It’s that time of year…Facebook pages are filled with daily “thankful for” lines, children are coerced into saying crazy things like “I’m thankful my mom makes me eat asparagus”, there are thanksgiving programs, thanksgiving dinners, thanksgiving songs, and thanksgiving prayers. This is a season to reflect on all the many blessings the Lord has given us. It’s a great season.
I have so much to be thankful for. The Lord has blessed me and my family in so many ways. As I have reflected on all these blessings, my heart is overwhelmed by God's goodness. At the same time, my heart is heavy for those who find themselves in the midst of a storm. You see, if you are in the midst of a storm and its Thanksgiving, there is almost a resentment that can build up in your heart. How do I know? Because this time last year, I believe that’s where I was at.
This time last year I struggled to find true thankfulness (or contentment) for the place we found our family in. Yes I was thankful that our needs were being met, yes I was thankful for family and friends, yes I knew that God was in control and that He had a plan, yes there were a great many things that I had to be truly thankful for, but for some reason the weight of my son’s diagnosis of Autism loomed like a heavy fog that I could just not break free from. Most of this was a fog of fear. Ezra’s diagnosis had not come as a surprise to us. I had known early on that something was “different” about my sweet boy. But last year the fear of the unknown and the severity of my child’s diagnosis began to set in. I was still able to find joy in life but there was just a sadness in my heart for my sweet child. The realization began to set in that this was not an illness to be cured with an antibiotic, I could not put a band aide on this or kiss it and make it all better. This time last year, I carried a heaviness and I certainly was not at the place to be thankful for any of it.
I am so thankful that the Lord does not leave us in these dark places. I can tell you now that I am thankful for the storm. It's a different kind of thankful. This year, I am able to say that I am genuinely thankful for the place we find our family in. You know what? Nothing has really changed. Ezra still struggles and there is still no magic cure for Autism. The only thing that has changed is my heart. So, (since I did not participate in the daily “I’m thankful for” lines on Facebook) here are just a few of the things that I am thankful for:
-I am thankful for a deeper faith produced by depending on the Lord for so many things.
-I am thankful for Ezra and how his life has completely changed our outlook on life, love, and what is most important.
- I am thankful for a love that needs no words.
- I am thankful for the good days. They are so sweet, so precious, such treasures.
- I am thankful for the bad days. They have taught me to find a strength I didn't know I had. Without them, the good days wouldn't be as sweet.
-I am thankful for deep hugs.
-I am thankful to have a daughter who is one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. She is such a precious gift.
- I am thankful to have a family that finds strength in the Lord and in each other.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to learn how to Love in a Different Language.
- I am thankful for the family and friends that have never left our side. Even though our lifestyle may look different from most, they have continued to cover us in their love and support.
- I am thankful that the Lord holds me in the palm of His hands. I am never alone-even in the storm. Thank you Jesus!
I pray your hearts are full this Thanksgiving, but if you find yourself in the midst on the storm, hold on! The Lord is merciful, the Lord is mighty, He has a plan, and He never leaves us on our own. I pray that one day, you too will be able to look back and be thankful for the storm- its a different kind of thankful.