The season of Thanksgiving always makes me nostalgic and I love being retrospective and reflecting on all the blessings I’ve experienced over the years.
Today I re-read some of my earliest entries from a now unused blog I started five years ago when I was recovering from my cancer surgery. Comparing my life then to where I am today evokes emotions that bring me humility and gratitude.
Here’s a quick look backwards:
- November 2005 – Five years ago, I was so thankful to be alive. My cancer diagnosis that summer frightened me, brought me to my knees, and made me realize how much of my life I took for granted. It also caused me to examine a bitterness that had taken root in my heart. Through much prayer and atonement, not only did I praise God for His forgiveness, but I came to fully forgive others. The chains of bitterness that encircled my heart were broken!
- November 2006 – I was happy and grateful to have been given another year of life to witness our son’s senior year of high school, tearfully and proudly watch him graduate from high school as valedictorian of his class, and send him off to college. I was also very thankful for the high quality medical care in our city for middle daughter’s concussion treatment, appreciative for oldest daughter living in the city nearby, and so fortunate to enjoy time spent with my elderly father.
- November 2007 – Another year graciously given to me chock full of blessings. Despite some set-backs, God was working in all three of our children’s lives while teaching lessons about careers, college life, and loving relationships. Good medical results from cancer screenings for me provided more fodder for my grateful heart. We celebrated the holiday at my middle sister’s home with a feast of her awesome good cooking – always something for which to be thankful!
- November 2008 – Celebrating Thanksgiving that year, we had a full house – my father, my sister and her family, and all of my own family, especially wonderful since oldest daughter had moved to another state. What a joy it was to sit at our bountiful table with some of the people I love the most, name and count our blessings, one by one.
- November 2009 – Last year’s celebration at Thanksgiving was quiet and reflective. Hubby was unemployed, and we had just lost my father the past summer. Grief was still fresh, especially on the first holiday without him. But oh, there was so much for which to be thankful! God supplied our needs, and we were warm in our home, had plenty to eat. Middle daughter had graduated from college and launched her nursing career. Son had scholarship money to pay for his next semester of college. Oldest daughter safely traveled home from the south for the holiday. My father had lived a long, full, rewarding life of 90 years. God took him home quickly before his suffering became too difficult and for that I was also thankful.
So many life events, some wonderful, some daunting, occurred during the last five years. But through them all, the Lord has taught me lessons that needed learned, shown me grace, forgiveness and His faithfulness. The blessings overflow like the goodies in a horn of plenty – a cornucopia of God’s love.