“In everything give thanks.”
Over the years I have heard this statement either in song or from scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I love this statement because it doesn’t imply that I should give thanks only on the days where everything is going my way and all is right in my world. It states that I should give thanks in all situations I go through. I honestly believed that I knew how to do this without hesitation. In every situation, give thanks to the Lord and be thankful for everything. Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart. It is an attitude of thanking God for everything I face daily. Even if I don’t know the reasons for what I am going through.
It seems as though what I have easily done in the past, be thankful in everything, has been hard lately. I’m in a hard season of my life and yet there are many beautiful parts to it as well. Recently, I have been going through some hurtful things. My heart has been hurt intentionally and well, possibly unintentionally and it has been very hard to give thanks for much during this season of heartache. But I do, some days through gritted teeth and other days through tears of the pain, I give thanks. I am learning that I don’t need to just survive what I am going through, I need and desire to thrive. I want to learn and grow through these times that can overwhelm my heart and mind. Cultivating a heart of thankfulness does not come easy. There is no four-step process on how to be thankful in everything. I wish there was!
For me, I learned a long time ago that when I go through the hard times (the ones that only few people in my world know about) it is good practice to intentionally encourage others. I choose to write. I write cards of encouragement to family and friends that I know who may or may not be struggling like I am. I want others to know they are being thought of and prayed for.
I found this act to be one that I can use to cultivate a thankful heart amidst the heartache. I pray for the person I am writing the card to. This helps take the focus off of me and my own struggles. I worry less when I write to others and pray for them. I see God’s heart for those around me in a bigger way.
Does the pain go away when I do this? No, it is definitely still there. It lessens enough that I can move forward and face the day. Giving thanks in all situations allows my heart to grow and it makes me even more thankful for the great days that are ahead.
I am thankful that I’ve been given a gift that God can use to encourage others and maybe bring a little hope to someone else’s life.
About the Author:
Becky Bernier grew up and currently lives in North Carolina. She is passionate about many things including: her faith, family, friends, writing, and being outdoors as much as possible. She has an older brother who has cerebral palsy and understands what it is like to live with the joys and struggles of a family member with a disability. She currently works for Joni and Friends and will be finishing her bachelors degree in Special Education next May.