I have spent some time this past week wondering what all people will say and what I would say when asked, what are you giving thanks for.  My world has been turned upside down and I have been separated from what has meant the most to me on this earth.  Honestly, I still don’t feel very thankful at times but there are some things that stand out to me:

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I’m thankful for the people who have loved me knowing my failings and my darkest secrets.  You have given me courage to continue facing a new day each morning.
I’m thankful for the people I have asked to pray specific prayers for me because I am in a season where I seldom pray.
I’m thankful for the people who have prayed for me not knowing what to pray for or ask for.  God knows your heart and I trust He has used your love for me in ways He knows are best.
I’m thankful for people who have suffered greatly before me because you can speak to my pain and sadness and heartbreak with understanding.
I’m thankful for people who have challenged me in my thoughts and desires.  Your desire to keep me from going backwards by lovingly, and sometimes harshly, pushing me forward has been a blessing.
I’m thankful for Christian counseling.  I have learned things about myself, my heart and my mind that have walked me through years of mistakes to the root causes allowing me to begin working on changes that will hopefully aid me in making good decisions into the future.
I’m thankful for brief words of kindness and a hug.  Knowing you care means more than I can put into words.
I’m thankful for people who let me be honest when they ask how I’m doing.  You know that sometimes what you will hear will be painful, ugly and filled with tears and you allow me to do it anyway.
I’m thankful for people who have brought their brokenness to me.  You have shown me that God can and will use my grief and pain for His glory.

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I’m sure I could go on but there is one more that overshadows all of the above.

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I am thankful for a loving and patient Lord.  You, Lord, have taught me that the prodigal son story isn’t just a Bible story but my story.  You have shown me that my story fits in your story, a story of broken people who have fallen and continue to find your love ever-present.  You have shown me what love is and should be.  You have shown me that it is OK to live through the mistakes of my past because you love what will be, not what was.  You have shown me that there is healing in confession and the power of relationships that are aligned with you.  You have shown me what it is to wait, patiently.  You never quit me,  you never let go, you never stopped loving and being faithful in your hope for me.  Without you I know there would be nothing to be thankful for.  With you, I know there will be joy in the days ahead.  You, Lord, are what I am truly thankful for.
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