The Year of the Giver

Part 1 – The Book of Job

I just started my twenty-sixth year.  My birthday was two weeks ago and for the last month or so, I wondered if and what I would write for my birthday.  Well, as you know, I shared the story of my dog, Thor on my actual birthday and then took the week of and the week after my birthday off.  I wasn’t sure what to write about and didn’t really even know if I wanted to address my birthday in my writing.

Photography by Studio Heather Marie

The more and more that I thought about it, the more I wanted to start a new series that would last through my twenty-sixth year.  I thought long and hard about what this series would be and couldn’t pinpoint what it was that I wanted to share with you all.  It was today when I decided to just start writing something that I realized that I wanted this series to be for me, not for you.  Now, don’t stop reading just because I said that.  I just felt like I should be honest with you and let you know that this series isn’t being created to tell you a story or teach you a lesson.  Rather, this series is a way for me to document and reflect on myself and if you get something out of it, then great!  If not, that’s okay.  

When I decided to write for myself, I then had to decide what I wanted to see myself learn and where I wanted to see myself grow.  After doing some soul searching and reading through my old writing, I decided that while I don’t think that I have a problem with being ungrateful for the blessings in my life, I do think that I could grow in focusing more on God and what he HAS given me rather than what he hasn’t given me or what he has taken away – thus, The Year of the Giver.

Over the next year, I want to reflect on The Giver and how He has shown up in my life, rather than dwell on the things I don’t have or the things that I use to have.  This won’t be a weekly segment.  This series will take a lot of insight and humility on my part as God reveals how good He is even when I might not see it.  This week is just the introduction.  I have so much to share and want to make sure that I take my time writing so that I can articulate my thoughts to create a series that I grow from and not one that I just go through the motions of.  

This week, I decided to write down a list a of things that God either hasn’t given me OR has taken away from me.  I wrote this list and stuck it inside of the book of Job in the Bible.  I won’t forget these things, because some of these things are what have shaped me into who I am, but I wanted to put these things on paper so that I could acknowledge them and have them as a reminder that despite these burdens, God is still good.  I chose to put the list in my Bible in the book of Job, because of the story of Job’s life.  If you don’t know this story, I would encourage you to read it.  Job is a book in the Old Testament that tells the life of a man whose faith was tested his entire life, but despite the turmoil and tragedy he lived through, he never allowed himself to lose his faith.  In fact, because of Job’s faithfulness, God ends up restoring his life and giving him twice as much as he had before.  Now, I’m not comparing my life to Job’s.  Job lost everything – his land, his family, his livelihood, as well as suffered physically with painful sores all over his body.  This story is a reminder that if Job can go through all he went through and still see God for who He is, then I can walk through the small storms I face, and still turn to God.  I put my list in this book as reminder that they are nothing compared to what Job went through and no matter how bad things may seem, my God is still faithful.

Again, I’m not forgetting the things on this list.  However, I am letting go of any anger or disappointment that I have in God because of these things.  Now that I’ve let myself release those feelings, I can focus on what God has given me and who He is as the The Giver.

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