When I look at this picture, my heart feels an abundance of good. Like a massive table and a feast set before me, with candles and everything. It’s too much beauty for the heart to fully hold all at once.
But here’s what the past year also held. An abundance of the really hard stuff. The cliff notes version looks something like this. A new church plant (we could stop here), the launching process of a business, major job changes, three (soon to be four) moves, and all of the everyday life stuff and a thousand behind the scene details sprinkled on top. Deep and cleansing sigh. I am still catching my breath.
It felt harder, longer and darker at times than anything I’ve ever fought through in my life. Like being left in the open sea with no response to the flares sent up and no stars to light up the night. And I thought I had graduated the waiting room of life with a Master’s Degree. Surely that six years of my past made me proficient in the school of long-suffering. Prepared maybe, but still so much room for growth and the realization that none of us ever fully arrive and we never will. Not on this side of life anyway.
I know it may seem impossible right now, but there may come a day when you will stand on the other side of some of the hardest places in your life and be able to say, “I can find gratitude, even in this.”
Grateful means: “feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness.”
In every moment of life that we walk through, there is always kindness being extended towards us, even if it’s the smallest thing and really hard to trace. So often it can be found in people. If I were to subtract my unwanted circumstances, I would also subtract so many people. So much kindness. So many ways that God has been showing His love towards me.
It’s a mystery and a wonder and too much for me. But I am so grateful.