These verses were from Mac’s Awana lesson last week. After reading it he said to me, “That’s funny mom. Even when things are hard you are supposed to be thankful?” He laughed as if Paul meant it as a joke all those years ago. I couldn’t help but laugh inside along with him. The ways of God are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. I’ve struggled with gratitude a lot lately.
This fall has been hard. I kicked off the school year on crutches for a labral tear surgery. My thyroid went psycho on me causing my metabolism to be completely hyperactive, and my emotions as well. I went to the ED twice for a suspected pulmonary embolism, which turned out to be really bad back pain. I spent countless hours in PT trying to heal my hip, and a recent follow-up appointment revealed that I have complications from surgery in the right hip and another labral tear on the left hip. Nathan continues to have undiagnosed medical complications even after two new studies of his esophagus. He also had a trip to the ED this fall after he woke up foaming at the mouth and not breathing properly. And his beloved nurse of over two years took a new job. And his teacher quit mid-semester.
It’s been unrelenting to the point of comical. So yes, Paul’s words illicit a laugh of resignation in my heart as well.
I am not thankful for our circumstances, in and of themselves.
I am not thankful for the circumstances of this fall. And I will never be thankful for the fact that my child cannot tell me what he’s thinking. That he can’t eat by mouth or pee on his own. I am not thankful for the lifting. The lifting is not just physical, in a strange way, it’s emotional to be forced to pick up a child that should be walking.
I am thankful for what God is doing through the circumstances.
Over the last fours years I’ve seen the gracious and abundant provision of God, in His time not mine. If it weren’t for that, I don’t think I could keep waking up and living my life with even an ounce of hope. Thanks be to God. He has been good to us in the midst of our circumstances. He alone has sustained us. For that I am thankful.
It’s the season of Thanksgiving. As hard as it is to do, this year I am trying to give thanks in the midst of my circumstances. Will you join me?
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