It’s Thanksgiving week and while this has been a rough year (rough couple years really), with the pandemic, my health issues, and a lot of other stuff going on around the world, it’s often tough to remember we have so much to be thankful for.
I’m gonna list some of the things I’m thankful for. This list will be a bit different in that you won’t find the normal thanksgiving of family, health, job…. which of course I’m thankful for, but I wanted to list some of the things that I’m thankful for that might not be as expected.
- I’m thankful for the journey I’m on. Which journey you might ask? Well it’s the journey of having cancer. Why would I be thankful for having cancer? Well I’m not. I’m thankful for the journey this has started me on. One I couldn’t have taken otherwise.
This journey has brought me closer to God. It has given me the courage and desire to speak open and honestly about my faith. I’ve met so many people that even in small ways, they can see Jesus working through me. And I’ve heard that there are many out there being moved to action because of my journey, whether that’s getting their own health checkups or being moved to share their own faith, or even to reevaluate the relationship with Christ.
The journey has truly been a blessing and if it took getting cancer to move on with this journey, then so be it.
- I’m thankful that I’m going through this and not my children. Here’s the father coming out in me. My four children have always had relatively good health when I see so many other young children going through much worse than I even am. I pray that none of my children never develop this or any other sort of cancer. If me carrying this burden for them, so they can lead a long healthy life, is what it takes, then I’m all in.
I’m also thankful that because of my diagnosis, they will get checked out sooner than I did because there is now a direct family history. I had no direct history. If anything it was back generations and we might not have even known what it was back then. But now my children can say, “Yes my father had it” and perhaps doctors will take a closer look or run a few extra tests so if anything is developing, it can be taken care of quickly.
- I’m thankful for the community I live in. I live, as most of my readers know, in a small community where everyone knows just about everyone. My wife and I have been here our entire lives. We grew up, went to school here, got married, lived here and raised our own children and they went to our alma mater.
The community has rallied around us in so many ways I can’t speak to them all, nor could I thank everyone individually. But it’s not just us. Every time there is tragedy, illness, accident or whatever, so many individuals and organizations come together to help with the needs. I know this isn’t unique to our community, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
- I’m thankful for the little things. My journey has made me slow down and recognize the little things. I see and hear the birds more clearly. I see the sunrise and appreciate the warmth on my skin. I look at the night sky and appreciate the majesty of it all.
The small moments with other people, even just a quick hello or wave are so much more meaningful. I see a lot of very sick and sad people on my days at the doctors. I’m thankful I’ve been given joy and happiness despite the circumstances and I fully believe God has built me my entire life for this moment. He has given me a good sense of humor that I can make others laugh and bring some joy to a sad place. If even one person finds their own joy then it is all worth it.
I’ve said this for years….the little things matter.
I could go on and on about the things I’m thankful for, but let me end it here with one last one. I’m thankful for a God that loves me despite my failures. A God that loves me enough that he sent his son, Jesus, to die for me and cover my sins and failures. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit that resides in me know and gives the joy and keeps the fear away and gives me the power I need to not only make it through my own journey, but to bless those I meet along the away.
I hope everyone can find those things that they are thankful for this week and every week. God bless you all!