Thanksgiving Prayer

Inspired by Aunty Elaine’s prayer, I decided to write a thanksgiving prayer to God. It took me much courage and emotions to pen this but I can only give God the greatest glory for everything that happened in 2012.
Papa God,
A chapter closes this year and I must admit, it was a really tough year. There were so many things that happened that many times I really felt like throwing in the towel, give up and simply just run away from everything. Praying a prayer of being broken at the beginning did not expect You to reveal so many things. Some made passing comments that it was dangerous of me to have prayed that. Maybe they were afraid of where God will lead them if they asked. But by faith, I took that step of courage this year.
Coming back into the system was a struggle, and I questioned if it was a better choice not going. I went through some unfortunate events there but You had me learn how to forgive when it was so hard to and moreover, I realized You had placed me there for a reason, a mission field where You showed me how to be hospitable, to bless and give generously even when I did not have much to give to people I barely knew for long.
Returning back threw me into a different environment. My community shrunk and everyone led individual bubbles. Being a light in the darkness also came with sacrifices; many events and working opportunities had to be turned down, because my priorities were different from others and I wanted to honour You, those I love and also serve. It was not easy to reject but it was a price that I had to learn to die to self and put others ahead of myself. Along the way, I went through tangled situations, regrettable that I let others, myself and even You down. Days passed when I felt so down and aimless, with unanswered questions filling my head. But God, You give second chances. On top of it, the passing of both my grandmothers came at very crucial time of my studies. They were so dear to me and made me realized how fragile life was. It was through these period that You gave me the strength to pull through and even to show Yourself real to my pre-believing relatives.
Work became a chore and insensitive joking remarks over my work by others got me even more discouraged. Laughing and returning the remarks only temporally covered those jabs. At times, stuck without ideas… It made me often have thoughts of wanting to give up, and feeling like my purpose of being in this was dimming. I did wish people would be more understanding, but You said “Love them” and you wanted me to learn how you did for every single one of us.
With everything that happened, crying seemed like one of the first response. However, I was always reminded in Psalms 56 how You were storing up my tears in Your bottle, which is probably now able to fill a reservoir! On other occasions, You constantly hear my whines and angst. However, time and time again, You were always reaching out to me and asking me to run to You and into Your rest; patiently reminding me that Your love covers me.
While it seems like an emotional year, I am still thankful God. Out of sorrow and mourning, You brought forth joy and comfort. You were holding me through those times and wanted me to learn from it, and from there shaping me into who You want me to be. It made me realized I needed You so much more in every aspect of my life, to fill me with Your grace, because my own strength was worthless. There were times I could just give up, but God your strength and grace help me learn how to bounce back… I had to learn to be a Job to be able to see the blessings through my circumstances and even Your Word in Habakkuk 3:17-19 says,
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

Moreover, there were always things that made me smile and remember your goodness. Your creation, Your word, friends and people who stood alongside me on days when I needed the most encouragement. Even my dissertation result is truly one that is by God’s grace. While it is a season where I still need to heal and have the time to recover, I look to the day when restoration and reconciliation happens and say, “My God, truly it is You.” God, if I did not know You, I will not know what state I will be in right now. Truly You deserve the thanks, glory and praise! How will 2013 be? How will the final leg of school be? Would things be impossible? God you know those answers, but here I am, as your daughter, I surrender, lead and guide me.
Into Your loving hands, in Jesus’ Name,

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