I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness through the hardest year of my life thus far. I’m thankful for my job and for the opportunity to work with people who love Jesus so much. I am thankful that I get to pray with and minister to hearts that are afraid, in shock, grieving, tremblingly trusting as part of my job. I am thankful that I am being refined. I’m thankful for the kind and honest supervisors and bosses, both at my current job and my last one.

Thankful that God is the healer of broken hearts and the lifter of discouraged heads. I’m thankful for my family and how God has welded our hearts together (knit seems to gentle a term) more than ever. I am thankful for a husband who has tenderly cared for my heart, mind, and body this past year especially and has served me so sacrificially in many unsung ways. (As I do not love how social media gives us a false picture of “shiny happy people holding hands,” people with perfect marriages and perfect living rooms, and perfectly coifed lives, this is not the picture I want to express. We do not have a perfect marriage. Shawn is not a perfect husband/father and I am very far from a perfect wife/mom. Sometimes we hurt one another in what we do or say or leave undone or unsaid. So when I express thanks for this marriage and this man, I would rather have you imagine a husband who that by nature likes to fix things, is just silently holding his wife who can’t even put into words why she is so sad, and pressing down his instinct to try to fix all the broken. Please don’t picture a couple who has it all figured out. Real life isn’t like that. And Jesus didn’t come for those who have it so figured out that they don’t need him. He came for the broken.)

I am thankful for my mom and my sister who, outside of my husband, are my best friends.

I am thankful for God’s word which has proven itself time and again to be entirely relevant to real life. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me and does not change like shifting shadows, who never rejects his own, who is full of compassion and loving kindness. I am thankful for Jesus who Is intimately familiar with our human frailty, so much so that he was called a man of sorrow. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides and directs and is trustworthy. I am thankful that in following him there is implicit safety.

I am thankful that God still cuts dry paths through seas for his people to walk on. He still provides manna and quail and pillars of fire.

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