In all circumstances
I'm just going to be real with you. If we could just skip the rest of November and all of December, that would be awesome.
Earlier this year, I had envisioned celebrating Thanksgiving with a month-old Ethan. The day would be quite the ordeal- We'd dress him in a perfect "First Thanksgiving" onesie, pack a diaper bag with plenty of necessities, and manage to prepare a side dish. We'd visit our families, who would fight over who got to hold him first and would spend the day doting on him.
Earlier today, I fought back tears as I stood in the checkout line, holding a bouquet of sunflowers against my chest. I watched the people rush around me completing their last minute shopping and I felt bitter. None of the things that I had envisioned where taking place. Instead of purchasing the perfect Thanksgiving outfit, I was purchasing flowers for my son's grave.
What do I have to be thankful for?
And then I realized the truth. I have a lot to be thankful for. I began to count the things in my head and I felt so humbled by the realization of the incredible things that I have in my life.
I am so thankful for my husband. He has stood beside me through the hardest year of our lives. He has encouraged me, laughed with me, cried with me, stood up for me, protected me, and has sat with me when I needed a friend.
I am thankful for friends. No matter how isolated I have felt at times, there have been so many people from all seasons of life who have stuck with me. Who have prayed for us. Who visited us in the hospital. Who sent me care packages. Who call and text. Who have stopped by my office just to give me a hug. Who can go weeks without speaking, but I know are 100% there.
I am thankful for new friendships that have formed since losing Ethan- the grieving- the worst "club" to belong to, but the most supportive and beautiful hearts.
I am thankful for our home.
I am thankful for a job that I enjoy. For coworkers who are supportive. For a family-centered environment.
I am thankful that I did not have deliver Ethan via planned E.X.I.T. Cesarean. I am so thankful that the extensive procedure, which would have placed me under anesthesia and rendered me completely unaware, did not take place...I would have missed so much and been so groggy. I am so thankful that I was completely present for Ethan's birth.
I am thankful that my body is healing. That my body is restoring itself to perfect health. That the health issues I have faced in the past have seemed to disappear, since giving birth to Ethan.
I am thankful for the opportunities that I've had to share Christ's love because of Ethan.
I am thankful for eyes that have been opened to the pain around me.
Silly as it may sound to some, I am thankful for my dog. She practically throws herself on me when the anxiety, panic, and/or breathlessness starts to rear its ugly head. She should seriously be a PTSD dog. She's sharp.
I am thankful that the hospital bill that came in the mail this week was waived by our insurance.
I am thankful to be Ethan's mommy. I am thankful to have known him. I am better because I knew him.
I am thankful for grace and redemption.
I have been given so much that I do not deserve and for that I am so thankful.
Give thanks in all circumstances. I Thess. 5:18