One of the main reasons I love Thanksgiving is because of the idea that we have a day just to “give thanks”. Most of the time our life is going along smoothly and we can rattle off a list of things for which we are grateful. The list is filled with happy and positive things. But what about those times you are going through “something” that is hard and it is challenging to choose thankfulness? I want to share my story of the healing power of gratitude.
The season of my separation, divorce and the first couple years of singleness were difficult for me. This was my beige season; it was like living in a bowl of oatmeal. I could kind of laugh, food sort of had flavor…I was in survival mode.
This is where God stepped in. Almost immediately, He flooded my heart with His love and peace. He sent family and friends to love, serve and care for me. He nudged me to listen to worship music that allowed me to shed tears of healing. And He spoke through His words in the Bible of His promises that filled me with hope.
In other words…he lifted my eyes up and out away from my hurting and grieving heart and let me breathe in gratitude. He took away any anxiety and replaced it with peace. And He filled my loneliness with time spent praying and listening to His wisdom and plans.
I had several verses that I memorized during this season, but I loved saying to myself, “Lori, do NOT be anxious about anything (like where you will live, what you will do) but in EVERY situation (like your divorce) by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.” And He heard me…He healed me…and now I am not just surviving, I am thriving.
I share this because someone needs to hear my story this Thanksgiving. Someone needs to know that there is always, always something to be thankful for, even if your circumstances are bleak. There is healing power in choosing gratitude while you are still grieving. And by looking for it…you will turn away from your hurt, pain and loss…even for a second… and that is where peace and love are waiting.