Being Thankful for What Is Given and What is Taken Away

How many of us give thanks when something is given to us? Whether by someone or by God. I’m sure the majority show a gesture of appreciation in the acceptance of a gift or thoughtful gesture. We fold our hands or raise them high and thank God for our blessings. “Thank you for the new car, the new job, the new promotion. Thank you for the bills being paid on time, the much needed vacation, the shoulder of comfort. Thank you for new friendships and relationships, for a new outlook on life.” How many of us say “thank you for the breakup, for the heartache, for the agony and despair”? I imagine not many of us because when you’re going through it you simply can’t. You are angered, sad, depressed, withdrawn, bitter and hateful. This is most especially if the circumstances were volatile, degrading, dehumanizing and disrespectful. You can’t be thankful because in those moments there is nothing if very little to be thankful for.

I went through it and if you’ve followed my blog for a bit or read a few of my other posts you would have caught glimpses into the aftermath of my healing process after the demise of a narcissistic abusive relationship. Mental health is no joke and when you’re in it deep with a person who has mental health instability and inconsistencies then you risk your own mental health and mental wellbeing but of course I could not see that because I was in too deep and I was suffering. I wanted the picturesque family. The nuclear household. The actual father figure to be a full time hands on dad in leading and raising my son. I couldn’t see it any other way and I was agonized because it was taken away. I agonized the loss of my own personal relationship and what potential future parental relationship I wanted for my son. There would be no joint celebrations moving forward. There would be no father to help rub my son’s back when he’d wake up past midnight with a high fever or need to be seen at the emergency room. There would be no one that I could count on to do bathtime while I prepped dinner. There would be none of that and the more I contemplated the more anger and frustrated and livid I would become. It was taken from me. It was stolen from me. The picturesque family was destroyed. I had nothing to be thankful for….

Only now years later I realize I had. Thank you God for intervening in my life. Thank you for loving me enough to step in and remove what was hurting me and endangering me in my mental, emotional, spiritual and sometimes even physical health. Thank you for removing what was detrimental to me and my little family in knowing that we deserved so much more and so much better. Thank you for teaching and leading me to forgive but to have the lesson learned so I never forget. Thank you for freeing me.

I share this because rarely in the midst of it do we thank God for what is causing our suffering. We can’t see beyond it. Perhaps at this moment you are going through it. Through something painful, unsettling or resistant. Know that you are not alone. God is there with you in your suffering and He will not leave you alone. It’s not that He wants you to suffer but it’s that we live in a fallen world. You may think this is it that there’s nothing left to hope for or that God has forgotten about you but I assure you He has not.

Invite him into your suffering and praise Him for He is God and God will not allow pain without birthing something new. Just hold on. He will turn your mess into His message and the victim into the victor. You will come out stronger because you are not alone.

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