorbed in the qualms of today. Know the feeling?

I think that’s why David constantly tells us throughout the Psalms to “remember the deeds of the Lord.” He was well-aware about the power in pausing, remembering where you’ve been and how God saw you through.

When we see the entire string of events weave together like this, something inside just clicks. Thanksgiving flows. Faith is built. And we’re reminded God’s character never changes. He will always see us through.

This year was no different, and next year won’t be either. And, if for only that reason, we can be thankful this Thanksgiving.

‘Tis the season, friends.


Image: Flickr