"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants." Psalm 116:15
It impacted me differently than I thought. It was more difficult than I thought. It has left me sorting and processing through memories, exhaustion, thoughts, and just the "real" of it I guess. Thus, my absence from here. Not that I wanted to be.
I just had nothing.
Nothing, until God used a couple of friends to help re-shape my perspective in the midst of my grief. And that is what I bring today...
A friend texted me near the beginning of the holidays and reminded me that she was praying for me as memories were sure to surface with the coming holidays.
And they were.
As the memories surfaced, I realized in increasing measure that they were:
* Good memories
* Treasured memories
* Christmas items homemade from my dad held in my hands. Him with me still... in my heart.
* Handmade toys from my dad for the children. Him with us still... in our home.
As I continued to remember, through the tears:
I have fond memories and trinkets to treasure that remind me of my dad. Not everyone would have that in the passing of a father. Yes, most everyone would have a memory of some kind - even if an absent one- but my memories were enviable of so many, even some I know.
In the midst of my grief, I discovered overwhelming gratitude for what I had been gifted!
How grateful I am to have had him for my father. How grateful I am to have watched him love my mother and us so well. How grateful I am to have the memories that make me smile... memories worth remembering. How grateful I am to have had his example of pursuing God.
I did not do anything to deserve any of this... A godly father. A loving family. A lifetime of treasured memories.
How grateful I am....
Perhaps this is part of why Paul instructs us to give thanks in everything, and why it is God's will for us who belong to Him?"Those who say, 'No' to resentment and 'Yes' to gratitude, even in the face of excruciating pain, incomprehensible loss, and ongoing adversity, are the ones who really survive." ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18Maybe it's because the grief becomes almost a gift of sorts. A heart fully aware of graces bestowed from my Heavenly Father. And in the end, with eternal hope and confidence... gratitude thrives in the grief.
How about you? What difficult or unexpected situation are you facing that you could flip on it's head? What blessings rise in that situation as you consider it? How can gratitude thrive in that situation in your own heart?"Spoken words of praise and thanks have power to dissipate that spirit of heaviness that sometimes weighs us down and clings to us like a wet blanket." ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Don't let the frustrations, disappointments, discouragement, doubt, or even overwhelming grief steal your joy! Look for His gifts of grace that have gone ahead to meet you in that place... and be thankful!