Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful Story

The most bittersweet of holidays for this mama. 
Thanksgiving is absolutely dripping with some of the hardest, and most precious, memories of my life.

The loss and burial of a very dear grandmother, then a celebration of thanks the following day, with a room bursting at the seams with all of her descendants.

Then five years later, the pain and loss of our third baby, an empty womb that should have been two months full, mingled with the joy of a table encompassed with family, among them a niece my baby’s same age, growing in her mother's womb, who I can now hold, and watch, and remember.

I am not kidding when I say they are sweet memories. They are some of the sweetest of my life, these moments of loss, tied permanently to this day of giving thanks. And I am thankful.

Are you suffering this Thanksgiving? Give thanks. Two of the hardest days of my life were realized on this holiday, and yet I can look back with a smile because they were drenched in thanksgiving. I am so thankful to have had these hard providences fall on a time when the practice of recognizing blessing is custom. Instead of dwelling on why, my mind was gently guided toward singing praises for what I know: God is faithful.

He is so faithful, I knew that one day I would look back and understand. The big picture is hard to see when you’re standing in the corner of the canvas where God is brushing on the shadow strokes. But when He is finished, the masterpiece is revealed, and we can see His glorious handwork. 

I said goodbye to my Grandma Lois, and buried her the day before Thanksgiving. 
I said goodbye to my third child and cried as my body ached on Thanksgiving. 
A couple months later, my body held new life within, my Grandmother’s namesake. 
Then today, this Thanksgiving morning, my little Lois learned to say a new word. 
“Bye bye.”

God’s story telling gives me chills sometimes. He is a master, an artist, an author, more talented than any of His created can comprehend. I can trust Him to tell a good story, and I know I will enjoy it more if I simply remember to give thanks in the shadows.

Eucharisteo. Soli Deo Gloria!