It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I'm feeling pretty grateful. Not for the usual reasons, either. Oh sure, there's always the usual things. Healthy kids, a roof over our heads, the freedom to worship our way in our country. Those are big ones, to be sure.
But today I'm thinking back on the last year and being grateful for the not so great things. I'm grateful for my husband losing his job when he did, which led to where he is now, a much better situation. I'm grateful for those hard and scary weeks when we couldn't see God's plan but lived each day with as much faith as we could muster. I'm thankful for a pregnancy I never would have planned at a tumultuous time in our lives, and how God's ways are never ours. We'd miss out on so many beautiful blessings if we always chose the easy path. I'm thankful that the last time we came close to buying a house, it didn't work out and we are still in our 1200 square feet behind my parents, a home we could afford when things were impossibly tight.
This year has held a lot of hard things but when I look back, I see how we've grown. How hard moments we'd never choose have matured us in ways a smooth and easy year never could have. And how every step of the way, our always good God was right there, lighting the way.
Every year there are good things to be grateful for. The high points, the mountain top moments. The things we think of as blessings. The happy, pretty things that make sense to celebrate. We've got those things in spades. A beautiful healthy family, close relationships with our families, every thing that we need and yes, remembering to be grateful for them is important. But when I can reflect on the things that don't always look like blessings, then I can find gratitude for God's ways - all of them. All is truly grace. We never walk alone.
Looking back on the past year, I feel stronger than I ever did before. More sure that I can always trust God to love us completely, to never leave us and to always, always be our source of true Joy.
Maybe that's why this Thanksgiving means more to me than I remember it ever meaning before. This year, I'm grateful for the constancy of Christ. The only thing that matters.
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