Gratitude... As A Disposition
Today in church we talked about gratitude.
Our lesson was based on this talk from the most recent General Conference.
One thing that stood out to me as I read this talk was this part...
"...most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude. Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation?"
We talked about God's commandment to thank God in all things. How, if followed that benefits us and keeps us connected to him despite what is going on for us.
To start our lesson our teacher had each of us write down our deepest sorrow, or our greatest trial. I laughed and mocked... just one?
It is always changing right? I know that my struggles now are different than they have been in the past. My deepest sorrow is different now. I continue to heal and grow as they come along.
When we were in grad school I really struggled with feeling lonely. It was a trial for me and I faced hardship and sadness at that time of my life.
These past few years have brought different challenges and I would say at this stage in my life these have been my hardest to walk through.
But, as I reflected today, I feel as though I have come through them. I feel as though I am now standing on the other side... finally!
Is it possible to feel this way?
Nothing has changed for me.
My situation as not changed at all! The things that have brought me heartache and sorrow are still there, still present.
How can I feel as though they no longer are 'my greatest trial or sorrow'?
It is because I have changed.
This is the purpose and power of the refiners fire.
I have let go of hope.
I have felt my heart ripped out and torn to shreds.
I have cried out for mercy and relief.
I have felt abandoned and alone.
I have been sustained by the faith of others.
I have sought calm and peace.
I have plead for forgiveness I have seen in my own error and judgement.
I have cried out for relief and mercy.
I have found an increase of faith as I have found my Savior... still, unmoved from where He has always been.
I have found strength as my faith has been put to the test.
I have felt an intimacy and deep appreciation for the Savior's atonement as I have felt him lift my burden and heal my heart. This has brought greater devotion and purpose into my life.
I have found compassion and love I didn't know I had.
I have changed ... and it is good.
Gratitude is an eternal truth. Truth is of God. Where we find gratitude we find God.
This is why it is essential to seek it when times are hard, so we don't lose sight of Him, or our focus on Him. This is why we'd benefit to incorporate it into who we are, not just something we count (blessings).
I don't know who said this, but I saw this quote at my brothers house this summer...
I have been generously blessed, with so much, despite things that have hurt me.
My life is wonderful and perfect, which includes downs with the ups!
I see purpose in the variety of things we go through in life. I am grateful for it.
I am grateful to stand where I do now, to feel healed, if you will. I know that healing has come through my Savior and His atonement. I am so glad to know He knows me and loves me.