Tara’s Blog

How Can I Not be Grateful?

Today was an interesting day emotionally.

In one way, it was extremely stressful and at times, depressingly sad. I’m coming off of two nights of poor sleep (so my mind is tempted to race) plus I was up super early trying to figure out major financial issues we’re facing. I’m feeling the weight of unpacking, plowing through mail and bills and to-do’s, all with an eye on the month of May which has some HUGE deadlines for me. I haven’t seen a friend here in town in weeks, so I had this (really dumb) fleeting thought of, “Do I even HAVE any friends?” I’m starting a new regimen of physical therapy to hopefully help with my pain management and health goals (stress! guilt!). And I had to see the doctor again today to check my blood counts on my (annoyingly persistent) FUO (fever of unknown origin). All while chasing an extremely active twenty month-old who LOVES being outside and is really getting into climbing HIGH and hurtling herself down slides (or just stepping off of the side of playground equipment) … and yesterday, out of the blue, my seven year-old (NO JOKE and no exaggeration) asked me:

“Mom? How do we even KNOW there is a God? And how do we KNOW that the gospel is REALLY true? Couldn’t it be that Jesus DIDN’T rise from the dead? And what about those disciples? Maybe they didn’t EVEN exist! How do we KNOW that they existed?”

And once I began to answer her (after commending her for asking such important questions), there were more. Seriously. It was like everything I’ve ever learned about epistemology, philosophy, theology, and faith were all put to the test in one giant wave of questions from this little pipsqueak of a darling girl. It was rigorous, but great. I guess I just sort of assumed I had a few years before we’d be having that conversation.

ANYWAY … like you, I’m sure, lots going on. Trials. Troubles. Temptations.

But all morning, God was so gracious to keep bringing my heart back to Him. Over and over again. Even with the financial stresses (a huge and easy area of temptation for me); even re: my ongoing health issues. God was so kind to remind me of His provision, His presence, His care. I was even preaching grace to myself re: the areas of my health struggles that I really am responsible for—what is gained by self-condemnation now? Conviction is one thing; condemnation is an entirely different thing and it doesn’t come from God.

I sat in the doctor’s waiting room and blood draw lab clearly the healthiest person there; I walked past the breast cancer wing and saw real suffering. I got to visit with TWO real-life friends here in Billings. I painted suncatchers with two (healthy, happy) little girls whom I love beyond words. I seriously thought to myself:

“How can the overarching emotion of my LIFE fail to be happiness and gratitude? I should be the most content and happy and GRATEFUL of women.”

And I prayed, moment by moment, for the grace to live gratefully. Happily.

Oh, there were moments of great success (hooray!). And huge moments of failure (apparently my sanctification really doesn’t extend much past 5:30PM). But overall, I truly say thank You, God. Thank You for helping me to repent of complaining and whining and self-focused, faithless, loveless living. And thank You for helping me to be happy and grateful. Just a little bit today. And a little bit more tomorrow, I pray. Blessed. Hessed. Happy.

I hope your Thursday was a good one too!

Goodnight and sweet dreams,
Tara B.