I love Thanksgiving! I am so excited we have a day to celebrate thankfulness tomorrow. I have so many things of which to be thankful. I have a great husband, kids, home, extended family, church, town and nation. My heart is just overwhelmed with thankfulness, and I do try to maintain this thankfulness not just once a year, but rather, throughout the year.
Yet, sometimes, I think we can get so caught up in the thankfulness of the “good things” that, maybe, we forget about the not so pleasant things for which we should be grateful, or, maybe even, the mundane things for which we should still carry a grateful heart. You might ask, “For what bad things could we ever be thankful? For which unanswered prayers could we possibly be grateful??”
Well, let me share a little in a personal note…
I am thankful for the pain I experienced as a child when I grew up without a father around. Not because it was heartwrenching and left me with scars, but rather, for the joy in knowing what it’s like to have a grandfather who stepped into that role for me. I am thankful for the void that led to the fulfillment I felt when my stepdad walked me down the aisle. I am thankful for the maturity I experienced early in life and the ability to make better choices for my future than the harder lessons my mother had to learn at the same age.
I am thankful for the pain of losing our first child through a miss carriage. Not because of the heartwrenching tears I cried, nor for the fear in wondering if we’d ever have another, but because I learned what it is to experience true loss and to have a heart-stopping doubt within my soul, wondering if God even cares, which caused me to the realize He loves me unconditionally and that love caused me to grow so much closer to my God during this time of doubt and pain.
These are just two examples of when my pain and times of difficulty have caused a deep gratefulness within my heart for the things which I learned. So, today, as we get ready to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving tomorrow, let us be thankful for not only the “grand and glorious” things in our lives, but let’s also be thankful for those “not-so-grand-and-glorious” times when the pain of our experience elevated us toward our destiny! 😉
What surprising, and maybe painful, things have caused you to grow, learn, change and to become more grateful?