Giving thanks in all circumstances

"Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever" psalm 136:1

It makes sense to me why thanksgiving would be hard for me this year. After a year of feeling the lack and desiring something so badly and never getting it, it makes sense to me that THANKING god may not come easily.
But that's not my experience. It is beyond me, but somehow I feel overwhelmed with blessing this year. This last year has taught me to be thankful in many small ways. All too easily I can become focused on my desire to have a baby, comparing our story to that of friends who conceived easily, or took time to conceive but now have a baby. I can get consumed with thoughts of WANT. But when I catch myself feeling the LACK, and shift my perspective on everything I've been given, something switches inside of me. I begin to feel joyful. I am thankful for my husband (oh the days I spent worrying I would never get married, how I didn't want to be alone! But now I'm married!! That in itself is a miracle :) I am thankful for my cozy home, my safe place of comfort and warmth. I'm thankful for real relationships. I'm thankful I'm alive, that I survived the battle with mental illness.

"Be thankful in all circumstances" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Not FOR all circumstances, but IN all circumstances! Am I thankful that we're struggling with infertility? No. But in the midst of this struggle I am finding very real things to be thankful for.

"I'd say you'd do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse" Philippians 4:8 the msg

I love that verse and feel its truth in every day. For me, this means to put away the pregnancy apps on my phone, to stop reading forums of people struggling with infertility, to stop comparing our journey to those around me, and to focus on all things beautiful. To meditate on truth and grace and praise. The mind is a powerful tool, friend, what we think about is very powerful in how we act, respond, worship, connect. It is so much easier to give thanks when I'm filling my mind with truth, instead of hopelessness and worry.

One last thing I'd like to say is a huge and meaningful THANK YOU, to everyone who has texted, messaged, commented, emailed etc. You have all impacted my journey and made me feel so loved and encouraged. It is honestly amazing what can happen when people join together and encourage and support one another. I have felt such warm fuzzies from all your prayers, they are just so powerful! You guys are awesome!

A blogger I follow, Ruth Simons, recently said " it's not our mutual circumstances that bind us together, friend, it is our mutual hope". We are ALL going through something, we all have a story, a unique story, that deserved to be heard. What binds us together is our mutual HOPE, hope that there is something more to this present suffering, hope that this struggle with push us closer and closer into the arms of Jesus.

With love,
R