Leading the World by Supporting Christian Coaching

When Gratitude Feels Strained

By Pamela Larsen Schroeder, MSN, PMGT-BC, BCC

Gratitude scriptures fill devotionals and greeting cards this time of year. The Biblical message of thankfulness is a foundational part of our Christian life. Many people around us may interpret this as hollow or unattainable; especially for those who have experienced trauma. In today’s pressured society many have experienced the death of loved one; a life-changing diagnosis; an unraveling relationship; job or financial loss. People are more apt to feel stressed, anxious, and/or depressed. None of us are immune!

“Rejoice always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV)

When going through a challenging season it may feel difficult to be thankful in all circumstances. It’s wise to be alert to some of these clues in ourselves and others:

  • A range of emotions with varying intensity,
  • Feeling keyed up, unsettled, or numb,
  • Being more critical of self and others,
  • Focused on limiting beliefs,
  • Sense of doubt and loss of confidence,
  • Negative thoughts, or all-or-nothing thinking,
  • We are more likely to become self-absorbed

When things are all about us, it’s hard to be filled with gratitude. It is an indicator that suggests we are not in spiritual alignment. Our soul is running the show, instead of being under submission to the Holy Spirit. For many of us, working with a Christian counselor, coach, and/or spiritual mentor is invaluable and can help us with our spiritual tune-up. Various programs such as: Immanuel Prayer Ministry; Sozo Ministry; Promised Land Living; Restoring the Foundations (RTF) Ministry; and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with a Christian practitioner can be life changing.

Acknowledging our feelings is important and should not be avoided or minimized. As coaches, we cultivate trust and safety; maintain presence; hold the space sacred; and communicate effectively. We meet clients where they are. It’s okay to not feel okay… sometimes that is the impetus needed to reach out and accept additional support.

Each person’s path may be somewhat different. Once distressing emotions about events related to our specific situations are neutralized and released and our nervous system is regulated, we are often amazed at our sudden insights and clarity. Limiting beliefs may seem less true or completely collapse. We feel less bound by our circumstances. A growth mindset becomes possible. We may be drawn to repentance and forgiveness for additional inner healing and freedom. Lies get replaced with truth. We hear Holy Spirit and gratefully receive comfort and guidance. We come back to the heart of worship again. It is no longer all about us, or trying to fix ourselves, but all about you, Jesus.

We are created as whole beings (body, soul, spirit) not just people with a separate spiritual life. The fruit of a spiritual tune-up and alignment is a gratitude adjustment. As a result, we can more fully embrace and embody an attitude of gratitude.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

Supplemental Resources:

Heart of Worship: song by Matt Redman


Jesus: song by Chris Tomlin


The Peace Of God – Scripture Lullabies (New Version): video/song


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pamela Larsen Schroeder is a faith-based health and wellness coach who empowers individuals to create and implement their own blueprint for self-care and whole-person health. Her passion includes coaching those who have a life-changing diagnosis; chronic conditions, including pain; and caregivers supporting those who do. She empowers family caregivers to discover and use effective self-care strategies. Pam is mentoring with Cathy Corbett Reiling, EFT Tapping Academy, to complete her EFT International practitioner certification.
Learn more about Pam at https://healingsupportservices.com/

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