On this Thankgiving Day Eve, I started thinking about things that I shouldn’t be thankful for, but really should be, if that makes any sense. The kind of things overshadowed by some other emotion other than thankfulness, until looking at them in retrospect. Today, I look back, knowing that the lessons from my past will impact my future, either for better or worse. I want to choose the path that leads to better.
- Not So Perfect Days- We all have them. Those days that make you wish you’d never gotten out of bed. When you wake up late, get caught in traffic, have a tire blow out, trip and fall down the stairs…and that’s all before lunch, which you forgot at home anyway. Yes, I have these days more often than I would care to admit. It could be because I wait until last minute to drag myself out of bed or because I am one of the clumsiest people you’ll ever meet. Whatever the reason, these days haunt me. And I have an awful time shaking the blues when they do. Someone asks how I am and I reply, “Blessed,” without really feeling that way. I have tried on these days to put myself in a better mood by really thinking of that reply. When I choose to do this, I do remember how truly blessed I am. So, for that revelation alone, I’m thank God for those Not So Perfect Days. I don’t welcome them, mind you, but I can appreciate them, once they’re over anyway.
- Disappointment- I have been let down many times in my life by people that I should be able to count on. I’m sure everyone has at some point in time. When I think about these let downs, I often get mad. But when the anger dissipates, I can see that it’s all for my good anyway. No one likes to be taken advantage of or forgotten about or treated like you don’t matter, but there is a silver lining. It is during these disappointments that I have felt my Father’s love envelope me like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. And it is through the disappointments that I have learned to let go. Really let go. Not just say it’s gone and hold on to it, but to truly let it go so I can heal. I cannot say I’ve let go of everything, but I can say I know I need to. That, in itself is progress.
- My First Failed Marriage- Yes, you read that right. I’m thankful for my first marriage, even though it failed. Divorce is never easy and there is always emotional baggage that goes along with it. My divorce was no different. But through it, I learned a lot, about what a marriage is supposed to be and what a marriage should never be. I learned a lot about myself, too. It was the beginning of a process that lead me to really finding out who I was and what I wanted. It was during this time that I hit a lot of lows and the person I was then, the wife Iwasbut wasn’t to him, helped to make me who I am today. I am a better person, and a better wife today, because of my first marriage. I’m not proud of who I was then, mind you, but I’m grateful for the mistakes made and lessons learned.
- Change- I surprised even myself with this one. I am grateful for change. All change, not just the good. Because eventually the bad work themselves out, if we let God help. That’s been my experience anyway. I can remember being nineteen years old and in my first English class in college when I wrote a paper on the very subject of change. I thought very negatively of it then. It was then I realized that change is the only thing constant in life. This did not better my opinion of the subject, however. That has only come with time, and that’s not to say that I welcome all change now. I don’t in fact. Some changes, I cry through. Some changes, I smile through. But, all of them, I hold God’s hand through, knowing there is a reason. And it may take me years to thank Him for it, but I trust that that day will eventually come.
- My Mother’s Death- I find this hard to type, but it is a truth. I am not saying that my mother’s death was a blessing, for it was far from it. I can now be thankful for the timing of her passing, however. I am thankful the Lord called my mother home when He did. It would be acceptable for me to be thankful for her to not be in pain. It would be normal for me to be thankful that she is not suffering anymore. But my thankfulness is not that selfless. Rather, it is selfish. I am thankful for my mother passing when she did, for had she not, I may have never grown up. If she were still with me, I would not be the me I am today. I was my mother’s pride and joy, her world, aside from the Lord. What she did, she did for me. I truly believe she held on an long as she did for me. When breath left her body, the bottom of my world fell from underneath me. The rose colored glasses were removed from my face and I could see the world for what it really was. I was no longer protected by my mother and the false sense of security she brought. It was one of the hardest times in my life. But, I now see it was necessary. I had to go through what I did to grow. All of my sleepless nights and bitter tears had a purpose. You cannot know true joy without true sorrow, and when I lost her, true sorrow was all I knew. I had suicidal thoughts, struggled with self harm, and fell into a deep depression I didn’t even know existed. I was hopeless. But it was through this hopelessness that God molded me. It was then that I walked away from Him, but He ever had His hand in my life. And it was Him who lifted me from the pit I allowed myself to sink into. I had always known about God, but had I not lost mom when I did, that would still be all I knew today. Now, I know God, not about Him, but know Him for His true identity, not the one I had imagined my whole life. I often times question if I would even know salvation if mom had not slipped my from my hands into the arms of the angels that night in December nearly ten years ago. The answer in my heart is always no. Through my mother’s death, I found life. And for that, I am thankful. I will forever be thankful.
I may be thankful now, but I’ve not always been. Through it all though, God finds a way to show me that my life is now and will forever be,
❤ Like Baby Bear Soup