Many talk about being grateful throughout the years, a buoyancy that helps them when the crazy hard strikes. I get that, but what has been even more apparent in my life this past season of gratitude is of being grateful through the tears.
Yes, let the happy tears flow.
And flow. So much so, in fact, that my Girlie has decided its embarrassing even when its just the two of us and no one but her can see the wet gratitude rolling down my cheeks.
So why the happy tears? The sweetness of today is grounded in the pain of yesterday and the many yesterdays that preceded it. It’s been a rough year.
No, let me say that in a way that isn’t quite so understated:
It’s been a hold on with everything you have, pray like you never have before, stock up on Kleenex, get all of your friends to pray for you (as in everyday at noon. Not kidding, but oh so grateful), hit the ground in prayer again, cry again, curl into a fetal position, pray, take a few baby steps, get knocked down, count some blessings, wipe away tears, and well, you get the idea. It wasn’t all bad, but it without a doubt it was the hardest year I’ve had to face.
Some of the events of this past year caused me to feel lost, not lost as in who I am as a person or even what my purpose is, but lost as to how to make my current realities line up with my priorities and needs. I floundered, a startling thing that is foreign to this driven girl.
Worse yet, there were a few people who spoke ugliness into my life. I’m sure they didn’t mean to, but they bred confusion in my thoughts, making me wonder if I was further off track than I acknowledged. One person in authority condemned me for a physical attribute of mine that couldn’t be changed. Another ridiculed for something else that wasn’t easily changed, nor should it have been.
The list continues, but this post really isn’t about the bad.
It’s about the good. The really, really good.
Life turned a corner recently. Can’t say for sure what brought about the change, but it’s been a welcome friend. And with that change comes another: Things that in the past would have gone unnoticed now have great meaning. Words of affirmation ring deep, not because I need the external reward, but because there is something beautiful in being acknowledged for doing what you love and being set free to further pursuit it. A paycheck that now comes every other Friday without the guessing and hoping and wishing bring a greater sense of calm than before.
No, the wounds of the past year haven’t vanished, nor will they ever. There are certain things that are irrevocable, events that happen that forever change the future. Many of us know these events all too well, but we also know this:
they are the very things that can cause us to be more grateful than we ever knew possible.
So, my friends, whether this has been a year of great joy and celebrations,
or tragedy, loss and grief,
or a string of ho-hum months with nothing much new to report,
I pray this season of gratitude undoes us to the core,
that we may reflect upon where we’ve been and where we think we might be headed,
that we’ll look the trials square in the face and revel in the unexpected splendor we got to behold,
that our gratitude will flow out in hugs, fist bumps, quiet sighs of relief, proclamations of “Thank you, God”
Or maybe, just maybe,
Gratitude through the Tears
What’s something you’re more grateful for today only because of hurt, aches or pains you’ve had in that area in the past?