I wouldn’t describe myself as a determined person. I’ve also never been one to set high goals and go after them. My husband, however, is a determined person. He is a go-getter in every sense of the word. I admire people like him. People who announce their goals on Facebook one day and then come back days later saying that they have achieved them. But in November of 2015, I was determined to be thankful, even if it was for a bowl of chowder or a pair of shoes.

11 days prior to November 1, 2015, The Accident happened, and I had every reason to NOT be thankful. I could be ungrateful and no one would have passed judgment on me. I could have sat and wallowed (which I did) on social media sites for the whole month of November, and people would have encouraged and virtually sat with me in my self-pity. But, I also knew, that I had things that I could be grateful for even if it was a pair of shoes or a bowl of chowder.

It is a well-known fact that having a thankful heart can change an attitude. I truly believe this, but being thankful through grief does not make walking through the grief any less hard.

Being thankful is hard. Our human reaction to pain is to want to crawl into a hole and cry and stay there (there are many days I still want to do that), but while I was reading back on my thankfulness during that time, I noticed something-Jesus was in the thankfulness posts and he was near. In fact, I believe he was the One prompting my heart to be thankful and to see the things that were around me.

At Thanksgiving dinner, I sat at my parents’ table and we took turns going around the table saying what we were thankful for and I was mad. I couldn’t verbalize anything. It took all my strength to hold back tears. It was a “first” that I never wanted to face and I was angry. But Jesus was in that day too, because eventually, I came up with something to be thankful for:

Thankfulness Day 25 and 26: The hard. Those suffocating moments when all you can do is let the tears fall. Waking up on another “first” and crying before my feet hit the floor.

For cooking. For being able to work and make yummy food with simple ingredients and to make it with my Mom and sister in the kitchen. Gravy and juicy turkey.

For a husband who grieves and loves hard.

For the jokes of children.

For laughter.

For grace. Because without grace. Without Jesus. We wouldn’t be able to do THIS. Big THIS. THIS life. THIS road. THIS hard. THIS.

Grateful because He meets me in the hard. He meets me in those suffocating moments when I wake up in tears. He meets me at the “firsts”. We have a lot more “firsts” to do. He will meet us in those too…Because He’s enough, and He already promised that He would.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” ~Psalms

There is one thing that I am forever grateful for-how Jesus has met us in the hard and in the brokenness. He meets all of us there because he has walked through harder things and has been more broken than we have ever been or ever will be. When we can’t be thankful, he remains steadfast and interceding for us. When we cry and weep and groan, he cries and weeps and groans with us.

This Thursday, when we feel the pressure to be thankful, my prayer is that if we are coming up short, we will be thankful for the One who gave his life and conquered death for us. So that we wouldn’t have to believe that this is all there is, but instead he has given us hope and lavished us with grace beyond measure and he has proven that he is enough.

When Being Thankful is Hard