Learning to Count It ALL Joy

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Join me this week as I take a look back at what I have learned through picking a Word of the Year. This is a post from 2014 when my word was COUNT.

I open to the Book of James and the verse strikes at me right between the eyes.  Count. It. All. Joy. It is the ALL that sticks in my throat.  Every last little thing?  Surely, God, You don't mean ALL. It is apparent that I have misread the words, right?  And I am like the little two year old on the cassette tape...saying her numbers...counting to her momma and daddy... 1...2...3...5. I thought I had learned to count, but the recording of that toddler...of me...proves that I still have some learning to do in the counting department.  To learn to count it ALL.

Learning to count the heartaches and the sorrows.  To count griefs as graces {Ann Voskamp}.  To count problems as praises.  That is what it means to count it ALL.  To count it ALL joy.

There is a book that sits by my bed.  The one with the bird and "believe".  It holds my new lessons in counting since it is blatantly obvious that numbers aren't my thing. The one where I count it all.  The one where I count the pains.  The one where I count the heartaches.  The one where I count them as gifts. These are the hardest to count, not because of the high numbers, but because of the high cost to me.  Thanksgiving is hard when it comes to having gratitude for grief.

The pages don't lie.  There are sorrows.  Painful abuse. Deaths. Rejection. Friendship failure.  And yet, He asks me to count them as JOY.  For a year now I have counted.  Tried to "believe" like the journal cover proclaims that the heartaches can become "heart joys".  And you know what I have found?  A Father that loves me.  That wants to give me joy.  That is only out for my good.  A Savior that in order to save me brought grief into my life because He knows that nothing and no one rises again unless there is death.  That pain brings peace as crazy as it sounds.  That counting griefs as graces bring gladness.  I wouldn't have believed it...but I lived it.  I can look back on the gratitude list of grief and be glad for a Father that loves me.

The counting it ALL joy.  One of the best things I have ever done...

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