When I have been in the midst of difficult circumstances and did not know if, when, or how I would make it through; I was able to make thankful lists. I would literally cry all the way through the lists as I talked to God telling Him of my heartache and difficulties while being reminded me of His words in Isaiah 61:3, “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor…” (NIV)
It isn’t easy to remember gratefulness when you are in the middle of pain that feels like it could take your sanity, life as you know it, or the actual life of a family member. About two years ago I was gently reminded by our pastor during one of his sermons to make another thankful list. By the time I finished the list I was able to thank God for allowing me to go through a particular difficult circumstance. The treasure I gained by going through the mess, the pain, the darkness—was worth it, and I would do it all over again to receive the provisions God granted me in the struggle.
Since there is nothing in this world that I need, want or love more than my Savior; He will remain number one on my ‘Thankful List’ forever.
I am thankful for my husband and children. We have been through a lot but we know without a doubt that God placed us together to be a family. Through my family God provides me opportunities to agape (selfless love of one person for another; especially love that is spiritual in nature) and God allows me to make a difference in this generation for the Kingdom of God.
My list is long but some entries stand out amongst the others. They have to do with my children’s safety and well-being; some of which I am not at liberty to share because of the personal nature of the issues.
God’s timing was not always my timing or my way. No. And I did not understand God’s timing. Even now tears of remembrance overcome me. Here’s the thing: In hind-sight, my way would have been a temporary band aid but God, in His sovereignty, had something permanent in mind. I will never forget, I will never be able to say thank you enough, and I will always fall short of giving God the praise due His name for His goodness. Every day I remember how God brought us through. Every day. I cannot forget. I am thankful.
I am at liberty to share one of my entries: My son A.J.’s healing of a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury; two, almost three, years ago. There is not a day that goes by when I do not think of the accident and the healing. I suppose I remember it daily because I home school him and know his struggles, and when I look at A.J. I remember how blessed I am to still have him with me. What God did is so dear to my heart that even now—I am overcome with tears of joy.
I will be blogging more about his injury in future posts for the purpose of sharing how I prayed for him and how God responded. For now, here are some pictures which tell a much abbreviated story.
Intercranial monitor & breathing tube have been removed.
Facial swelling & discoloration were supposed to increase over the days to come but were instead diminishing hour by hour.
“I can eat this all by myself—thank you.”
Imagine my shock when I saw the incision for the first time.
Dad was holding one of many applesauce cups. A.J. was CRAVING applesauce.
A nurse wheeled A.J. from Children’s Hospital across the walk-way to Barnes-Jewish Hospital so he could have the other side of his head shaved before going home. The young woman who shaved his head sweetly refused payment so A.J. gave her one of his silly-band bracelets.
Nell – a St. Louis Children’s Hospital visiting therapy dog
THANKFUL! THANK YOU, GOD!