This morning, I gave some thought about gratefulness and gratitude. We all know that we are to be grateful for what we have. This seems to be a no-brainer for most, and yet one more thing to feel guilty about (if you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I don’t hold back, and today is no exception).

But what about the things that we haven’t been given?

Thinking back over some of the places I’ve been and people I’ve met, there have been some cups that God has taken from me. When I was a newly separated single mother, my girls were part of a brownie troop with a girl who had a peanut allergy. This was my first experience with understanding that a child could experience a life-threatening condition just by exposure to a food. And then later that year, her watchful and loving mother was taken overnight due to a brain aneurysm, leaving her father to raise her and her brothers. The shock reverberated through the community, it was so sudden and unexpected.

And it wouldn’t be the last.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Time after time, I would see women, with families, struck by tragedies that God kept from me. Why? He didn’t share. Of course, I did walk through hard times and drama, and when I look at my inventory (4th step), I can see that much of it was a result of choices made earlier in reaction instead of response to my world. I’ve only had one health scare, and it was minor at best, resulting in surgical removal of a no-longer needed part of me (I’ll spare you the details) and everything ended up fine. The healing process tested my recovery, and was a journey in and of itself. It could have been so much worse.

That diagnosis could have changed my life, or even brought it to a rapid conclusion, but God has determined that I wake up today. I used to fight the urge to feel guilty because of my poor self-image about lovely, strong, capable ladies being taken before their time, and me, a broken wreck being left here. But I had to stop that. Why? Because I dishonored God, myself and those who came before me. Waking up this morning for me means I have a purpose to fulfill, so I seek to find what that is and do it wholeheartedly. Not to say I hit the mark every time, or even most of the time, but I understand the concept. And I surround myself in counsel with others who have the same attitude.

I am grateful that it is Christ’s love within me that keeps my heart willing and teachable, His peace calms the storms in my mind, and His strength keeps me strong, even when I haven’t a drop of courage to go on.

And I am grateful for family and each of my dear friends in recovery. Much love and gratefulness to you today!

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live
ECC 3:11-12