Happy Thanksgiving! I am spending the day eating tons of food and playing endless board and card games with my family! But, let’s be honest, this year has been ROUGH to say the least. COVID has changed lots of plans and events for everyone. And for me, it’s changed a lot more. It has brought up issues with anxiety and depression that I never thought I’d have. It has made me angry and upset and has made me realize how fragile life is. But I will say, that it’s also brought me hope. Which is weird, I know.
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, right? Well, I’ve always felt like a pretty grateful person. Until this year. haha. I’ve been dealing with crazy amounts of anxiety and bouts of depression. And while I think most of it is situational, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with . . . or talk about. But I’ve realized that sharing our struggles doesn’t make us weak, it makes us brave. So here I am. Sharing.
I have had so many attitude shifts in the past year that it’s hard to even count all the things I’ve learned. But I think one of the biggest shifts I’ve had is about gratitude. I’ve kind of always had this feeling that we just need to be grateful for what we have and that’s enough. But I have learned and am still learning that gratitude is more than just being grateful. Gratitude is a way of looking at life, a perspective, an attitude. It’s hoping for better days and believing that they will come. It’s praying for strength to see the good and to feel the good. It’s realizing that some days are hard and that’s okay.
We moved to Oregon about a year and a half ago and I’ve spent most, if not all of that time being mad. I’ve been mad that I’m not close to family. I’ve been mad that I have to learn new places and make new friends. I’ve been mad that the pandemic has ruined a lot of things for me and I’ve been mad that I’m even dealing with depression and anxiety. … But here’s the hard truth… and the truth that having true gratitude has taught me.
… There is no way I could have grown the way I have if all these things had not happened. It doesn’t mean it sucks any less or it’s any easier to deal with. But it does mean that once I get through this hard time, I can look back at it and be grateful… I can look at it now and be grateful. I can have gratitude that my Heavenly Father sees something in me that if I didn’t work on would really de-rail me. I can have gratitude that He’s letting me go through this now to help me in the future.. and to help others in the future.
So, while this Thanksgiving may look much different for most of us, maybe we can take a moment to think about gratitude. To think about how this will shape and change us for the better. And maybe in a few years when we’re not so annoyed and scared, we’ll be grateful for this.