A couple years ago when I would begin a new text, the first word to pop up in my predictive texts was “grateful”. I had typed that word so many times that my phone automatically assumed it was coming. Then my life began to unravel and I stopped being grateful. Instead, I started being hurt, angry, confused, restless, hurt, hurt, hurt. And there are seasons for both. Seasons where grateful overflows out of joy, and seasons where grateful has to be dug out from under all the hurt that’s been piled on top of it. For me, this is a season of digging. A season where I choose to say “YES, this hurts, but I choose gratitude anyway.”
I am grateful for my family. For the way my Daddy never lets a phone call go by without answering, even if he’s on the golf course or in a meeting. For my Mom who makes me laugh and makes me angry and buys me expensive girly products like $30 lip gloss. For my step mom who is my own personal nurse hotline & laughs at all my jokes. For my sister who can wound me more deeply than nearly any other human being on the planet, and the realization that this is true only because she is more important to me than nearly any other human being on the planet. For my baby brother who is talented, hilarious, handsome, far cooler than I ever dreamed of being, brings more joy than he could even imagine, and still calls me Sissy. For Grandparents who, although no longer with us, loved me, prayed for me, believed in me, and will forever be one of the best gifts God has ever given to me.
I am grateful for my friends. For the way the deep grief of the past year has served as a catalyst for deepening of relationships. For my VCG girls, who pray & encourage consistently. For my “people” in my church family who have truly become family, I wouldn’t make it through this season of ministry without the way the Lord has used them to impart wisdom & encouragement! For my best friends, there aren’t enough words to explain what a precious gift these women are. Jody & Janna(&Scott) have been the sweetest gift of this season. There are no other friends I’d rather laugh with, cry with, cuss with & simply do life with than you!
Finally, I am grateful for this season. If the things I loved most hadn’t been ripped away, I couldn’t have said this and meant it as wholeheartedly as I do: I am most grateful, above all other things, for Jesus and the way He is making all things new. I am grateful that He refuses to let me go, even if it means wrecking my life so that there is no one competing for my time & affection. What a sweet gift it was to love another person with my entire heart, but I am realizing more & more that this season (that has often felt like a curse) is actually a gift. A season for my heart to be wholly focused on the One who loves perfectly, is completely faithful & will never leave has been healing balm for this tired & broken heart.
Yes, this year has held much pain, but I choose gratitude anyway.