A New Take on Gratitude

This year, “being thankful” doesn’t quite look the same for me as it has in the past. I’m dealing with a different type of brokenness that I’ve never experienced before.

My Thanksgiving plans have been tossed high into the air in light of my current physical plight. As I write this, rather than being home enjoying the company of a dear friend who literally traveled across the world to visit me, I am sitting in a patient room hooked up to machines. Rather than breathing in the scent of pumpkin spice and listening to relaxing holiday music, I’m surrounded by the sterile scent of antiseptic whilst the various hums and beeps of the machines monitoring my vital signs serve as my soundtrack.

I am feeling discouraged, doubtful and somewhat sad, but that does not mean that I am not also experiencing gratefulness.

I used to try to alleviate my suffering by emotionally isolating myself. I never wanted people to know what struggles I was facing. I was always so conscious of what I let others know and see, fearing that my concerns were invalid because somewhere, there are people out there who have it worse off than I do. I believed that allowing people to see that I was feeling down about things would be interpreted as me being ungrateful for the positive things in my life. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This year, I am learning that gratitude stems from being known, from being connected to God and to others by sharing our brokenness and being transparent. Being thankful does not take away our struggles.

It takes courage to be broken.

I have this amazing group of wildly encouraging women who just pour out love over me whenever I reach out and share pieces of my brokenness with them. Despite their willingness to lift me up, a part of me hesitates each time I reach out, unnecessarily fearing the worst. Yet each and every time, when I make the choice to let go, I realize that there is beauty among the devastation. It is okay to be broken and real.

This year, through my journey of brokenness, I choose to give thanks. I don’t give thanks because I am strong or have it all together. I give thanks because through my flaws and circumstances, I am surrounded by those who love me, and I am held together by a God who chose me through it all.

Stay safe friends,
Hozza Marie

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