Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our high school students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series will highlight what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting?

by Alexus Jones

The sweet aroma of spices has overrun my senses since the moment I awoke. The music and cheering of the televised parade can be heard in every room of the house. My mother sets the table with the best silverware and the nicest glasses that won’t be used for another four or five hours. Grandparents have come to visit, and we anxiously await the arrival of other long-since-seen family members.

It is Thanksgiving morning.

As I sat down to write to you, I took a retrospective look over this past year, as many people do on this day. I was able to see how staggeringly different life has become since last fall, and I felt the need to share the amazing things that God has blessed me with in the past four seasons. There is something new and amazing to be grateful for every day, and having only one day in a year to really reflect on that seems a bit ridiculous to me. Nevertheless, I am thankful for a day dedicated to thankfulness. I realize that another year lived is something to be eternally grateful for all on its own, but the last twelve months in my life have seemed particularly rich in blessing. God has opened doors that I never knew existed.

A year ago almost to the day, my friend Jesse I began working as stagehands at our Immanuel Church—a job that entails arriving at the church at 6:30AM every other Sunday and working nearly invisibly for six hours. At first glance, the volunteer job didn’t seem very fitting for me. What did I know about working backstage, and why in the world would I have any desire to show up to church at 6:30 in the morning? Getting there at 10:45AM seemed like a struggle enough. Yet, by the working hand of God, I am able to type to you today as a year-long volunteer employee of Immanuel Church. I have met phenomenal people through this opportunity, and I’ve learned more than I could have imagined.

God also blessed me with the chance to attend a family reunion in Oregon this summer. I was reunited with a great many people that I hadn’t seen since my childhood summers on the left coast. One of the biggest events of the entire year was finally meeting my long-lost older sister, Leslie. I’ve known about her for probably eight years now, but I never had the chance to meet her and my nephew Joseph. Also, it had been seven years since I’d seen my older brother Nick, and we’d both changed quite a bit. That week in Oregon was truly a blessing beyond belief.

God’s plan is most evident in my journey through music. The lack of passion and excitement that I had for music just 52 weeks ago leaves me astounded. A year ago, I didn’t even own an acoustic guitar, but now I play one in my own band with my best friends. I had hardly discovered that my voice didn’t sound like the noises of a dying pig, and now I play my own shows. I had hardly written any original music, but by God’s grace, my band was able to get an original song recorded and produced by Daniel Yates, a good friend that we met completely by chance in April. God brought all of the right people into my life at the right times.

Ever since my family started attending Immanuel Church, it had always been my dream to play in the worship band. Five years later, on November 4th, 2012, God allowed me to do just that. His unbelievable plan never ceases to amaze me. In the darkness of the night, God can provide an inextinguishable light. In the terror of a storm, God can be an inalienable comfort. I thank God for His love today, and I pray that you can feel this joy-inducing gratitude, too. “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24).

I hope you were able to learn a bit about me, and I look forward to writing to you again soon! God bless.

Alexus Jones is a junior at Lakes Community High School. She plays in the high school youth group worship band and works backstage on Sunday mornings at Immanuel Church. She is a singer/songwriter that desires to glorify God with the abilities that He’s entrusted to her.

One thought on “ICYouth: On Giving Thanks in Reflection

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