Yesterday I celebrated my 33rd birthday! WOW! Although I am not considered “Old” yet, I still feel as though I have lived a very full life already. I am so blessed to have met so many wonderful people and been to such amazing places. With all this in mind I am mostly thankful that I have been created to serve an Almighty God!

As we celebrated my special day I spent a lot of time thinking about the last thirty three years.
The time that stands out most to me has been the last decade.
In these last ten years I have struggled with personal anxiety. Strange anxiety! Unpredictable anxiety!
(Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7)

I know that I have addressed this topic before in my blog, but what I want you to know is that I see the turbulent ten years of anxiety as a challenge and a driving force in my life.

In my ability to look back at this last decade and see that even though it’s been tough at times, I’ve grown.
I also see my dependence on the Lord.
I think of Paul when he asked the Lord to take the thorn from his side. He asked the Lord to remove the thorn from his side three times and the Lord did not. We don’t know what that thorn represented – potentially a physical ailment? We just don’t exactly know.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

What I do know is that my thorn has been anxiety (one of them anyway)… social anxiety particularly…
but I always found myself relying more heavily on my Heavenly Father and spending more time with him when I needed him, wanting to cry out for help.

It is often said that we grow more in the valleys of life then we do on the mountaintops. In my case, I can say it’s true. It may be a weakness to us, but God is able to work through us if we allow Him to.

What I have been challenged by is the thought that my time in prayer and in my Bible reading came mostly in my need. I want to always be in prayer, to need Him at all times, and to be prepared for battles seen and unseen. I don’t just want to think of Him, ask for His help, or lean on Him in my need…. I want to constantly be at His feet, praying for others, serving Him, and doing what He asks me to.

 This year I want to grow… grow in Him… the way He wants me to.

I want to learn more daily, to be unafraid of what He might reveal in my life. I am challenged and ready to continually put on the full armor of God!
 (Ephesians 6:10-18)
That is my desire! I want to know Him more and His purpose He has for me.

One Commentator refers to the thorn saying:

God will accomplish His purposes without taking from His servant the thorn that seems to hinder him.

Just because your thorn hasn’t been removed, doesn’t mean the Lord can’t use you!
I want to honor Him and serve Him… regardless of me… or of my thorn….
How about you? Are you letting the Lord use you regardless of your thorn?


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