Hard Gratitude

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Wall of sand along beach filled with broken shells.

Some experiences in life I’m not sure you ever learn to be thankful for. The unexpected loss of a child or a close loved one come to mind. I lost one of my dearest childhood friends in high school and I can’t say I’m thankful for the experience because I still miss my friend even twenty-one years later.

Perhaps when death is involved the gratitude comes more in thankfulness that He carries us through those times instead. I don’t know. I have yet to experience anything of that magnitude so I can’t speak to it.

But I do think about the hard situations and experiences that stretch us. Those that push us away from comfortable and even bring hurt. Experiences that break us. Situations that beg for change. Experiences we can either allow to grow us or we can remain stagnant.

Never Easy

Growth is never easy as it almost always means change. And change is almost always hard. Change frightens people. Especially if the change happening to you goes against how they think things should be done. I’m guilty of being this way. Of judging someone who makes a choice and being offended because their actions were different from what I would have done only later having to eat my words as they say.

God uses these experiences if we allow Him to and we may never understand why life unfolds as it does. He may give us a glimpse of the direction He is leading or it may remain a mystery, but one thing I am convinced of is that He is faithful and He knows every experience and situation we will ever meet.

I’m learning to be grateful for the hard situations. I’m learning to be thankful for the changes they perpetuate because growth doesn’t happen without change.

We can sit stagnant and comfortable or we can give thanks that He loves us enough not to let us wilt away before we have the chance to grow into who He created us to be.

Counting the Gifts
990. For the gardens. (6.15.12)
991. For lunch with a blogging friend. (6.15.12)
992. For a day for Sam to spend with a friend. (6.16.12)
993. For morning light streaming through my window. (6.17.12)
994. For playful cardinals on the crepe myrtle. (6.18.12)
995. For sunsets that take your breath away. (6.18.12)
996. For Chris cleaning up the kitchen while I was gone. (6.18.12)