Day 3: Gratitude with Grace
It seems funny to talk about gratitude when we are hurting. That's where the grace comes in. What you went through, it was hard and bad and maybe there wasn't an ounce of good in it at all. Give yourself grace to recognize that, to recognize that all things are NOT good, all things do NOT happen for a reason. Some events in our life are just plain bad, ugly, and sucky.
So many people with well meaning hearts will say things like "Everything happens for a reason" or "This will all work out for good" or "It could be worse"
Well NO, NO, and more NO. This thing that happened to you it was your worst. It broke you and hurt you and no one gets to tell you otherwise. The things these people are quoting, if I'm being bold here, they've got it all wrong.
This scripture for instance:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
All things work together for good...NOT all things are good. God is there hurting with you and saying this is BAD, but I WILL do good by you.
Some things are just awful. When we were bombed in Uganda that was pure evil. They were targeting specifically to kill. I saw tons of death and destruction. Good may have come out of it. Beauty may have happened in my life because of it, but that event....evil. I'm not thankful for that.
Losing my son was pure heartache. There is NO silver lining about that. It is hurt and loss. His life was good and joyful and that is the legacy I choose to continue. I'm not thankful that he died.
I do not believe that we have to be thankful FOR all things, but to be thankful IN all things, to have a grateful heart. I'm so thankful that I got to hold my son (I was told I might not get to.) I'm thankful my daughter got to meet him. I'm thankful for my time in Uganda and that I survived against all odds.
We need to make it our life's mission to find things to be grateful for. In those moments of hurt we have to cling to what IS right and good. This will lead us to joy because there are some things that hurt, destruction, and despair can't take away. Sometimes it's the little things like the way the sun shines through the window or that glass of wine after a hard day (you feel me?) Sometimes it's as simple as getting a chance to start over tomorrow or just feeling breath in our lungs.
There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, but we also need to give ourself grace to know that sometimes it will be hard to find and that is OK.
A great way to introduce gratitude into your life is through journaling. I make it a point to start each day with a grateful heart. It's my goal to think of at least 3 things a day that I am grateful for, big or small. Then in my saddest and darkest moments I can refer to my journal for some happy.
A friend of mine told me that she will reflect on her day at night and write down her 3 things and then read them first thing when she wakes up so she starts and ends her day with gratitude.
On your workbook page for the day, I ask you to write some things that you are grateful for. I would love to see your list in the group!
I'm thankful for you <3