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This Thanksgiving we sat around the table with the same family friends who have welcomed us for 22 years. As always we went person to person answering, “What are you thankful for?” When it was my turn instead of words all I could find were tears because I was overcome by the strangest combination of gratitude, grief, and grace.

If I could have spoken I would have said:

I am thankful for the new life of the nearly new babes we hold in our arms and the renewed life of those recovering from sickness of both the body and soul. The gifts of birth and rebirth that remind me that God is still in the creation business and there is always hope

I am thankful for eternal life in the midst of soul crushing grief.  I have watched young wives lose their young husbands so unexpectedly, parents lose children both born and unborn and senseless tragedy all around the world.   The pain of loss would be overwhelming were it not for our overwhelming God who knows sorrow like no other.  He hears our hearts and reads our tears and comforts from a place of comfort. In him we have the promise of His presence on the good days and the ability to simply endure on the hard ones.  God stays in the comfort business and there is still hope.

I am thankful for the word of life, the Bible.  When hurt, frustration and fear take over my thoughts I have learned that God’s word has life and can literally transform my mind. After forty plus years of following Jesus I am beginning to experience the power of giving up the thoughts I once cherished and allowing him to replace them with his words.  I am finding the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4) for the first time and grasping that God is a persevering God and there is still hope.

I am thankful for the grace of God in every day of life. If you, dear reader are anything like me life is a bit of a mine field.  I am constantly bumping into those I love and causing hurt instead of help.  I lose my cool, lose my mind and lose my perspective which leaves me in a mess. God alone can see me, understand me, use me and fix me and He does.  I am so thankful that God will forever be in the grace giving business and in that I find hope.

Grace is what turns grief into gratitude.

I am also thankful for this blog and a place to gather with others just like me.

After a few days to recover from your food coma, and to get back to the reality of everyday life, please tell me what are you grateful for?

Written by Elizabeth Murphy