A moment of thankfulness today quickly turned to tears as I looked at my sweet baby nieces. Seeing them reminded me of dear friends who were in a small group with my late husband and I over a decade ago in Texas. They also had twin girls and we, as small group buddies, had opportunities to watch their family grow from the start. What a beautiful thing!
I sent my friend a quick message to let her know I was thankful for our friendship and those now seemly “age-old” memories. Almost before hitting that little send arrow, I felt the tears form in my eyes. My thankfulness had led to a beautiful memory, which led to me wishing Josh could see his sister’s babies today. How I miss him. A mix of joy and sorrow all in one.
The sorrow didn’t take away my thankfulness, of course, but it did stir up all the emotions of grief until they boiled over to hot tears for a few moments. Ekkk.
Grief continues to hold in tension remembering the beauty of the past and striving to embrace today. There is much to be thankful for today: health, life, dear friends, creation, hope for the future, and a God who is near.
At the same time, all around us there are significant heartaches happening - ongoing tragedies that seems beyond unfair. In those moments, it is hard to even want to be thankful for anything. Maybe you're just mad.
So what do you do? Personally, I think it is helpful to keep aiming for thanksgiving. This means thanking God for the smallest, simplest things all the way up to the biggest ones. You can make a daily list, if you're that type of person, or you can just say something out loud on your drive to work.
Of course, there are also times when you simply need to give yourself permission (and time) to freely shed tears of Thankfulness. It's ok. You can literally be a Thanksgiving hot mess ... not a turkey.
Psalm 107: 1-2a
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story . . .
p.s. One more extra thankful moment came tonight late after learning my boyfriend, Brad was not majorly injured in a head-on crash.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.