Without a doubt 2009 has been the most challenging year I’ve ever had in my life. But on the same note it has been equally as rewarding. I know this sounds strange, but it’s like that old saying goes “That which does not kill you only makes you stronger.” In spite of the roller coaster ride I’ve been on for the past months I can still wake up everyday with a smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong now, some days it is just so hard to face the world. There are days when I throw my hands up and say “Are you serious God, this is my life?’ There are times when I wonder what kind of cruel joke the creator of the universe is playing on me. But over all I take my circumstances in stride and learn from every mistake I make along the way.
So when asked “What am I thankful for this year?” I had to stop and think. I mean after all 2009 for me, has been a year that would leave most people saying that they have nothing to be thankful for. I am so blessed to say that I am not one of those people. Sure, my husband left me, started dating a woman who claimed to be my friend (with friends like her who needs enemies!) got her pregnant, came home, told me he was still in love with me, left a week later and told me all he had said was a lie. I lost my job. I lost my car. I lost my house and had to move in with my mother. And sadly, I lost myself. Now if that isn’t enough to make you want to stay in bed and cry all day, well I can only think if a few other things that can top my train wreck of a life.
However, in the midst of all this trauma, drama and tragedy I found something so amazing and so true. I found God. He is what I am most thankful for this year because without his grace and his mercy I would still be the puddle he found on the floor mourning the loss of her life. He picked me up, dusted me off and told me to stand. And because of Him I have SO much to be thankful for.
I’m thankful that even though I am a 30-something woman living with her mommy, that I do have a place to call home. I have food to eat each day and I know where my next meal is coming from (that would be the fridge!) Even though I don’t have a a walk in closet full of clothes, I do not walk around naked (thank God!) and my newest outfit may have come right off the $3 clearance rack at WalMart but at least I had the option to buy an new outfit in the first place.
I am thankful for my kids who have been through so much themselves this year but continue to make me laugh whenever I cry. They aren’t perfect and they don’t alway behave themselves but they’re mine, I love them and I thank God for them everyday. They give me a reason and a purpose. They keep me young at heart and quick on my toes.
I am thankful for my friends. The group of people who love me regardless of what I say or do. They’re a constant in my very uncertain, always changing, never predictable life. I know that I can tell them anything and never be judged.
And it may sound odd to most people, but I am thankful that my husband walked out. It has been a painfully hard emotional wrecking ball that has turned my entire existence upside down. But I am the person I am today because of all I have been through. I have learned so much about who I am as a person. I am stronger then I ever knew I could be because God makes me strong. I am more motivated then I have ever been in my life because I have to be. I have no one but myself to rely on, I can’t pass the buck to my spouse because he’s not there to pass it to. I’m more independent and free thinking then I have been in years. I am kinder, more loving and selfless. I try to always put others needs before my own and in general I am a better person. But by far the biggest change is that out of the ashes of my turbulent 12 year marriage a beautiful friendship has begun to grow. And for that reason, I am eternally thankful. I have always said that my husband was my best friend, but until now I never actually had a friendship with him. Not the same kind I have with my female friends anyway. I could never speak candidly to him without the fear of him disapproving. But that is not the case now, I say what I feel and I say what I mean regardless of how he may respond and to me that is reason enough to give thanks.
I’m thankful for the support and encouragement of a God sent group of people. They pick me up when I’m feeling down and remind me to stand when I feel like sitting. They make me laugh, they make me cry and I can always count on one of them to be a vessel, saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. I thank God for leading me to them. They have played a huge role in the story that has been my life this year.
I am thankful that each morning the sun comes up and brings with it a new day full of opportunity. Our slates are wiped clean and there’s another chance to to get it right. God’s grace is sufficient and whatever comes my way I can face it head on and know without a doubt that I can make it out alive.
But most of all I’m thankful that after all that I have been through, after all the adversity I have faced. I can still smile, I can still laugh, I still have the desire to wake up tomorrow. I can still say that I love my husband more today then I did yesterday and I will love him more tomorrow then I did today. I take a breath each morning and my heartbeats all night long. So my question to you is….
What are you thankful for this year?