Today, I am thankful for the people in my life I love and care about. Yesterday as I was rushing around getting last-minute dinner items, buying gifts, preparing food, and cleaning up, my mind was swirling with friends who are going through this Thanksgiving and Christmas season with heavy hearts. Some have been recently diagnosed with serious illnesses, some have invisible hurts that are magnified during the holiday season. I kept remembering friend after friend living with devastating loss during these weeks. Death leaves an empty heart where relationship belongs.
I’m not going to list names we all have precious friends experiencing heartbreak, fear, and loss this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas which is supposed to be the most joyful time of the year.
Today is Thanksgiving day. Yesterday, I heard that in Michigan alone 3 million people are going to travel in some form (plane, bus, car) for Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of gathering, isn’t it? But still, there are people who are anything but joyful because they are going through hurts only they know about.
A few months ago every time I heard songs on the radio, one of them was this song. The first few lines are:
If I had only known the last time would be the last time
I would’ve put off all the things I had to do
I would’ve stayed a little longer, held on a little tighter
Now what I’d give for one more day with you.
~Song Scars In Heaven by John Mark Hall / Matthew West performed by Casting Crowns
No matter how hard I try, I will never be perfect. My most pure intentions to be thoughtful, kind, and loving fall short. I am a flawed person. But may I never take for granted the people God has put in my life and the experiences he intends to develop through those relationships.
May I remember that I can’t fix anything and I can’t fill an empty heart, but I can fill conversation and actions with kindness, encouragement, and qualities found in Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
My prayer for friends going through fear, loss, and stages of grief is that God shows them favor and blesses them immeasurably.
“Please bless ______ with a peaceful heart. Give them abundance spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. Show your favor in their life and be close to them as you promise to be close to the brokenhearted. Create special moments that bring them comfort and make them feel like they matter. Fill them up with your spirit. Protect their relationships and surround them with love. Thank you for your promises. God, you are good and only do good.”
Today, I am thanking God for what I have and praying for others whose sadness is acute and whose losses are forever.