Somehow, out of everything I COULD have ended up with, I ended up with a framed scripture about thankfulness!
It was a beautiful framed verse I had purchased and was sent to me by a friend of my sister, Laura, in Memphis – she doesn’t remember who made it, or me asking her to send it to me.
I asked for this particular verse as I was going to add it to my Thanksgiving decorations. Thinking back, I probably would have packed it away for the year until it was time in late October to decorate my house for Thanksgiving! I certainly didn’t order it knowing what it would come to mean to me or I would need to learn to LIVE it!
It is my own fault (or maybe it was a nudge from an angel) which made me pick it up. I had just received it a few weeks earlier. I remember picking it up off the dresser and sticking it into a bag with a few of my belongings I was able to gather and take, as I left my beautiful house for the last time and plunged into a time of divorce which brought such loss, grief, scandal, and poverty into my life that I could never have imagined – darkness and pain which seemed would never end.
Over the next 13 & 1/2 years I would both laugh and curse that decision, but always the verse was there to remind me to continue to be thankful, no matter what! I believe it was no accident that it ended up in my puny little cache of stuff.
Over the years as my stuff got ever more limited, it is a miracle that my verse is still with me, and I have come to value this verse more and more. I have found a level of thankfulness that goes well beyond any circumstances, or what I think I want – it takes me into a realm of thankfulness for each day that I am given to be able to understand more of what my purpose is for this earth, and to be in a state of Thanks in every situation.
In 2008, when I knew it was time to come back to Kentucky, I sat for hours with this picture in my lap, praying and allowing the blessing of living this beautiful verse to permeate my soul. What would this bring? I didn’t know then, but now I look back and it was the path that led me to Chris, to my kids. It was even bigger than I thought it was (and I knew it was BIG!!!)
It has been a long journey and of the few possessions I was able to take with me, very few of them have survived, but I still have my old gold frame with the burnt orange mat and the perfect calligraphy writing of this beautiful reminder above. It is still a reminder that I must choose this every minute of every day. Each moment is a new blessing.
Be aware, there are no circumstances which we go through where God says, “Ok, now THAT’S bad! Go ahead, you can feel sorry for yourself” – all things are truly meant for good and all things deserve our thanks!