Where pain and thankfulness meet

Periodically thankfulness is resurrected, dusted off and hashtagged. At Thanksgiving, we traditionally share our list of thanks at a table full of food, elbow-to-elbow with family. On social media, we sometimes take up “challenges” from friends to post a week’s worth of things we are thankful for.

These are great.


My thankfulness seems hollow.

It rarely searches every corner of my existence. Never challenges me beyond “thankful for family and health.” Always focuses on what is right and good in my eyes.

My seasonal thankfulness is more or less an up, temporary and fleeting. As cyclical as the cornucopia décor at Thanksgiving.

Deep down, I yearn for something more. Something sticky, with depth. Something that will draw out what I have hidden away.

I long for gratitude.

The state of being, an ongoing expression of worship. Where the soul-motion is stronger, the heart stir more forceful. Untouched by my circumstances.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thes. 5:18

Gratitude involves the whole of me, the whole of the year. It is what salves and fills.

Gratitude comes when my thankfulness espouses my pain.

To receive the thing that heals, I must first admit to the thing that hurts.

It is in gratefulness I learn how to give thanks for my mistakes.

Not that I made them, but that they were a conduit for God refining grace.

They prove to me I am human, in desperate need of a God who practices forgiveness. They fuel an adoration of the One who makes clean. They teach me far better than any blessing.

For my failures.

Because they confirm God is bigger than all my plans, faithful in the uneven journey. My rock that never changes. My forever safe place.

For my hurt.

Because it teaches me this earth is not where I belong. As a baby delights in her mother’s tender face, I someday soon will savor His — the one that has been turned to me since my mother’s womb.

For my hardship.

Because I know none other will sustain but Him.

For my fears.

Because God shows up. Every time. Because He is in control. All the time.

For this life.

Because in its unfiltered state, it drives me to seek the hurting and give of my plenty.

Such gratitude is a devoted praise for a benevolent God. Raw, pure, all.

In this season, and every other, I will be grateful because He is great.

In (sincere) thanksgiving,

This post originally appeared on my previous blog, Find the Lovely.


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