It’s that time of year where turkeys are stuffed to the max, casserole dishes are filled high, and tables are set to pristine. Some of us sit hand in hand at a table as grace is being said, some share thankful moments with family members, and some eat alone. We all come from different backgrounds, but however tough or mighty our pasts were, the holidays seem to bring us all together. The days are filled with cinnamon spice and jolly cheer, all leading up to the end of the year.
Pausing from the craziness of holiday shopping and the excitement of a new year, it’s time to express what to be thankful for.
1. Old Friendships
Despite how friendships might have ended, whether on a good or bad note, there will always be a bittersweet piece of them in our heart. Those friendships are what lead us to be who we are today. The gentle moments chiseled in our memories help us remember that despite the heartbreak, good things come out of everything. Reminisce about the good times, and be thankful for the memories.
“However far friendship may be between us, you will always be the sister of my soul and the friend of my heart.”
2. New Friendships
There’s an old saying that says, “New friendships refresh the soul.” This isn’t news to us. It’s in our nature to crave negative friendships, in which we are more drawn to. But those awesome moments of meeting new friends is so joyous and special. There are written promises that haven’t been broken. Lies that haven’t been spoken. And tears that haven’t been shed. There is hope for all the good that is to come and thankfulness for the thought of a pure friendship.
“It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey.”
3. The Ones Who Aren’t With Us Anymore
Life can go by exceptionally fast. It can pass us by without us taking a step back and being grateful for the ones we have lost over the years. Maybe you took the lost one for granted, and the burn of that is an inferno. Morgan Matson once said, “A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted, mostly because I had assumed there would be a thousand more.” For some of us, the wound of losing a loved one is still fresh and exposed. It’s weird to think we started the year out with a loved one, and now we are ending the year with a hole in our chest from their absence. Maybe the person left this life too soon, or maybe you are still holding on to them in a selfish way. So, get a piece of paper and pen. Sit in a quiet room and write to them. Tell them all the things you wished you could have said. Write what they are missing out on. Lastly, tell them how thankful you are to have been able to spend such a valuable moment in time with them. Though it may hurt to have lost someone you loved, they will always be in your heart and watching over you. Be thankful for that.
“I’m the lucky one who knew you, who still loves you, whose life will forever be divided into a before and after because of you.”
4. Unfailing Love
We all have the past and a future. The past is written in history. The future has yet to be sculpted. And thru the past and the future, there is one thing for certain: God is always there with his unfailing love. Take a moment away from all the craziness, with your heart and mind open. Get down on your knees and have your bible open. Speak your mind to Jesus. You may have anger, sorrow, or fear built inside of you. You may not have prayed in Lord only knows how long. As you are praying, thank our Father for being so forgiving, for loving us unconditionally.
“How cool is it that the same God who created mountains, oceans, and galaxies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too?”
Be thankful for your struggles and your triumphs. You are a one of a kind unique person. God loves you. If you are ending this year on a sad note, I dare you to smile. I dare you to look back at old photographs with friends and tell some horrendous and embarrassing stories. I dare you to laugh. I dare you to love. Go to an animal shelter, if you feel you have no one to love, and adopted a pet who is desperate for a home. Just be thankful. End this year graciously with a heavy heart and a gentle purpose.
“Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softended you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything you still grow. Be proud of this.”