Today will be the first holiday in over 30 years that I will spend without Greg. Ironic that the holiday is Thanksgiving. How can I possibly be thankful today?? Do people really expect me to be thankful today?? Surely everyone would understand if I just stayed in bed all day and cried about how hard my life is and how unfair it all is. Wouldn’t they?? Wouldn’t He?? Wouldn’t God understand my pain and my sorrow and my lack of thankfulness? Yes, He understands but….this is not what He wants. This is not His will for me. The Word says we are to “give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Jesus for you.” His desire, His will, His command is that I give thanks in ALL circumstances. Hard to say; even harder to do.
But, as I sit here pondering God’s Word..I know that’s what I must do. That’s what I WANT to do! It will just be a little more difficult this year. So, I’ve asked the Lord to remind me of what I have to be thankful for. And you know what…He is doing just that!! How can I sit here and whine and cry about my life, about my loss, when He WILLINGLY gave up His one and only Son so that I could have eternal life?? When Jesus WILLINGLY took on my sin and my shame on the cross and suffered and died for me? That puts things in a different light and I realize that though things are hard for me this Thanksgiving, I still have so much to be thankful for.
I am thankful for my children. Although, it breaks my heart to see them going through such a hard time with losing their Dad, I am so thankful that they are with me as I go through this time of grieving. I am thankful for who they are and who they are becoming…..beautiful, strong, loving, caring, bold, lovers of Christ.
I am thankful for my family members, who grieve during this season with me. We have a huge hole in our family, but we draw strength and encouragement from one another. I am so thankful for the way my family has supported me and been such a help to me and the kids over the past six weeks. What do people do without family???
I am thankful for my friends, my church family, my homeschool family, my Delta family and my neighbors. What a blessing all of them have been to me. Meals, phone calls, cards, financial gifts, help with cars, help with yard work, garbage pick up service, bills paid, help with insurance and other details, and just time spent being with me and the kids. How very blessed I am. How can I not be thankful???
I am thankful that the Lord provided a sweet start to our Thanksgiving last night. Lots of laughter and fun as the kids and I cooked together, played games together and just enjoyed being together. And we also got a surprise visit from some sweet young friends that delivered Starbucks to us!
Now that I’ve gotten started, I could go on and on listing out the many things that I have to be thankful for. But I’ll end by saying that I am so thankful that Greg was a part of my life for 30+ years! I am thankful that he is the father of my children. I am thankful that I KNOW where Greg is now….I don’t have to wonder. He is in heaven with his Heavenly Father. I am thankful that he is no longer experiencing pain or weakness or sickness. I am thankful that he is not dead…he is more alive today than he has ever been!!! I am thankful that my children and I all know Jesus and have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. Because of this, we know that one day we too will be with our Heavenly Father…..our earthly family reunited in our Heavenly home!!! What a promise! What hope! Again, how can I not be thankful???
Yes, today will be a hard day. And so will tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Every day without Greg will be hard. But, the Lord is faithful to His promises. He promises that He will be a Father to the fatherless and a protector and defender of the widow. He is doing this and I know that He will continue to do this!
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! Be thankful and ENJOY your families!
“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”
- Psalm 34:18, The Message
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Trusting His Plan,
Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob