. . . SO MANY THINGS!!
Though my life was turned upside down and there are still so many unknowns, still such an empty place in our house, still such a hole in my heart, I am able to say that I AM THANKFUL!
My "Jesus Calling" devotional the other day said, "Many things feel out of control. Your routines are not running smoothly . . . you tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable . . . let Me lead you to the Rock that is higher than you and your circumstances . . . take refuge in the shelter of My wings, where you are absolutely secure . . . when you are shaken . . . grip My hand tightly . . . I lead you on from glory to glory, making you fit for My kingdom . . . trust Me, and don't be afraid"!
I am THANKFUL that my LORD is always there! I am THANKFUL that HE knows that things won't always make sense to me (us). I am THANKFUL that I have been able to GRIP HIS HAND TIGHTLY, to TAKE SHELTER IN THE SHELTER OF HIS WINGS. I am THANKFUL that I have always felt HIM holding me - even when the bottom dropped out of my life!
I'm also thankful for the friends that HE brings into my life. I'm so very thankful for the wonderful friends that I've had for many years - some who live here, some who are far away, but still are just a phone call, a text or an e-mail away.
Another group of friends that I'm so thankful for are those that 6 months ago, I'd NEVER have dreamed I would have reason to know. Those are my "new" friends. Most of them only known by a name and a picture on the computer, yet each of them friends just the same as we share a common thread. We all are walking this unknown road of being a widow. I'm thankful for the modern marvel of technology that has led me to these ladies. It's amazing to find that some of the feelings that I have that seem pretty crazy, aren't crazy at all! I HAVE had the opportunity to have deeper "conversations" with some of these ladies through e-mails, "snail mail" and by phone - sharing our hearts with each other! A dear former widow began a "private" Facebook group for widows only called "Lifeboat" . . . what an appropriate name . . . it's the "lifeboat" that we boarded the day our dear husbands went to Jesus - our "lifeboat" to ride for a time, until we are safely to shore! It's a safe haven, and a blessing that wasn't available to her when she became a "young widow" years ago. She is using her hurts, her triumphs, her loss, and her love to reach out to others! That is what my prayer is, that some day, in some way, I MIGHT be able to do that for others!
My kids have been such a source of thankfulness, I can't even begin to describe it! I love them - all 5 of them - more than any of them will ever know! Though my 2 "big" kids aren't really "mine", I'm thankful to their Mom for sharing them with me! I'm thankful for the blessing they bring to me! My 3 "littles" who are home with me bring more joy to me than I can describe! Even though nothing is the same as it was before, and nothing will ever be the same, we still love and we still LAUGH . . . and trust me, we laugh ALOT!! Often it's "them" laughing at "me", but, I'm getting older, I understand, I'm just funny!! :)
Tonight, I just needed to share that. As strange as it might sound, I'm still able to be thankful! I'm still able to look around me and see that there are still blessings beyond measure in my every day! I'm thankful that the Lord has given me the strength to see things through His eyes! That even when things seem the darkest and bleakest, He is still there. He still holds on and He still longs to bring joy and peace and thankfulness!