I’d say about half of my Facebook friends are participating in the “Thirty Days of Thanksgiving”, and I love reading every day about the things people are most grateful for. I’m doing something similar on Instagram… sharing a picture every day of something I’m grateful for.
But one thing I’ve noticed, is that for a lot of people, it becomes a list. There’s nothing wrong with being grateful for the small things… in fact, that’s HUGELY important. We should be thankful for our homes, for warm beds at night, for food in our bellies. We should never stop being grateful for our spouses and children.
At the same time, though, those are easy things to be grateful for. Those are the roses in life. When you’re counting your blessings, those are the first things on the list.
Today, I want to encourage you to think about things you never thought you’d be grateful for. In the Bible, we’re shown over and over again that God gives us struggles in life to ultimately better us as people, and as believers. Paul was grateful for the “thorn in his side” that tormented him his entire life. And I know in my own life, there are so many things I never wanted that I am now so SO grateful for.
Being a pregnant teenager is a thorn. It’s a hard thing. It’s an unenviable position. But having Jack, well, it saved my life. And now I’m Mom to one of the most incredible little boys in the world. BAM. Grateful for that thorn.
Struggles and fights and doubt in the first year of marriage… those are thorns. Those are the worst pain I’ve felt. I didn’t know how I’d ever be grateful for that. But here we are, years later, stronger than we ever would have been without that. BAM. Thankful for that struggle.
Not being able to build the house we wanted. Man, that sucked so hard. There were lots of tears, lots of disappointment, lots of self-doubt. But here we are 18 months later, living stacked on top of each other in our tiny little farmhouse, and taking our kids on epic vacations instead. Because sometimes God has to devastate you to get your priorities in line. And I’d rather have rich experiences than a large home any day of the week. BAM. Grateful for that disappointment.
What about you? Are there times in your life that you thought served no purpose? Is there pain that you just KNEW you’d never be thankful for? And now, a little removed from the situation, can you see where God was leading you all along, and really truly be grateful for that thorn?
Tell me about it. Share it here in the comments. I’ll draw three commenter names out of a hat, and those people will win gorgeous graphic art from the Texas Lovely Etsy store (each print a $15 value). Bethe’s art is all over our house, and she’s now made it impossible for me to go into a new season without ordering new prints… such a talented lady! Here are two of her prints (and one of her pillows) before we framed them… as well for notecards she gave us that I’m now SUPER stoked to send out! 🙂
I’ll announce the winners next week. Until then, try to make it a point to be grateful for your life. The whole thing! The hills and the valleys, the smooth beaches and the rocky cliffs. Every experience has value, and God is using ALL of them to make us who He wants us to be!