But it can be hard when you don't feel thankful. When you are missing someone dear to you. When you are hurting deep down with disappointment with life.
I have been there. I lived it especially five years ago, when I waited an agonizing three weeks to miscarry my baby, Kyria Hope, only to have to schedule a D&C the week before Thanksgiving. Giving thanks, especially daily, was the last thing on my mind that year.
If it is the last thing on your mind this year, that's okay. Really, it is! Yes, thanksgiving is good for the soul. Yes, having an "attitude of gratitude" is a great antidote for being down in the dumps. But finding 26 things to be thankful in preparation for Thanksgiving Day this year may just be hard.
May I gently suggest something? Choose just one. Just one thing to focus on this Thanksgiving season. And if you can't think of anything, may I suggest this.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
Our "blessings" on earth are so uncertain. They can change in a moment, as you know. But God's character - His goodness, and His love - that is constant. Ironically, those aspects of God's character are the ones most easily called into question after a great loss. At least, they were for me. I could not understand how God, in his love and goodness, would not protect me from the suffering in my heart.
I still don't have an answer for that, at least not one that satisfies the mother-heart within me. Not for me, not for you. But not understanding does not change the truth that my heart desperately needed to hear, and still needs to remember. That God is good. That his love endures forever. In my darkest moments, I need to cling to that truth, because it is what will get me through to the other side.
So my challenge to you, and to me, is that this Thanksgiving season, if you can't muster up the "thanksgiving feeling", commit yourself to saying this verse everyday, twice a day or more.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever."
No guilt for not feeling thankful or for doubting every inch of the verse, if that is where you are. That's okay! God can certainly handle your honesty! But keep it on your mind and close to your heart, and wait on Him. He promises that His word will not return void. And although this Thanksgiving holiday will be different than any you have ever known, because of what and who you are missing, He can also make it profoundly memorable in other ways as well.
What or who are you missing this Thanksgiving? I would be honored to pray with and for you.