As we enter the season of endless food and parties, presents and general merriness, I'm reminded that not everyone has a Norman Rockwell picture perfect family. I've written enough stories about people who have nothing to be thankful about.
Or so it would seem.
I find myself struggling with this thankfulness this season. Among others, I find myself bogged down with worry about my husband's health, struggling with finding contentment in what I've achieved this year, and worrying for the future. All the things I always struggle with are just piling up again. I know, I know. I should be past it. And I am. The struggles I face now are a fraction of what I would have say... a year ago.
When God heals a scar so deep, something beautiful happens. He doesn't magically wave a wand and it disappears. No, He also doesn't put a bandage on it, pat you on the head, and tells you to call Him in the morning. No. He does something much more beautiful. He sends you into situations you fear, and walks through your struggle with you. And you find that suddenly where things may have been so much more insurmountable, you can look at the situation and breathe. And then you may actually tell yourself that God is with you, and the situation is not really that grave. All of a sudden, the discontentment, fear, struggle aren't as insurmountable.
I find myself praying for those stuck in situations I've written about. Let's just think about that. I'm not sure those stuck in an abusive home find much to be thankful for, on the surface. For the couple separated by miles and miles, the holidays can bring only regret and loneliness. Trust me, I know. For those stuck in chains either of their own making or stuck in horrible circumstances, the holidays may just be a blur.
In most western countries, the success of the holiday is measured by how much stuff you amass. I know that if I don't get a present for Christmas, I feel slighted. But there is so much more to the holidays. If we could just find one thing we are thankful about, we might find our holiday going a little better.
There's a verse that always speaks to my heart.
Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Life is not about never having trouble, especially when you are a Christian. It's never about just skating by without being touched by the junk that goes on. It's about finding that thankfulness. Because the peace that follows doesn't come from us. It comes from a much more credible source.
So my prayer is not for everything to go perfectly this holiday (although that would be nice). My prayer for all of you, my friends and family, those who are reading my books, and those who just check in now and then, is that you will find something to be thankful about. And I pray that the peace of God, through Christ, will fill you to the overflowing.
Love and blessings to you.
If you came up to me and asked what I do, I'd have to tell you that I'm a wife, mother and teacher. A writer? you ask. Wow. Now that is something I never thought I'd be. But through God, all things are possible.