Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Am Thankful

I woke up today, thankful. I have a glad heart in the midst of grief because God has removed some sadness and turned the mourning into dancing. He knows more good will come of my day from the joy than the sadness. I can reach beyond my sadness now to help others. I can call out His name in praise and extol His goodness and His promises.

There is power in faith. I never face a night of darkness alone. I never fear the unknown without having a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold. My strength is in the Lord, I am thankful.

True, I have been in this grief process well over a year. It is not always smooth sailing. Some days, throw me into a downward spiral, as if Shannon only passed yesterday, the pain can re-surface as raw and hurtful as if no time has passed and no healing has occurred. That happens, and I try and pray through it. I am not saying it is easy, but faith has "umph!"

I have also been networking a lot through the year. I encourage everyone to do the same. The more folks you know who share loss, the less alone you feel, the more open you can be with others who truly understand what you are going through. Their support, late night chats and coffee dates will become very helpful in days, weeks and months ahead. You will be very grateful for the support network you build.

For some, grief counseling can really help. I started out with it for several months. Then, I stepped away from it, and recently went back to a counselor and found it is really helping me work through some of the
rough areas right now. I am stuck in the forgiveness area. I have long since forgiven Shanny for any hurts she may have given me as a child, but I am struggling with forgiving myself. I am also still angry about the way she passed and the fact that I think she went too soon. I am not God so I cannot make that call, but she was not sick, she had nothing wrong with her, it was human error that caused her death. My heart some days cannot let go of that pain, that anger creeps up on me and drains me of my peace. That is when the  counselor helps me work through the bad days and helps me try to let go of the pain and anger again and again until one day I hope I am free of it. So, for the understanding and the work that I am doing with my counselor I am thankful.

I am especially thankful for a loving God who hears my prayers from a happy heart and a broken spirit. He understands both, and accepts me where I am. He wants me to heal and become whole again, but He wants me to take the time I need and feel the emotions I need to feel to get through the pain. He is strong enough to handle me at my worst and holds me up at my weakest. His love is steadfast. I am thankful for a strong and yet gentle Father.

I am grateful God has given me a faith-filled spirit. One that wants to believe in all His goodness and promise. I know He hears my cries and I know whether He answers my prayer today, tomorrow or the next-He will never forget me or leave me. I am thankful.

I am thankful that God surrounds me with angels who hold me up when I am weak and strengthen me when I cannot see through my tears. Angels who hear my unspoken prayers and carry them to God for me, because in my darkest hour, He hears my heart through the angels' whispered praise. He is a mighty God who wants nothing more than to love and be loved. I am thankful, He reigns above all and forever more.

I am thankful I have a Heavenly Father who loves me when I don't deserve to be loved, who forgives me and who knows my heart so well. I will pray always,  because I know the power of prayer and faith as a mother grieves.