Thanksgiving. I love this day and this season of holiday festivities. I love it because I gather with family, friends and neighbors to celebrate and reflect on the beauty and wonder of life.
Yet every year I am reminded that many of us have suffered loss, endured change or encountered pain of some kind during the year. The holidays can bring to the surface of our minds the memories of our loved ones who have passed, of broken relationships or the friend who is still battling cancer.
So this year, I want to recognize that pain, friend, take a moment embrace it.
Examine the memory, feel the pain, allow yourself the moment to miss your friend or family member.
After you have recognized the pain be thankful. You may have been shaken this year. You may have felt abandoned, bruised, broken or rejected but the truth is that you are still alive. You woke up this morning; you were given another breath and a new chance to embrace life in Christ. Recognize the loss but don’t live in the pain this holiday season.
Now that you have remembered the grief, be challenged to recount all that you are thankful for.
I’m thankful that the year of transitions and change didn’t kill me.
I’m thankful for technology that allows me to stay in touch with family and friends far and near.
I’m thankful for coffee…mmm…coffee!
I’m thankful for VillageHouston and the community I have the honor of pastoring.
I’m thankful for leaders who support me and serve beside me, leaders like Michael, Amanda, Megan, Starseay and Ryan.
I’m thankful for a job in an office where I feel supported, encouraged and challenged to make a difference in students’ leadership development.
I’m thankful for people who read our blog and share it with others!
I’m thankful for friends who no matter how grumpy or sad I get are still present (thanks Kathy S., Kathy C., Leila, Jen, Rachel, Hannah, Bill, John and Emily).
I’m thankful for my amazing family.
I’m thankful for Ryan. My partner in life and all things nerd.
Who and what are you thankful for? It might be as small as a warm wind or a cup of coffee yet today I am certain if you look you can find one thing to thank God for.
No matter how tough the year I am certain that God has been present. I know that as the scriptures say in James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
You have one moment, one person or one experience that you can thank God for today.
What is your one thing this Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments below!