When it's dark, it's hard to find thankfulness. It's hard to see outside whatever is immediately in front of your eyes. It's hard to take a step back, have perspective and see the complete picture of your life as it stands. The last week and a half has been pretty dark for me. I don't want to get too heavy on you. I know you're not used to that from me around here. But it’s where I am. And nothing Justin Bieber does surprises me enough to write about it anymore.
Anyway, it feels near impossible to see past the darkness when you're nose-to-nose with it. Its eyes are somehow locked on yours and you can’t seem to break away. Sometimes, though, by the never-ending grace of the King of the Universe, you can push it aside just enough to see hope.
Most of my hope the past week has come through one of the things I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving--community.
I have been consistently shocked and humbled and moved by the amount of love and grace my community has shown me the past few days. Prayers--not just the one time, but again and again. Encouraging messages, even thoughtful gifts. It's hard to believe, honestly. That it wasn't just a passing "ok I'll pray for you," but a genuine concern and walking-with.
To have that type of community requires vulnerability. I had to tell them what I was going through. I had to admit I felt weak and powerless. But they carried me. They still are. They are those friends lowering me through the ceiling to see Jesus. They are using their hands and their words to hold me up—to help me stand. They are giving me the strength to not cower, but keep fighting, even though it can be exhausting.
I am thankful for this, more than I could ever say. Being genuine and vulnerable with others is difficult. And you have to choose the right people to do it with. But if you're struggling (aren't we all?), I encourage you to step out and share it with others. Don't be ashamed. We're all broken. You'll be surprised how people will come beside you. No one should have to do this life alone.
God has shown up for me this week through my community. Thankfulness can be hard to find in the darkness. But if you fight for it, you might just find hope.
What are you thankful for today?