I love Thanksgiving. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was in high school through college, we would spend Thanksgiving with a family from church every year. We’d go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. Usually something like family, good health, a new car and God’s provision. A few years ago, when Thanksgiving rolled around I remember thinking that I didn’t have a thing to be thankful for. Tullie had just turned two that year, Eli had passed away in April, and we were pregnant with number four and it hadn’t been easy. We were having a low key Thanksgiving, (which has become a special day of PJ’s and ribs ever since) and I had been thinking about what I would be thankful for. My husband, yes. My children, yes. My last year, NO! I kept thinking about things I could feel, touch and different material things. I was feeling like I was not blessed, but cursed instead. So, what was there to be thankful for?
About 12 months later, a friend and I were talking and and she said, “Someone told me something the other day, that I keep thinking about. They said, ‘I’ve been living my life filled with hardships, punctuated by blessings. I need to live my life filled with blessing, punctuated by hardships.'” I had to process that for awhile. I HAD been thinking that my life was FULL of hardship and no blessings. Everything seemed to be working against us. Nothing seemed to be working for us.
Then I started thinking about it. “Living a life full of blessing…” What did that mean? Hardship had been all we had seen for the last three years. One thing after another. The more I thought about it, Jesus began to remind what my blessing was. My blessing was HIM. He plucked me out of my sin. He saved me. He has blessed me with salvation and I am His. Forever! I’m His! Whatever He allows to happen in His sovereign and perfect will, I am His. If I lose everything, I am His and I am blessed. Hardship is part of life, and just because I’m striving to be a lover of Jesus, it doesn’t mean I’m going to be a part of this world unscathed.
I struggle with that. Losing everything. It’s hard to lose. It’s hard to lose people that you love. It’s hard to lose and to suffer through loss. I struggle, because I like my comfort. I like boring. I don’t like risks or shake-ups. I like people to be healthy, live long lives and experience no hardship. That’s not life though. Life is full of hardships. But Jesus is there. I am blessed because I am His and He saved me. I am blessed this year with Jesus’ salvation and I am thankful.
I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful for His salvation. I am thankful that Jesus chose the perfect man for me. A man who would love his wife through the hardest things that could possibly happen. A man who is strong. I am thankful for my sons. Josiah, who is here and litters the house with Legos and who has a mind like a sponge. For Eli, who we got to spend moments with, but we will remember him for our lifetime and see him when we see Jesus. I am thankful for my daughters. Tullie, who lights up the room with her grin and giggles. Her hugs and her never ending love. For Ellison, who was our surprise and who has brought joy to our house with her passionate love of life and zest. I am thankful that my Savior has been gracious. That I am beginning to see His glory in the three little faces He has given Mike and I to take care of here on Earth.