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What I'm Thankful For...

I was standing in church singing along with the worship song, “The Goodness of God.” It’s one of my favorites. Like so many of you, I’ve heard it many times before.

Only this time, it was striking different chords in my heart.

You see, the previous weeks had been particularly difficult. The Holy Spirit had been busy untying knots in my heart, helping me separate truth from lies and showing me the truth about things that had happened in my past. The whole process was pretty painful.

There were days when I asked God, “Why?”

“Why did You allow these things to happen?”

“Why do I have to know the truth? This hurts!”

Looking back, it seemed like my whole beautiful summer was taken up by the ebb and flow of periods of remembering issues, learning the truth, facing the pain, and coming to a resolution. Trust me, this wasn’t on my “to-do” list.

And yet, as we sang the chorus, “Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me,” I began to see this time in my life through a completely different light.

For the first time, I saw that it was God’s goodness chasing me down and saying, “Adessa, you need these areas of your heart healed. You need to know the truth so that you can walk in freedom.”

Trust me when I say that this healing time was God’s idea, not mine.

I didn’t see it coming. I had a completely different plan.

I was absolutely shocked to learn that the teaching my parents learned when they attended a Bill Gothard conference when I was still a small child was still negatively influencing my life in my forties. (Believe me when I say it is NOT going with me into my fifties!). Even though I don't believe this teaching, it was still the little voice inside my head (sounding like my parents) making me feel guilty or filling me with fear.

However, God, in His goodness, saw that there were areas of my life that were broken, and He put me in circumstances that initiated a time of healing.

As we sang those words over and over again, I was reminded of the greatness of our Heavenly Father’s love. It’s a love that doesn’t just leave us wallowing in our pain, but instead, it’s a love that provides a way for us to heal and walk in an abundant life that we couldn’t even previously imagine.

While, yes, it was difficult going through another round of inner healing, it was also a tremendous gift. Because before this happened, I didn’t know why I was struggling with guilt and fear. I didn’t know how to stop the PTSD dreams I had several times a week. I didn’t recognize that false teachings from my childhood were keeping me from fully walking in the calling God had for my life.

It’s like I was walking around with a broken arm, but I didn’t know it.

When God, in His goodness, said, “We’re going to spend some time fixing this,” it was the best thing He could do for me.

As we’re approaching Thanksgiving, I can genuinely say that the thing I am most thankful for this year is that God took me on yet another journey to find healing in my heart and mind.

It wasn’t an inconvenience—it was a blessing.

Rather than being an interruption, it was an answer to my prayers.

It was God’s goodness running after me, saying, “I want you to experience more than you are settling for. I want to heal you, set you free, and open the door to My abundant life for you.”

How awesome is that?

As we wrap up this series on Finding Healing Again and head into the holidays, I want to leave you with this encouragement:

Whenever the Holy Spirit wants to do a work in your heart—whether it be to overcome your past, experience healing from a trauma, overcome an area of sin in your life, or face the truth where you previously believed a lie—don’t hesitate to accept His offer.

Go for it!

See it for what it really is—the love of your Heavenly Father saying, “I don’t want you to live with this pain. I want to heal you completely.”

Even if you feel like you’ve gone through this before.

Even if you feel like you’re too busy and don’t have time for this.

Even if you don’t want to go through the pain, face the truth, or change your life…

Go for it.

Allow the Holy Spirit the freedom to change whatever He wants inside your heart, mind, and life whenever and however He wants to.

Recognize that any offer of healing or freedom in your life is a gift from your Heavenly Father, Who loves you more than you can imagine and has bigger plans than you can ever dream.

Don’t resist.

Don’t allow fear or pride to keep you from receiving all God has for you.

Instead, be open to the Holy Spirit’s work of healing.

Receive the blessing that God has for you.

Discover that God always knows what we need and that whatever you’ve been through, He can work it out for your good.

This Thanksgiving, I have absolutely no regrets that I made this choice.

I’m thankful for the pain, heartache, tears, and anger because I’ve experienced more freedom, healing, and growth than I could have ever imagined.

And I could not be more thankful for the goodness of God.

Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.

When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."

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