The Accident happened on August 12, 2013. My son was dead.
For months I grieved. I wept. I sobbed. I cried out to God. My life had changed forever in one moment.
For ten months I got depressed beginning around the tenth. I dreaded the twelfth. Then, in July 2014, I decided to do things differently. I decided to do the next right thing: I chose gratitude. I began writing a list of Twelve Things I’m Grateful for on the 12th. That first month it was hard to come up with twelve things. But I did it. And I did it again the next month and the next and the next. For four years I wrote a list each month. Choosing gratitude helped me find healing.
Last summer I faced a new challenge, one I cannot yet say much about. I can say that someone I love very much was harmed and I was thrust in the middle of a very difficult situation. I’ve spent many days next to a hospital bed and many hours alone in hotel rooms. I’ve driven a dozen times to and from a state ten hours away. I’ve dealt with lawyers and investigators and a magistrate. I’ve spoken with caregivers and doctors and therapists. I’ve missed events with my family in Texas. I had to stop my Monday night study group.
And I stopped writing.
I stopped writing on my blog. I stopped writing out my Bible Studies. I stopped writing my gratitude lists.
A few weeks ago, in a support group for Christians who are caregivers, one gal wrote of her mother’s death. She’d been writing about her sweet mom for months as they faced her death. This woman’s faith amazed me! In the midst of very hard things she kept her focus on eternal things. After her mom’s passing, she wrote of all the things she was grateful for in her mom’s last days.
Her list reminded me that making lists of things I’m grateful for helped me through grief. Perhaps it would help me through this trial.
And so, today I am choosing to be grateful.
In the middle of some very hard things, I am grateful.
This list is not easy to write. My heart is breaking for a young woman who did not choose life. I’m hurting for a young man whose wife chose to leave and go back to her old life. I’m hurting for a family in conflict. I’m hurting for a family whose son is in jail. I’m hurting over the things I’ve been accused of by others who do not know me. I’m hurting for one I love who was treated poorly.
But I choose gratitude.
- I am grateful for my husband who supports me as I walk through this trial.
- I am grateful for a safe vehicle in which I drive through mountain passes.
- I am grateful for forgiveness for all who repent. Forgiveness for even horrible things. I am grateful for the forgiveness I have received and forgiveness I must offer others.
- I am grateful for understanding and kind lawyers who are very good at their job.
- I am grateful for caregivers – nurses, CNAs, therapists, and so many more.
- I am grateful for reconciliation and having a wonderful relationship with some very special young men and women.
- I am grateful for AirB&B hosts who are kind and welcoming.
- I am grateful for a church body who welcomed me on Wednesday evenings this summer without expecting anything in return for their kindnesses.
- I am grateful for friends who know what’s going on and who pray.
- I am grateful for my adult kids who call and text regularly.
- I am grateful for plane tickets to see my youngest next weekend in SLC.
- I am grateful for the love of Christ and the healing available to me even as I grieve and hurt and walk through hard things.
What are you grateful for today?