Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. 
– Melody Beattie

I recently read this quote and it got me to thinking about how I am grateful for not just my present but for my past.

In my present I think of my husband, daughter, son-in-love, and grandchildren.  They color my world with joy and warm my heart like a pot belly stove warms a cabin in the mountains on a snowy day.  While we don’t live in a cabin, I am grateful for the home I am fortunate enough to live in, and my church, neighbors and town that has welcomed us “newcomers” as old friends.  It’s all good.

My health hasn’t always been picture perfect, however, the mere fact that I am alive and capable of taking care of myself pushes the grateful barometer to the top.

When I think of my past there were people, places, and times in my life where both physical and emotional pain colored me dark and filled me with fear, insecurity, and made me feel like damaged goods.  I found it hard to feel grateful and I am sorry to say, it showed. Time along with “angels” placed in my path helped to heal me and to realize that each step to this journey had its purpose: (as my mother would say) it would either kill me or make me stronger.  I am still here, bruised, sagging and wrinkling daily, but stronger in spirit.

As I age, I spend a lot of time thinking about where I came from, where I am, and where I might be going.  In retrospect, those dark spaces were where I cried out to God and received help from Abba Father, family and friends, and fought to muddle through and survive.  The bad and the ugly helped me grow in faith, patience, forgiveness, acceptance, and perseverance.  While I didn’t like the way I was learning; today I look back to my past and see the blessings through the stressings helped me build a bridge of faith that will take me into tomorrow’s eternity.

So this Thanksgiving think not only about the happy times but also the not so happy times and may you see where God was working while you were wrestling with life on earth.  The good and the not so good have their purpose – each a gift in its own way.

I hope that you can find sense out of your past, peace and comfort for today and a certainty of where you are going tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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