This Thanksgiving 2015, I have come to realize, a negative aspect of myself. I am not thankful! Throughout my life, I have never had this huge and happy family that celebrates holidays together. As a child, holidays always ended in everyone getting drunk and huge ripping/roaring domestic violence problems. It was not uncommon for the police to end up at our house on any given day, especially on holidays. As I grew older, I left the violent environment, but the brokenness within my heart followed me throughout my journey. Part of this brokenness, was that holidays always reminded me of “what I didn’t have”, A “happy” and “caring” family. Leaving a deep-rooted sadness deep within my heart on holidays, rather than a thankful heart.
Unfortunately, I have spent every holiday continually focused on the fact that I don’t have a big, happy, and loving family to share holidays. In general, I have never really struggled with an envious spirit. Yet, the one thing I do envy, is other people’s “wonderful” families. I am not a particularly envious person, I don’t covet people with big homes, name brand purses, or fancy cars. I do envy people, with loving mothers and fathers, many close siblings, and big happy families. God convicted me in this area and I realize this is just as sinful as envying “material” items. God revealed this area of my heart and desires for me to find true healing from this broken area within my heart.
Throughout my life, I have spent much of my time wishing for the “perfect” extended family. I have often failed to recognize the joy and the blessing of my immediate family, my husband and children. I feel like a total hypocrite, as I tell my children on a daily basis, “Be thankful for what you have! Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and focus on what you do have!” You see, I have been so focused on “all that I don’t have or feel I missed out on”, that I have failed to focus on the greatest blessings. God, my husband, and my children are the greatest blessings I have on this Earth.
As an adult, I am married to a wonderful man, and we are blessed with 4 wonderful children. I have a family! A wonderful family! Why do I become so “hyper-focused” on the family I never had, when I have the family of my dreams right in front of me?
I have taken time this week and prayed fervently to God for peace and understanding. He revealed to me, my “unthankful” heart. He revealed an unhealthy focus on my “ideal and perfect” extended family. God is teaching me the importance of focusing intently on the blessings in front of me, rather than focusing on the areas I feel I was shorted in life.
This year, my focus has been on God, my husband, and my children. God is good! He is revealing broken places within the deepest places of my self and guiding me through the route of pure healing. In this situation, true healing arose from being aware of my “unthankful” self and recognizing the importance of being thankful for the blessings before me.
Thanksgiving 2015, has bee filled with joy, love, laughter, family, and friends. This Thanksgiving, has been documented, as a time of healing and genuine thankfulness. Simply because, instead of focusing on “what I don’t have”, I have focused intently on “what I do have”.
As I reach to turn out the light on another Thanksgiving coming to a close, my heart is filled with joy, peace, and love. Today, I am “thankful”, truly “thankful”, for a life full of abundant blessings!
Psalm 106:1 “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”