What are you thankful for?

So Thanksgiving is just a few days away and everywhere you go, people are asking THE question – What are you thankful for?  You can’t get away from it – it’s on Twitter, Facebook, emails, television.  I was just about to turn in for the night when I saw a post from a friend on facebook so I pondered the question.  With all that has happened to me and my family this past year, I could say that I have a lot to be unthankful for.  And my spirit is at a low point right now, so it’s very easy for me to be bitter and give in to unthankfulness.  I mean really… I lost my job to a company in Singapore, I can’t get approval for the training I want, my husband is battling with his health, we have some “family” problems, finances are strained to say the least, a very dear friend recently passed on to be with our Lord, and my list goes on and on and on.

At this point I’m wondering just how I’m supposed to be salt and light to those around me.  What must others be thinking about me as a Christian?  What kind of example am I?  Where is  my faith?  Am I that weak?  What must Jesus be thinking right now?  How did I ever get into this mess, or better yet, how am I going to get out???  Lord, I know that You know the plans You have laid for me, but could You let me in on how this is all gonna turn out?  I’d settle for a sneak peek because right now, things don’t look so good.  I think I’m lost and going in circles in the valley of the shadow of death because I know I’ve seen this place several times now and these look my footprints!

And then, as always, God, my Father, Master and Creator of the Universe and of all that is seen and unseen, tells me, every little thing, is gonna be alright.  I’m folding my daughters laundry and a Bob Marley T-shirt appears and the song pops into my head.  I keep folding clothes and then I replay a commercial for a movie coming on television directed by Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers and the song pops into my head.

I then realize that while I lost my job, I am getting unemployment, even if it is only 60% of my take home pay.  If I was working or in school right now, I would not be able to focus on my husbands health – especially now that he is in the hospital.  I know I am going to get some kind of training, even if it isn’t what I wanted and then pursue another career path.  My husband does have a lot of health issues, but he has overcome so much and God has blessed us where he still has a job.  As for family problems, aside from praying for them, there isn’t much I can do to change them, and it just makes me more determined not to follow in their footsteps.  Our finances took a downward turn when I lost my job back in 2004 and the job market is so bad that not being able to find similar employment has hurt us, but then again, it has hurt so many families in our country.  We have a roof over our heads, transportation, food on the table and health insurance.  So many people have none of these things.  I have lost people close to my heart and I miss them, but I rejoice because they are no longer suffering and I KNOW I WILL SEE THEM AGAIN!  I just pray that when it is my turn to leave this earth, I will be prepared and when I face my Lord, He will say to me, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.”

So, I am thankful.  I am thankful for my family and my friends.  I am thankful for all the good and the bad and even the ugly – although I will admit that while I’m going through the bad and ugly I can’t see a reason at that moment to be thankful, it usually takes a while for that part to kick in.

I am thankful when I open my eyes to a new day.  I am thankful that I am in my right mind, most of the time.  I can walk, talk, hear, see and feel.  I am free to pray to my God.  I am free to read what I want, write what I want, and talk to whom I want without fear of punishment.

In closing I will simply say, if you’ve made it this far in my rambling, thanks for reading.  And Lord, thanks for sticking with me.  Thanks for it all.

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean He don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers – Garth Brooks

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