grate·ful [greyt-fuhl]


1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.

2013 has been a whirlwind.  I have to be honest though; I have not been particularly grateful for most of the occurrences this year as they were happening because they were hard and painful.  And I don’t like pain nor do I have a particularly high threshold for pain – not physical, emotional, spiritual, or financial.  I like to be comfortable because I try to live my life as safe as possible so that my comfort is not disturbed.  So when I say there were times when I was worn thin this year, don’t ask me to go into details just believe what I’m saying.

2013 shook me.  All types of baggage came spilling out of those suitcases that I hid under the bed.  Some of my “greatest” fears materialized.  And with each occurrence, I felt that if I could just bury my head under the pillows it would all just go away.  Welp, it didn’t.  I have prayed and cried much and wondered what was going on – what did I do wrong?  Who did I upset up there?  Did I not see signs before and what are the signs now?  I spent hours thinking and over thinking, hoping that something someone would say or post or do would unlock the answers to all the questions.  And you know what I got?  A conglomerate of perspectives and answers, which left me more confused and frustrated than before.

For some things, I have been able to look back and see what was happening and what I needed to learn.  For other things, not so much.  But for all that has transpired and for all that I have tried to sort through alone during 2013, I am just grateful to still be standing. One day I will be at liberty to share my complete testimony but, for me, being grateful to still be here is so much.  I am grateful that God’s grace has been the thing that has overpowered my will to give up in several aspects of my life.  I am grateful that what God has put in me has spoken louder than my insecurities at crucial times this year.  I am grateful that every destructive thought has been able to be put under the submission of Christ and the life that He comes to bring.  I am grateful for every lesson disguised as pain which is producing future glory.  I am grateful for the will to even still believe that.

A coworker was explaining to me a few weeks back how her 15 year old son is in the middle of another growth spurt.  Because his body is growing rapidly, the growth is causing really bad pain in his knees.  Pain is part of the growing process, especially one that grows you fast and tall.  The best that this young man can do is wrap his knees and do certain exercises and trainings until the growth spurt is over.  Stunting the growth is not an option, especially with his aspirations to play basketball.  He was upset because he felt like this temporary pain was going to affect his ability to do what he loves – play basketball.  But what his parents and the doctor had to get him to realize is that he must do the strength training, tend to the aching parts, and endure the pain.  It will be over soon.

And so, too, shall it be for me.  I know that there have been so many lessons designed particularly for me to grow this year.  I am a creature of comfort – I fall easily into routines, habits, hanging with certain people, etc.  Part of that is just my safe, risk averse personality.  The pain of this year had me feeling crazy, feeling like I would be held back from things and that I wouldn’t be able to do what I love.  But I’m grateful to God for His gentle nudging for me to press on.  For every dark moment, there has been a moment of clarity which has been just enough to keep me moving.  And when you’ve almost given up like I have before, you are grateful to notice even these in those dark hours.  I am truly grateful.

On another note: I am overwhelmingly grateful for all of you who have supported me on this my third try with this blogging thing.  Thank you for all the messages, comments, and encouragement to keep moving.  I wish words could adequately express how grateful I am to be loved in this way.  I wish you all a truly HAPPY THANKSGIVING with all your family and friends!


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