Monday, November 22, 2021

Thankful. So Many Reasons.

It's Thanksgiving week! There are so many reasons for thanksgiving.....where do I begin? I'm thankful as I anticipate the arrival of family later this week. I'm thankful for a weekend with friends, celebrating God's goodness and the 10th anniversary of their church. When we arrived home last night, I was thankful to be sleeping in my own bed! 

This morning I'm feeling particularly thankful for memories. If you are on Facebook, you are familiar with the daily Facebook memories that show up each day on your home page. For me, these have been opportunities to see pictures of my grandchildren from a few years past, or to be reminded of places we have traveled, and occasionally get a good chuckle over something I or some friend had shared.

At this time of year, these Facebook memories are something altogether different for me. They have connected me to this time five years ago, to a time I have no memory of. Every day this week, Facebook has connected me to friends and family, and even to strangers, who prayed for me during the days and weeks following my stroke in November, 2016. I had no idea what was going on back then, but as Facebook has brought these things to my understanding, I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving.

Here in our family, we often refer to this as the time I was "away". Since I "returned", I have often been told that there had been a lot of people praying for me. Until these Facebook memories started showing up a few years ago, I had no idea just how many people had prayed for me. Friends I hadn't seen in years. Family members. Neighbors. Church friends. People I don't even know. I am overwhelmed and humbled by this outpouring of prayer on my behalf.

While I was in Rehab, I received a number of cards. From friends, from family, from church members, from people I don't even know. I saved every one.

Al read these to me as they came in each day, because I couldn't read them myself. Several times over the course of these last few years, I have reread these notes. The reading has been a little easier each time. And it is my plan, during this season of Thanksgiving, to read them again.

Just as with the Facebook memories, each of these notes is overwhelming and humbling. Each is a reminder of just how much I have to be thankful for this year.

Along with the cards and notes, I also received a number of other notes.

I have no idea who sent these love notes from God. Like the other cards and notes, I didn't really understand them at the time. But, like the other cards and notes, I have reread them several times since than,  and been blessed and encouraged.

Sometimes, it is easier to focus on what is wrong than on what is right. To focus on what I can't do rather than on what I can do. These Facebook memories remind me of how far I have come. Of how much I have to be thankful for. They help me remember the things I don't remember. And they help me remember that what I can do is a whole lot more than what I can't do.

What happened to me in November 2016 could have had a very different outcome.

These Facebook memories are a reminder of that.

And these Facebook memories are also a reminder that with God, nothing is impossible.

Today, in this season of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the miracle God brought about in my life. I'm thankful for friends and family and strangers who prayed me through that experience. And I'm thankful for Facebook memories!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits." (Psalm 103:1-2 NASB)

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