It’s that time of year again where everyone is asked the question, “what are you thankful for?” Hopefully whenever you ponder that question, you have a hard time answering – not for lack of things to be thankful for, but because there’s an immeasurable amount to be thankful for! I couldn’t answer that question in simplicity; I’d have to write a book and it would be incomplete. I hope that you feel the same way! We are so blessed!
So instead of asking, “what are you thankful for,” here’s my question: “When you think of this past year and all you have to be thankful for, what is one thing this year that has really stood out among the immeasurable list of what you have to be thankful for?”
Here’s my answer:
Last year was a year of many trials, but also a year of growth. In a span of four months, my sister was in the hospital for over a month with life threatening injuries, the home I lived in had a house fire, I moved in to my own place with my son for the first time in his life, my grandma had a stroke that left her in an alzheimers state, my grandpa died after a long battle with cancer, I was in a hit and run car accident (the guy later turned himself in) that totaled my car and left me in a very long and frustrating process, the car I replaced it with broke down, my super sweet and loved boss passed away after a short battle with cancer. It was a lot of trials, but also a lot of growth and a lot of blessing in response to the trials.
I share this because it was the beginning process of what I am most thankful for this year. Last year when I was facing trial after trial God placed the word “preparation” on my heart. This gave me hope in the midst of what I was facing. I really was able to keep my eyes on Jesus through it all. At the beginning of this year God placed the word “growth” on my heart, and that is what I have experienced this year. What stands out to me this year in particular to be most thankful for is that God has been growing me in my relationship with Him and He has been growing me as a whole, helping me to discover who I am in Him and to find complete fulfillment in Him. As I have given over control to Him over these past two years, submitting to and trusting Him, He has truly directed my every path, led me in the way I should go, and established my plans — just as His Word promises to do (see Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 32:8, Proverbs 16:3). It is this growth, in dependence on Him, in faith and trust in Him, in fulfillment in Him, in completeness in Him, that I am most thankful for this year.
Someone shared this fabulous idea and my son and I started a “Grateful Jar” at the end of summer. We write down one thing we are grateful for in the morning before we start our day and drop it in the jar. It has been wonderful to reflect on all God has done and continues to do for us!