Monday, August 22, 2011

Thanksgiving in Grief

Last week a friend returned from 7 1/2 long months in Afghanistan. While he was away, I prayed for his safety, but probably more often I prayed for his wife. Their children are grown and so she had to live by herself while he was deployed. I can't say which I would hate worse - being away from my husband for so long, or having to sleep in an empty house each night. Either way, there was much rejoicing this last week when word came he was home.

I found myself praising God for his safe arrival. I thanked Him for keeping our friend alive and for being everything his wife needed during this extended trial. I saw God working in her life, specifically, I saw her leaning on Him to get her through each day and I appreciated her opening up her heart to others when they asked how she was doing.

Yesterday was the first day I was able to see our friend since he came home. I hugged him as I entered the church before the service began. I told them both that I had been praying for them and praising God for bringing him home.

And then it hit me. I don't know if I've praised God for anything since we lost our baby. The Spirit pricked my heart during the worship service and immediately tears filled my eyes. I thought I had nothing to praise Him for - how could I be thankful for the tears and heartache we've experienced over the past 2 1/2 months? But that one instance of thankfulness reminded my heart of the joy gratefulness brings. It reminded me that although I have been remiss to thank God for much of anything these last few months, He has been and continues to be very gracious to me. And I can be thankful, even in grief.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Sweet friend, I have been praying for this for you. For eyes opened to see. For grace to give thanks anyway. Thank you, Abba.

I've been waiting for the right time to share this post with you from (where else ;o) Ann's blog. Hope its a blessing.

Love you!