I know it hurts….I know some days, all you want to do is take a breath….some days you might want to not even do that….

A year ago, a friend of mine lost his battle with cancer. He left a wife with 6 children, from college age to a 1-year-old. How can life be so cruel? How can the pain go beyond what you can handle?

This week, my wife had a friend at work who lost her husband to cancer. She has another that is ready to as well. Why? Does any explanation even matter, since it rarely brings any kind of peace or understanding?

I continue to have friends give up on their marriages and feel that the grass on the other side is better or having to deal with a spouse that did….some days I wonder why I even speak my mind.

When we get to points in our lives and are hanging on by hangnails because our fingernails have all but worn out, what next?

THANKFULNESS

No amount of advice or counseling can do what thankfulness does.

When you can give thanks in the midst of your trials and your pain, you are choosing to put your pain aside to recognize what you have, not what you have lost.

It may sound too simple, but let me reassure you it is not easy. If you are thinking that you can heal from any kind of pain without being thankful, especially the loss of a loved one or a marriage, than you are mistaken.

Take a few minutes right now and grab a notepad or your journal. I would like you to do something for yourself.

Make a list of all the things you can think of that you have that you are thankful for still having. Do you have children, even though you may now be a single parent? Do you have a job, even though you will need to move to a cheaper home or apartment? Do you still have those friends that are standing with you through thick and thin, even though your best friend(s) may have left you?

If you cannot come up with at least 10 things you can put on your list, let me give you 10. Maybe you will just need help to start, but take this seriously. You can come up with a lot of things you can be thankful for including;

Life, breath, peace, family, friends, parents, children, health, job, wisdom, insight, relationships, church family, hobbies, nature, etc…

If you have not done your list of at least 10, stop and go back and do it. You will need it to move on to the next point I want to make. Please, it is vital to your healing……

Next, I want you to find a place where you can be alone and quiet for a few minutes. Read your list OUT LOUD.(Very important). Read them out loud in this manner, “I am thankful for _________________.” Stop and really think about that person/thing that you have written down. Why are you thankful for them? Why did you write those down?

Now take your list and make at least 2 other copies of it. Condense them if you need onto a smaller 5×7 card, notepad sheet, etc… Why 2 more copies? Just trust me..

Are you done with the last point? If you are ready, then I am going to ask you to make a choice to do one of 2 things. Every choice we make has consequences, so decide wisely.

Take your lists and hold them in your hand. Now, decide to be thankful for everything you wrote on those lists, DAILY!!! How you are going to do this is to place these three lists in three different locations. I would place one with your bible, place one on your bathroom mirror, and place the other one at your job where you will see it every day. Will you do that?

By seeing what you are thankful for each and every day you will have something to hold onto, something to show you that will forever change without you!!!

Take a few minutes whenever you see these lists to stop and just thank God for the people and things on your lists. He already knows them, but wants you to realize how important they are and that they are actually blessings from Him to you.

Do you know why they are blessings? Because He thought enough to give them to you and entrust them to you. They are important to you, but they are even more important to Him. They are what connects you to Him in this time of heartache and pain.

So what is the other choice? Simple. With those lists in your hand, get up and go over to the trashcan and throw them away. Simple, right?

Be thankful for what you have. Someone is thankful they have you, especially God.

 

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