Thursday, November 22, 2012


How is it that this heart of mine, which has hurt more in this past year than I thought I was capable of is it that this same heart has never felt so full of thanksgiving than ever before? How can great loss bring even greater gratitude?

What are these gifts for which I am so thankful?

My Jesus. He has tenderly walked with me, carried me, wiped my tears, sat quietly with me in my pain. And more than that--He knows it. He knows my pain and feels it with the very same intensity I do. And still more! He intercedes for me. He groans on my behalf--the kind of groaning for which there are no words.

My girl. Her fantastic personality, which differs so much from mine, has been my inspiration, excitement, hope. She loves a party, and I'm more comfortable in the corner. She talks incessantly and cheerfully (especially in the mornings!), and I like to not talk that much (especially in the mornings!). Meeting new people is a thrill for her--a terror for me. I admire and love her for who she is--for all the ways she has been my joy, my marvel, my hope, my reason for caring about life.

My marriage to Chris. For all the things I learned, all the ways I grew and changed, all the ways I felt so fully and completely loved to my very core--despite my many flaws. He showed me the truest and best love, and he is the reason I am the person I am this day. And he is the reason I will not settle for less than that kind of love in my future.

My family. The way they shoulder my load with me. Hold me, prop me, shelter me, feed me. And they laugh with me. And I'm so very grateful for more laughter these days. They are so safe for me--anything I feel I can show them, and they love me for it.

My dear, close friends. You know who you are. I could count you on one hand. I need you. I lean on you. Thank you for choosing to get into this boat with me. For steering when I could not.

My in-laws. Chris's family.  They have grieved for my pain, while trying to figure out how to deal with their own. They have swooped up my girl at a moment's notice without a moment's thought.

My church. You carried me when I was too wounded to walk.

My pastor. You feed my soul.

Yarn and my Knitch girls. Knitting is my therapy. And you girls are my counselors, comedians, confidantes. Love you.

My job. It fits me perfectly and allows me to provide for my girl. A boss that I also call a friend. Co-workers who care deeply for me, listen to me, laugh and cry with me, and loan me Halloween costumes for Erika.

My cozy room. The chair that has held me through countless hours of countless emotions. The bed that is amazingly comfortable, despite being too big for one person.

Great gifts, indeed. So on this first Thanksgiving Day of this odd widowed life, I choose to dwell on these gifts and not on the absence of others. Happy Thanksgiving and much love.

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