Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thankful He Has Always Been Faithful To Me

This morning I was  listening to the Lauren Daigle song “Remember” and a line that it repeats over and over is “You have always been faithful to me.” At this time of Thanksgiving, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to transform my thinking to reflect the gratitude that I should always have.

As I think about Thanksgiving my thoughts swirl together. Of course, there are those thoughts of my Grandma Hines’ turkey and dressing and all of the side-dishes and desserts that made it complete, but there are also thoughts of times that were a mixture of gratitude and disappointment. A hard balance between thankfulness and wondering why things had to be so hard.

I remember taking a family picture in front of an iconic church in downtown Carrollton for a story I wrote sharing about my first husband, Mark’s illness the first Thanksgiving after his diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor. The story told of his miraculous healing – It was. He was supposed to die a few months after diagnosis – I didn’t tell of how different he had already become, and how I was beginning to grieve the loss of the first him I knew.

I remember another Thanksgiving, where I was already adjusting to a diminished lifestyle forced by his ever-declining mental and physical abilities when another huge set-back occurred. Four days before that Thanksgiving, he had a stroke. Again, the mixture of gratitude that he had survived and could walk and talk with a limp and a slur combined with a huge feeling of disappointment bringing on thoughts of ‘Wasn’t everything hard enough? Why this?’

I remember another Thanksgiving when the night before, I had a dream that my 92-year-old grandma wouldn’t see another turkey and dressing feast, then arriving to find that she wasn’t feeling able to come to celebrate with us. I remember taking her a plate on my way home and finding the woman who had always been faithful to pray for us looking very frail and sick. The mixture of her consistency throughout the years and the thought that she soon would leave us shook me that cold day.

Memories of lighter, happier, Thanksgivings color my thoughts, sprinkling them with the brilliant fall colors that can’t be rivaled. Times filled with my little children dressing up in little Indian and Pilgrim outfits for pre-school presentations. Times filled with new introductions and new traditions. Times of true appreciation.

One thing I know for sure, as I celebrate my fifty-fourth Thanksgiving, is that He has always been faithful to me. I don’t say it enough I know, but with all my wanderings, my doubts, my anger, and my fear, God has never left my side. I am thankful for that above all else.

This Thanksgiving you may be in one of those swirl-type places I described, a place where your gratitude is mixed with thoughts of things that might have been – things you felt should have been. Know that you are not alone. Remember He is faithful and never leaves you. Those times when you feel that you are all alone are an illusion – for He is always there. Lauren has another song on her latest album (can you tell I’m a fan?) called Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. It is a remake of an old hymn. Sometimes we need to open our eyes and see that He is there in the midst of our joys and our disappointments and find comfort in that.

May God grant you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!  

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