It’s the season of thankfulness and this is one of my favorite times of year. Thanksgiving seems to be the one holiday focused solely on what we already have and not what we want.
But if you’re walking through a particularly difficult season of life, counting blessings might be the furthest thing on your mind. But this is when you need to count them the most.
Let me tell you a story. Five years ago my husband and I faced one of the most difficult Thanksgivings we have ever faced. In the past two years we had dealt with a job loss, a pay cut and a growing pile of debt.
Then on November 8, 2010 my husband’s father died suddenly. It came as a complete and total shock to the entire family. Jason, my husband, had been busy working when he got a call from his mother. She had returned home from work to find his father- her husband- dead.
Jason was away working on the road. He turned his car around and headed home to get me. We quickly packed and then drove through the dark autumn night to his childhood home.
It was all a blur of emotions, funeral plans and grief. In the middle of that blur we got a call from our insurance company. They had been told to stop coverage on our house because we were going into foreclosure. This call came at the worst possible time.
We knew foreclosure was on the horizon. We were not naive to the facts. We understood the reality of it all, you don’t make your house payments you will lose your home. That is basic cause and effect. The fact we knew it was coming did little to soften the blow.
A few days later, still grieving, we returned home. We felt we had so little to be Thankful for. We had just buried my husband’s father and now we were losing our house and facing financial uncertainty.
We felt we had little blessings left to count. But we were wrong. Have you seen that meme that floats around Facebook this time of year? It’s the one that says “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”
It might seem trite to you if you’re going through a season of turmoil. But it’s true. Jason and I understood it five years ago and I have had to remind myself of it countless times since. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
At that time, five years ago, when everything felt hopeless and beyond my control I made a mental list.
I had a husband who loves me. I was healthy. And Jason was thankful to have had the time with his father that he did.
We knew we couldn’t wallow in what was happening. We had to cling to hope, find the good things, and keep moving forward.
A year later we would find ourselves snuggling a sweet baby boy, celebrating the sale of the home (and avoiding foreclosure), moving to a new and better job and beginning to pay off that massive pile of debt. Our lives have changed so much in the past five years. And while I cannot say that I am grateful for tall the hardships we faced, I can say that they were not wasted.
God is sovereign. He has a plan even in the worst of things and while we don’t see immediate blessings, they are there. So don’t stop counting them.
Have you ever went through a season of despair? How can you count your blessings through the mess and see the beauty?