even this year...
...there are so many things to be thankful for.
We made it through the first part of the holiday season. And honestly, yesterday I did not wake up with a thankful heart. I woke up with a heavy heart and tears. I knew that I was having to face another holiday without Cora and I was so sad. The normal happy family gatherings just didn't seem right without her. I thought about what that day should have looked like. Our house should have been filled with excitement as we got ready for the day and told Cora all about going to Grammy and Papa's to eat dinner and play with her cousins. Instead our house was horribly quiet and there was no one to talk to. I just felt this huge hole in my heart. It has been there since Cora died, but yesterday I felt it so intensely.
But, God's grace was truly sufficient to get us through the day when we would have rather stayed in bed and not faced Thanksgiving at all. He gave us the strength to make it through. And yet despite the sadness and heaviness in my heart, yesterday I sensed how much I still have to be thankful for. Even in the face of death and celebrating these holidays without Cora, God's hope comes shining through.
Yesterday I took time to write down the many things I have to be thankful for. These were just a few:
Joel. My husband is amazing and I can't imagine walking this road of grief without him. I am so thankful for his constant love, understanding, and support. I am so thankful that I have someone to cry with who misses my sweet little girl just as much as I do. I am so thankful for how he continues to point us to Jesus in the midst of pain.
Cora. My sweet daughter and the eleven amazing months we had with her. Even though loosing her has been the most painful thing I have ever had to endure, I wouldn't trade those eleven months for anything. I feel so blessed that the Lord chose me to be Cora's mama. She has forever changed my life and I can't wait to see her again in heaven.
Baby Mac. What a blessing he/she is to us already. I am so thankful that our house will be filled with the love and joys of a child again. I am so thankful that Joel and I will get to be daddy and mommy again.
Family. ALL of our family is wonderful. I honestly couldn't ask for a better support system. Even as I write this they are helping me paint and finish some projects in my house so it is done before the baby comes. They love us and will do anything for us and I am so grateful. I am especially thankful for my mom and sister who have stuck so close to me this year. They have seen me at my ugliest and I am so thankful for their unconditional love.
Friends. Old friends and even a few new friends who allow us to be real and miss Cora along with us. They care about us so much and want to know how we are REALLY doing.
HOPE. I am most thankful for the hope that is found in my relationship with Jesus Christ alone. It is this hope that sustains me and inspires me to keep enduring. It is this hope that assures me of the deep love of my Savior even amidst a painful world that doesn't make sense. Because of this hope, and because I am in His loving care, I have everything I need.
For that and that alone, I am extremely thankful.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18