our life is really full right now. and we have so much to be thankful for. it's cliche to only be (or at least just talk about it) thankful in the month of november, but i guess if there is a month that helps us remember, then that's great. i think since we've been going through stuff we are fortunate to be reminded often what we are thankful for.
so this "stuff" that we've been going through is at times pretty darn crappy. sometimes if i think about what our lives look like "on paper" it can be pretty depressing. however, i don't spend most of my time being depressed. (by no means is this my doing or because of any mantra that gets me out of bed each day...it's totally Jesus) God isn't going to allow that. there is something in the bible that says, "in all things, give thanks." so, does that mean "all things" = everything? i think it does.
does that mean that as i sit in my chair in an infusion room getting pumped full of a toxic chemical to give thanks? i think so. i'm thankful that my sweet and talkative nurse, amber, remembered my daughter's name and asked how she was doing (after only meeting me once before 3 weeks prior). i'm thankful for the smiling guy next to me who says hey and who makes no big deal that he drives to charlotte from atlanta every week so he can participate in a trial. i'm thankful for the opportunity to tell a nurse that what gets me through this is my faith. i'm thankful for the friends willing to rearrange their schedules and childcare to sit beside me for 3-4 hours.
does it mean that although i may never be able to have any more children to still give thanks? i think so. i am thankful for the surprise gift he gave me in little miss Charis Root who fills me with joy so many minutes of the day. i'm thankful that i am well enough to play with her and hold her and do bedtime with her and all the other things that take lots of energy to do with a 2 year old. i'm thankful that i get to witness her learning and growing as she tries out new words or tests her boundaries or observes her world and asks questions. i'm thankful to have been able to be pregnant and nurse at least for the time i had.
does it mean that after getting a Master's and job-hunting/networking for six months Adam is still working at a restaurant? i guess so. i'm thankful for the journey God has us on, but especially all that He is doing in Adam. it's amazing to watch my husband really hear from the Lord and live in the truth that he is His beloved. i'm thankful for the flexibility of his schedule that allows him to go to just about every appointment with me. i'm thankful that we are able to see God at work in the process and we aren't waiting for the job to happen to really experience Him.
does it mean that although my body may never look like the body of a woman again to still give thanks? yeah, probably. i'm thankful that God gave me a husband to love me in the midst of all this body issue stuff. i'm thankful that He still reminds me that i am created in His image. i'm thankful for the opportunity to learn more about what true beauty is and where it comes from. i'm thankful that sometimes i feel more brave than i did before.
does it mean that even though i was laid off from a job i loved i should still give thanks? yep, that too. i'm thankful for the way the Lord works even if it makes no sense at all to me. i'm thankful for the peace He gave me in the midst of my transition out of YL both professionally and personally. i'm thankful for the job i have now that puts me in the lives of a whole different demographic but still kind of doing relational ministry. i'm thankful for more time to be with my family and friends.
does it mean that i will apparently always have to be treated for cancer or at least live in the unknown of it's return (if it even goes away)? yes, duh. i'm thankful that God knows all that lies ahead for me. i'm thankful that for today i feel great and the cancer is responding to chemo and there is hope. i'm so thankful for hope. hope that there will be a day, whether it's on this side of heaven or not, that i will be cancer free. hope that in the midst of lots of uncertainty, God is the most certain thing in my life and He sure does love me a lot.
don't get me wrong...i'm not a "oh who cares about that..life is so good" kind of girl. nope. i'm a realist who also believes in hope. is that possible? i realize that i have to experience the pain in order to experience the joy of thankfulness and gratitude. they sort of come together, like a package deal. but i get the whole, "in all things, give thanks." because even when there is some really crappy stuff going on there is always really good stuff going on. like this
and because we have some pretty amazing friends (and even some strangers) who are sending us to New York City for the weekend.
but most of all it's because God continues to remind us that yes, He is good, and yes, He loves us, and yes, we are His beloved.