Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.

We each have a story and I’d be willing to bet a few of your chapters show that you’ve experienced some deep, hard things. Moments that can’t be erased and memories that still haunt. Life change happened, whether you wanted it to or not. Things spiraled and got shaken up. Control was lost.

But for all the struggles and questions and hard times, there is a joy.

It might have slipped you by, unnoticed in all the chaos, but I pray you found it.

On the other side of every trial is unending joy that will light up every dark place.

I’m reminding myself of one simple word that changes everything:


I will be thankful.

I will remember His goodness.

I will look for the light of Spring when Winter seems long.

I will be thanks-giving, counting it a joy as I jump in the Fall leaves and drink way too many pumpkin spice frappuchinos at Starbucks – because life is short and all is a gift, no matter the season.

I don’t want to miss the gift of now by looking too far into the future. The present is a present, a gift waiting to be unwrapped.

Every moment holds something of value – even the painful moments when you feel as empty of life as Winter. The fallen leaves may be hidden and the flowers of Spring have yet to bloom in your life, but as everything is blanketed by snow and you begin to feel empty, know that He is providing refreshment. This is a new season and it is a gift. The leaves will fall, the snow will melt, but don’t wait until then to count your blessings. 

We know it’s coming, this change. We can’t run from it or avoid it, so might I encourage you to embrace the new season of your life, even considering it a gift?

Don’t miss the good memories of laughter and popsicles, late night movies with friends, or the way the sun hits the leaves when you lay under the trees. Gifts come in all different sizes, but joy can be found in each and every one.

Remember that each moment, each person, every trial and joy, is preparing you for His work. Corrie ten Boom says it best: “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

What joys will you count today?

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This post has been adapted. Parts were originally written for and published on (in)courage. Gorgeous photo taken by my talented friend, text added by yours truly.