When people ask “what are you thankful for?” the first thing that comes to everyones mind is “I’m thankful for family and friends,” but that always feels so obvious to me. Of course we are all thankful for the people in our lives, people that make our road a little easier. But thats the answer that doesn’t take a lot of thought, the answer that you don’t have to dig too deep to find. When you really think about life, about all the peaks and valleys, the easy and the hard, then the answers will always change. Where do you find your thankfulness in those places, when you are high on the mountain top or in the deepest of valleys. Thats when it gets a little harder.
When we are celebrating that life is good, that we’ve achieved great things we often miss the things that got us to the place of celebration. We miss the things that we should be thankful for. Its easy to be thankful for a positive outcome its easy to be thankful for our place on the mountain top. Its almost like it’s so bright that we can’t see the smallest little moments that got us there. The smallest moments that are hidden within our greatest accomplishments.
And then the valleys. Thats when it gets even tougher. When we are quite literally buried under a pile of sadness or loss or disappointment. When being thankful is the furthest thing from our minds. Where do we find our gratitude then?
I remember flying home from Las Vegas on the day that Eliza went to heaven, when I was in the deepest valley of my life. It was a day that I wasn’t supposed to be thankful for anything, but I was. I was thankful for every single person that God put in my path, the security guards that helped us pack our bags and got us to the airport. The strangers who prayed over me. The man who got me a cup of tea. The women who gave up her window seat for my middle seat so I could sit with my friend. Those are the things that may be unrecognizable when you’re in the midst of a trial but they are also the things that will mean the most when you have risen above it.
So in this season I am thankful for Elizas life and that she is perfect and whole with Jesus. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to share her life with others and make a little bit of a difference in peoples lives. I am thankful that I receive grace and I am thankful that every day I’m learning to give grace to others. I am thankful that I have learned how to move through grief even though it isn’t always easy.
And I am thankful that this life is just a blink of an eye and that my precious girl is waiting for me in eternity.
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! ~ Psalms 105:1