I thought I should take some time for the next few days to focus on being thankful and really dig into the parts of my life where I struggle to find anything worth being thankful about. So, my challenge to myself for the next three days is to think of something in my life that I am viewing as a negative right now and discover a reason to be thankful.
The first thing that comes to my mind is an ongoing family situation that has caused a lot of pain and stress over the last two months. Without going into too much detail, lets just say that it is impossible at this point in the process to be thankful for what has happened in my family. But as I reflect back on the many visits, emails and conversations that have filled these anxious weeks I can see a bright spot if I really search for it. I am exceedingly thankful for my mother.
Growing up I always thought I was more like my father, and I have so many memories of all the effort I put into my relationship with him. Because my mom was home full-time and homeschooled us, my memories of her during my childhood are not filled with the same intensity, she was just a peaceful constant. Now since getting married, moving away and having a son I am seeing more and more of my mother in me and unlike the way it is portrayed in movies and TV, I have no dread of being like my mother.
I remember her buying me groceries on the day I moved out, driving out to be with me in the middle of the night after a tough break up, coming to check up on me when I was sick. She was the one I couldn't wait to have arrive after the birth of my son and despite the distance the separates us I know she would come at a moments notice if I needed her.
Witnessing her struggle through this difficult time in my family I have discovered a new depth to my mother. I have seen more strength of character, more stubbornness of will, more honesty, more faith and reliance on God, more unconditional love then I ever expected to find in anyone. She is not perfect and I do not know why God has chosen to grow her in such a radical way, but as I watch her wade through a dark place in life I am convicted and challenged and thankful. I am thankful that God is breaking the waves for my mother, thankful that in the midst of all this change she is the person I have always known her to be, thankful that she is broken but not destroyed. Perhaps the greatest blessing God bestowed on my family is my mother, and for that I can say "thank you."