Last week I found myself in three different conversations about gratitude. Every time someone would mention anything difficult or challenging going on in life, there was always one or more people willing to correct that person’s perspective with a pep talk on the importance of gratitude. Two days later I saw a gratitude challenge floating around Facebook: name one thing you’re grateful for every day.
Don’t get me wrong, gratitude is important. In fact, I like the topic so much I speak to my boys about it every night before bed. But it’s all got me thinking.
Does being grateful always have to be about something positive? If you’re feeling blue, must we always find a way to cheer ourselves up? Is the happiness of smiling and laughter how we’re supposed to feel all the time or is that just culture’s way of preaching a method to help us cope with life’s trials and tragedies?
Why can’t there be gratitude for struggle, for growth, for change, for uncertainty, for discipline? – things that cause pain, and tears, and hardships.
Hence why I started a personal project.
On January 5th I started my first entry: “As I wait in this season of limbo, I’m learning more and more about the person I am. Most days I’m saddened by my state of ugliness, but today I find myself humbly aware of my need of a Savior. This journey has led me to deep place of repentance and there is no other journey I’d rather be taking… as difficult as it is to live.”
The lesson? Places of brokenness are where we discover the depth of God’s grace.
What I’m grateful for? That there is always a lesson!
Whether you’re laughing or crying, smiling or fighting to find a smile, I believe God is there. I believe He’s holding you, guiding you, growing you, stretching you, and leading you to good places.
Your job while you laugh AND while you cry are to find the lessons – which are definitely things to be grateful for!
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.”