My First Parish Expresses Gratitude

Testimonial by:  Becky Woodman

When I was asked to write about gratitude, I certainly did not hesitate.  I have such a depth of gratitude flowing form my heart for all God’s gifts and for all that God has done for me and given me.  I have come to realize that gratitude can be expressed in sorrow and in joy.  An example of the juxtaposition between joy and suffering can be seen through my recent struggles for about 9 years.  I realized that this was my second chance at living for God.  He is a God of second chances and uses broken vessels for His Glory.  I had a great sense of gratitude for all the support I received from my family and friends and for the lessons God taught me through this experience.  I know that God has a purpose for my life.  He created me, He loved me, and He would not let go of my hand.  Then in March 2011 I was re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  This came as a total shock and once again, I need to dig deeper into my faith.  It is only by God’s grace and mercy that I am still here today.  I have had the prayers from this church and from many other churches.  God is good and God answers prayers. I feel continually God’s presence in my life and I feel the healing and recovery that occurs daily and for that I am very grateful.

There are other trials, challenges, and struggles that have occurred over the years.  I find that each one makes me more grateful and faithful and that God gives me the strength to endure; He gives me patience an detaches me that He does not want me to miss the joy that He has planned for me.  Through each trial, I have found the joy amidst the sorrow.  Yes, I am grateful and my heart, mind, and soul express gratitude every day.  I have a little rock that sits on my dining room table.  It simply has the word “gratitude every day.  I have a little rock that sits on my dining room table.  It simply has the word “gratitude” on it and it has been on my dining room also for the trials and temptations that I have experience.  All praise, honor, and glory go to Jesus for always keeping me in His presence.  The greatest gift oaf all that I have received is Salvation.  There is no greater gift that one can receive from Jesus, having Jesus as your Savior.  He died on the cross for us when we were yet sinners.  He rose again three days later, ascended into Heaven and He is coming back for us someday.  My fervent prayer is that you will experience Jesus’s salvation.  Ask him into your heart today.

Am I perfect?   No, not even close.  But am I forgiven?  Yes, without a doubt.  For that, I am eternally grateful.  I know that God loves me, and wants only the best for me.  He created me for a purpose, and I am still on that quest to find out just what God wants me to do.  I recently heard this saying, “If you’re drifting too far from the shore, come to Jesus today and let Him show you the way.”  To quote form Romans 8, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  God is still speaking.  Listen to His Word; trust totally in our Living God who wants to be your friend.  He wants you to have a vital relationship with Him, through worship, prayer, and in your everyday tasks.  Many people express their gratitude through art, being in nature, gardening, meditating, have solitude, reading, spending time in God’s words, enjoying fellowship with one another, or serving others.  Whatever you do, do it with gratitude giving God the glory for all He has given you.  Let us give our gifts willingly and cheerfully to our Lord. 

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15