Updated: Dec 7, 2020
God set me up.
I started working on a post last week and, even though the heart of what I wanted to share was easy enough to put into words, it needed… something. Then God gave the something that made it one of THOSE posts where I can imagine Him saying, “And you thought the words were for everyone else. Cute.”
Here’s what I wrote:
“When our oldest was three he ran up to me one day and said, “Mommy! I’m so excited for misgivings this week!” I remember laughing about his adorable word swap for “Thanksgiving.” The memory seems appropriate for 2020 – a year that's left so many with 'feelings of doubt or apprehension about the outcome or consequences of something,'* but we can still celebrate this Thanksgiving with genuineness.”
Those words were put on the backburner and focus placed on family because sickness hit our home. We soon had the test results that explained the symptoms. We’re having a COVID Thanksgiving. It seems cruelly ironic that “positive” is the word used to diagnose a virus that demands time in isolation.
The calendar was wiped - again. A dejected sigh escaped my lips as I thought of how plans would change. It was disappointing on so many levels. Then the words written earlier in the week came to haunt me. Told you this was a set up.
Do I really believe it’s possible to be thankful no matter what? Do you?
As Believers we are to “rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Like pants that are too tight around the middle after a good holiday meal, there is no wiggle room with words like “always” and “all.”
It’s effortless to say we’re thankful, but easier still to succumb to very real feelings of hurt, pain, fear, disappointment, etc. experienced. And it’s not wrong to feel, but our response to the hard sets the course of the heart. What we choose to think about and sit in matters.
To be known, loved, and cared for by the God who calls us His children is to be abundantly blessed. He promises that even the things that can cloud our hearts with misgivings have a good purpose. He gives hope and faith to trust Him through it all so that even in “this” we can offer praise.
It’s true – Today isn’t what our family hoped it would be. (And that seems to be the running theme of the year, right?) Some of us feel crummy. We miss loved ones. The day isn't exactly traditional as we prepare steak and hamburger instead of turkey. BUT. We aren't severely ill. We will see our loved ones again soon and, hopefully, have a great Christmas with them. God has abundantly provided our needs and we do not want. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?
By God’s grace I can be filled with authentic gratefulness and, my friend, so can you.
Happy Thanksgiving from our (quarantined) home to yours!
*"Misgivings" definition from Oxford Languages Dictionary