This morning I woke up sad. The realization that it is now November began to weigh on me as soon as I opened my eyes. It’s the start of the holiday season, my favorite time of year. The month that all the leaves turn to those beautiful shades of red, orange, and bright yellow. My favorite sight in nature. A time to come together with family, and just enjoy being together.
But there is a void. A member of our family is not here.
I was due November 4th. This is the month we would’ve met our sweet son. He was going to be our holiday baby. No doubt we would’ve had “my first thanksgiving” onesies and baby Christmas toys all over the house.
Knowing that the holidays are going to be extremely rough for me this year, and after waking up sad this morning, I decided that I need a different perspective. I’m going do something in the midst of my sadness — practice thankfulness every day.
Yes it’s cheesy, but it gives me hope. It is a way to train my mind and heart to see that in everything — everything — there is something to be thankful for.
These next couple of months are not going to be easy. I still feel the sadness as I write this. But the more I have thanksgiving in my heart, the less I will fixate on the sadness November brings. And the more God will be able to continue to fill that void that my son’s death left.
Today I am thankful for this year. Yes, in a lot of ways it’s been the worst year I’ve experienced. But in a lot of ways it’s been the best one. God has sustained me. He has not only given me back my joy (that truthfully, I was really lacking before), but increased it ten-fold — and during a time when most people would say that’s not possible. He has grieved alongside me, and drawn close to comfort in a way that no-one else has been able to. He has provided for every single need, including the physical healing I needed, the wisdom I didn’t know I was lacking, and the crazy emotional needs. He gave my son life this year. Who am I to not be thankful for that? To not be immensely grateful that because of His sacrifice for my child and for me, I get to see my son again one day?
1 Timothy says everything created by God is good. Everything. Nothing is to be rejected — not even our horrible, traumatic experiences. He brings good out of everything.
He can even bring good out of a year like this.
“Through various scenes of life, God has sustained me. May He ever be my unfailing friend; may His love cherish my soul; may my heart with gratitude acknowledge His goodness; and may my desires be to Him and to the remembrance of His name…”