Retrospecting can be a good thing. Last year, on Thanksgiving Day, I remember feeling sad and a bit irritated. The reason: we were not having our regular holiday family gathering due to the Covid Pandemic restrictions. My emotions floundered all over the place. I did my best to focus on the positive. I even wrote this message to my family and friends:
If I am to be honest, I’ve been bummed out for a couple of days, knowing I would be missing our traditional, family Thanksgiving Day celebration in our home, which has always filled my heart with so much joy. Instead, I must choose to focus on what I have and count my blessings, giving God thanks and glory for all in my life!
Even on my worst days, He loves me! I have known Him in the valley, I have known Him on the mountaintops. While I love being on the mountaintops, it was trudging in the valleys where I grew closest to my Lord, and where I learned that the God on the mountain is still God in the valleys.
I am thankful He has given me health, provision, shelter, a loving husband, a beautiful family, and wonderful friends – He has made many dreams come to fruition.
I am a work in progress. Thank you, Lord, for not having given up on me, and I know You’re not finished with any of us yet.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18
Jump over to the present:
I am happy to report that this Thanksgiving Holiday, the day turned out to be special in so many ways. Yes, I am truly grateful for my loved ones. You see, while we celebrated the holiday with prayer, food, and fellowship, I glanced around the table, caressing my eyes over each face representing my family. And I realized: Mary, you’re not alone anymore. You see, as a kid growing up, I once felt alone and rejected. Matter of fact, I felt insignificant, always on the outside looking in. I had many insecurities and felt much like second-class. It wouldn’t be until many years later in my adulthood, that I experienced inner healing and received a breakthrough in my personal life. So much so, I put my story to pen and paper and published my book, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace.”
We did something different this year, thanks to my youngest daughter’s prompting. We each held a strip of paper of questions we took turns reading out loud and then answering. This was epic because the questions caused most of us to dig deep and open up with heartfelt answers.
As I listened to the different ones share, I felt my heart would burst with gratitude in hearing my children speak over me. I wasn’t prepared for this raw reaction, nor was I prepared for what I would say when my turn came. I found that I was able to share my heart with thankfulness and humility. I blessed each of my children and grandchildren and expressed to them what I appreciated about them. I blessed my husband for being the man that he was and, again, for accepting somebody else’s children by stepping up to the plate another man left on the table. And finally, I turned to my mom and expressed my undying love for her, no matter though our relationship is a complex one. I also asked her forgiveness for getting short with her, and I assured her that I will always be her little girl.
We are all flawed. But we can rise above stinking-thinking and look beyond ourselves. Take a look at others, really see them, and love on them. I thank the Lord for making all things new – His mercies are new every morning!