This Thanksgiving: I don't know quite how to describe it, but it was very different than any I've had before. I think I liked it in the end, although certainly not in the beginning or in the middle. But the amount I like something is not always good indicator of whether or not it should have happened. I think in this case, I am glad that everything happened the way it did.
Tuesday was an unhappy day. So was Wednesday. Not completely unhappy, but little things just bothered me a lot. Oh, and half of Thursday was really unhappy. I don't like being thankful when I am unhappy. You know, I often think that I really shouldn't have to be thankful during those times either. Probably I am wrong. God says to be thankful at all times, right? Yeah, He does.
This has been a good week for fighting with God and with family. Because I want what I want and only what I want. Being me, I usually want my family and friends and life to be perfect. If I don't get what I want and things are not perfect, I am unhappy. (... I have yet to come to terms with the idea that a perfect life isn't possible here on earth.) I say it has been "a good week for fighting" because everything is so much worse when you know you are supposed to be thankful, but are ever so far from that.
God uses the strangest things to remind of what really matters. A frustrating Thanksgiving service at my church. A frustrating conversation with my family. A few frustrating nights. My Father invented forgiveness and gave it to each of us. With Him, I can be thankful in every circumstance. He is bigger than my reasons and excuses for self-pity.
I can't say that frustration is my chosen method for learning to be thankful, but hey, I don't think I have much of a say on this. I serve a God who loves me and loves to change my perspective. He continues to teach me that actually, life is not about me. Life is about love, which is about putting others first and serving them. And, honestly, loving others is much more fun and much more rewarding than loving myself.
Just thinking about this semester now... I have so much to be thankful for. Classes, extra-curriculars, and life in general is amazing. I love my home. My college friends are incredible, encouraging, and a second family. I get to see both of my real sisters every day. Technology exists to keep in touch with far away friends.
Goodness, so much grace. I don't think I can handle this. I guess I should start by being thankful... : )
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.