Gratitude

Every once in a while, I look up from where my shoulder meets the wheel and think, “Holy hell, who’s life is this? And why am I not utterly, terrifyingly, panicked?” Part of me- the part that remembers my life before I had Faith- knows I should be curled up in a shaking ball, peeking from between quivering fingers. And yet… I’m not. It’s odd. Is it shock? Is it faith? Is it foolishness? Perhaps yes to all of them.

I remember life before prayers were familiar and comfortable. I remember when I had never cracked a bible, and thought of Jesus of Nazareth as a mildly cool guy that had some good ideas. I remember not knowing the safety and comfort of the Gospel. I find it curious- all around me is chaos and dismay; I can’t even watch the news these days- and yet, I feel insulated, loved, and even protected. It feels like nothing so much as a life raft. Instead of being in the icy rapids of the raging river, I’m on a raft. I get wet, yes, and I can see the crazy whitewater- yet I am floated over the hardest dips and jagged edges in my flexible and strong boat.

This is prayer. I know, with all my heart, prayers are the life raft. Prayers of loved ones, friends, and many people I’ve never, and will never, meet. Prayers from the rolls of Temples all across the country- these are what carry me over the hard rocks, and sustains me and my children.

Can I prove it? No. That doesn’t make it less true. To quote the letter to Virginia from so long ago- Some of the most real things in the world are the things you can’t see.

Through all these trials this year, I have been blessed. I have been loved, and the wagons have circled around me and my children, giving us sustenance, protection and hope. Virtual strangers email me almost daily, sharing stories from their lives, thanking me for sharing my stories. I struggle with feeling my offering is paltry, and yet the love and support continue to pour in. The list of my blessings and gratitude is longer than I could possibly name.

It is an embarrassment of riches, were I to try to catalog it.

My heart is humbled by what is being done for me and my children. Of one thing I am certain; there is no earthly way for me to ever repay the people who have circled around me, who have given me shelter in the storm, who have loved me and preformed miracles. Indeed, no repayment is humanly possible.

Miracles happen. They happen as normal, everyday people reach out to others in their hour of need. Hands that wipe the brow, sop the tears, hold the weeping and grieving, and hands that guide the traces of the wagons into that tight, loving, safe circle. Those hands are working miracles. Those hands are the hands of Christ.

13 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Thanks, so beautiful.

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who switches from grief to glory in 48 hours (or less). There are days I feel so gloriously blessed that I wonder how I could ever doubt God. Then two days later I’m wiped out and wondering where he went. The memories and writings of the good days are vital to getting us through the bad ones.

  2. “Some of the most real things in the world are the things you can’t see.” i love this. i had to literally wipe tears from my eyes reading your post, your words hit home for me. i have so much to be thankful for and rely on prayer daily. i don’t know where i would be today without these unseen things. and i wouldn’t know how or where to begin repaying all the love and efforts of others. i can do the little things here and there where i can, opening a door, making up the change when someone falls short, even block a run away child from leaving the store while the momma chases behind, it doesn’t seem like much, but it makes a difference to the person on the receiving end… you’ve made a difference in my life and i feel i am a better person for having met you and i am grateful for that…

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