Thankfulness is a Lifesyle not a Season

Every Thanksgiving I see my social media fill up with a month of thankfulness. It’s beautiful. To see the glory of God shine through numerous optimistic and joyful posts is moving. It’s my favorite time of year to be on Facebook and Instagram. 

That being said, I want to participate this year, but I want more. I want this month to create a habit that roots itself into my soul. I want to be thankful every day in everything. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Last year, on this day, I was staring at what seemed like an endless amount of days before my husband would hug me again. He was deployed. Every day seemed like it was getting harder, not easier. I felt like I was suffocating. 

The biggest lie I was ever told was that deployment gets easier. You get used to it. 

I will never get used to it. You can’t get used to missing someone you love with your whole self. You can’t get used to watching your kids lash out and get upset because they don’t understand what’s happening. 

You can be thankful in everything. 

I have the benefit of having a woman in my life who knows the Lord and has served in the navy for twenty years. 

“Let him grow you. Don’t fight it. Feel the agony, let him take it from you. He will heal you and you will grow.”

I have this image. You’re rolling out dough and it’s fighting you. What a miserable experience. Even if you manage to make it into a sloppy loaf, it will look awful, have tears, cracks, and be dry. 

I imagine this to show how we should let God shape us. If we fight him, the end product will be the same, but with unnecessary damage. It was preventable. If only we let Him work. 

What if we moved where He moved us, stretched where He pulled, let Him roll out the imperfections, the air bubbles, the things that will make us less appealing. How magnificent a loaf of bread we would be. 

Deployment is something for which we should be thankful. It opens us to our deepest emotions and gives us the best opportunity to know them and to grow them. 

A year ago, I was not thankful. I was bitter, I was angry, I was lonely, and I was impatient. I wasted a lot of time and energy hating our circumstances. I wanted someone or something to blame.

I came out of deployment an imperfect loaf of bread. I still grew, but I slowed the growth because I was not open entirely to letting God work through me.

Every day, He still uncovers parts of deployment that I carry with me. Not as battle wounds. He uncovers the pockets of perfectly baked bread. The parts where I listened. 

I am thankful for a God who makes me stretch. A God who showed me the beauty in pain. A God who brought home a husband, safe and changed for the better. A husband He picked, shaped, and grew just for me. And a God who brought us full circle, a year later, looking at a holiday season spent together. For Him I am thankful. For all these things, I am thankful. 

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