What a beautiful Day today is.
(But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.Â For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,â€¦Hebrews 3:13-14)
A Day where we gather with family and friends,Â
hold hands tightly,
Â hug until we can’t breathe, eat until we can’t stand,Â
and think of the many things we have in our lives
Â to be thankful for.
Thankful for Family.
Thankful for Friends.
Thankful for Jobs, and Homes, and Vehicles to get us from one to the other.
Thankful for those who were once with us and now gone.
Thankful for the little hands that pull at our sleeves and ask for more pie or stuffing.
Thankful for one more day of life to enjoy,Â
Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite days of the year.
Perhaps it is because for many years I walked through life in a gray fog
wondering what in the world I had to be thankful for.
I hated my life.
I hated my family.
I hated everything about myself and about where I was.
My father left us, and my mother was so busy trying to keep us kids all together that ,for a period of time, I walked through the year totally planning for an alone moment
when I could finally put myself out of my misery.
Â Where I could end it all and just get past the pain and hurt and anger I had roaring in my ears all the time.
It was a dark place.
An alone place.
A deep and dreary, 1-will-never-get-past-this, place.
And then, someone came into my life that saw past the hard shell I had created, who reached beneath all the yuck and anger I poured out, and told me that someone loved me.
(I look up to the mountains–does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth. He will not let me stumble, the One who watches over me does not sleep. Indeed, the One who watches over Israel will neither sleep nor slumber. The Lord himself watches over me. The Lord stands beside me as my protective covering. The sun will not harm me by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep me from all harm and watch over my life. The Lord keeps watch over me as I come and go, both now and forever. Psalm 121)
NO, it was not a boyfriend, but a youth pastor at a local church.
And the Person that loved me, was not a boyfriend either.
It was Jesus Christ.
HE was the hope I had been looking for.
HE was the light in my darkness, my shining moment in a year of dreary plodding.
He taught me to believe again, to hope again, to share again, and laugh again.
It took a long time, but slowly my world righted. I made some mistakes but came eventually to a place where I walked, every single day, thankful to wake up again and have another day to dance in the rain, or sing in the shower, or hold the hand of one of my children.
Sometimes those dark places make us understand just how incredibly important it is to be thankful for the little things. They point out the silver linings on the dark clouds that threaten to take over our hearts and minds, and shake us to our very foundation. Those whispers in the dark times of your life are the ones that we need to be still and listen for, because by being still and silent, we will hear the voice of the Lord saying just how much He loves us, and weeps with us…that He carries us, and encourages us.
That we are not alone.
Not with Him.
(The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.Â
Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut 31:8)
SO today, as you sit around a hushed table and take in the faces you hold dearest to your heart…
When you carve the turkey and heap up the stuffing on a plate and pass it to a hand you have held and prayed with…
When you look around you at all you have been given, whether small or large, and thank the Lord, remember to thank Him also for His presence in the dark times.
Thank him for the tough times He walked through with you.
Thank Him for the moments that you searched, and found Him.
Thank Him for the grace of leading you to where you are today.
Thank Him for the provision you see before you.
And remember the many who, today, are not where you are. Who struggle still in the darkness, and the lonliness because they have not made that choice to allow the Lord to guide their steps and their lives. Or pray for those who are facing their Thankful Day alone, with empty chairs around them.
I will let my Handy Hubby carve the turkey, and heap the stuffing. I will look around at the shining smiles and faces of those dearest to me in the world, and remember the single thing I am most thankful for is the gift of my life, and the Lord who shone a light in the darkest times, so I can be here today.
May Your Thanksgiving Celebration be Beautiful, and your Holiday be Restful.
Blessings to you and yours,
The Welcoming House Blog