The choice to be thankful

Isn’t it true that sometimes the most difficult seasons of life force us to be the most thankful? I am in that place today. There are a number of challenges confronting our little family, and yet in each of these situations, God is enabling my heart to see good things and be grateful, even if only for small moments at a time.

InterVarsity Press, like most publishers nationwide, is struggling financially and has taken some drastic steps to alleviate that burden. Jeff learned recently that he’ll be taking a pay cut, which will remain in effect for at least the next 18 months. This is bad news.
And yet we can be grateful that Jeff still has his job at all. In a time when thousands of companies are downsizing, we cannot take Jeff’s employment for granted. No matter how much (or little) he is getting paid, the fact is that he is getting paid. And right now that is a blessing.

And speaking of money, it’s become clear to Jeff and me that we are quickly depleting our savings, just for basic living expenses. Our savings is meant to be a down payment on a house someday, whenever we figure out where the heck we want to settle down. But at this rate, when that time comes, we won’t have a savings anymore.
But in the meantime, we have a roof over our heads. We have food on the table. We have no credit card debt. And our family is happy and healthy. With or without a cushy nest egg, I am grateful for the provisions we see every day.

Last week Jeff and I went to the doctor for my routine ultrasound. The doctor discovered two things that are causes for mild concern: a possible obstruction between baby’s left kidney and the bladder, and the location of the umbilical cord’s connection to the placenta. I’ll be going back for monthly ultrasounds so that the doctor can keep an eye on these concerns. There is a lot of potential here for anxiety as this pregnancy progresses.
And yet there are so many reasons to be thankful. The doctor finished our appointment by saying, “I’m confident that this baby will be just fine.” I am grateful for the midwives who are tending to this pregnancy; for the wonderful little movements and kicks that assure me of baby’s activity; and for the thrilling news that Baby Reimer #2 is a girl! I’m so excited to see our sweet and sensitive Charlieboy with his baby sister.

So, yes. We’re facing a few unknowns. And sometimes these unknowns feel oppressive and insurmountable. But we know with great confidence that God is bigger than these situations and, more importantly, that he is with us in the midst of them.

I don’t think I would quite call this season of my life, or even these circumstances, a “disaster,” but I came across this verse recently and found myself drawn to the strong language:
“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.” (Psalm 57:1 NIV)

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4 responses to “The choice to be thankful

  1. Thankfulness truly is a choice…I pray that hard times pass quickly and that God continues to sustain you through it all. And know that I am praying for you during this pregnancy…and always really. 🙂

  2. Beautifully said, Jess. There’s an old song that was probably taken from this Psalm. Here is the song:

    Til the Storm Passes By

    In the dark of the midnight
    Have I oft hid my face
    While the storms howl above me
    And there’s no hiding place
    Midst the crash of the thunder
    Precious Lord, hear my cry
    Keep me safe till the storm passes by

    Till the storm passes over
    Till the thunder sounds no more
    Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
    Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
    Keep me safe till the storm passes by
    ~Mosie Lister

  3. Thanks for sharing your heart’s struggles and thankfulness, Jess! It’s almost like being together for a wives night. What a great reminder that there are always blessings to thank God for … and how joyful to find out that the new little one is a GIRL!

  4. A girl!!! We’re so excited for you guys. We’re praying for you. Thanks for sharing.

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