Hello Everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s that time of year again when the holiday season seems to rush in like a tsunami and we can get so busy preparing for those special days that we almost don’t get to enjoy them when they do arrive. Nevertheless, they are special and they bring out heartfelt memories and warm thoughts about the people we love.
Thanksgiving is extra special because it helps us reflect on all the reasons we have to be thankful. Thankful to God for having blessed our lives with family, friends, prosperity, good health and everything that touches us to make our lives more meaningful. It brings about laughter and joy of family gatherings; and excited anticipation of the Advent and Christmas season to follow.
However, it is also a time of mixed feelings because of the difficulties we sometimes battle due to health reasons affecting us or a family member; or the loss we feel for those people who have died and are no longer with us to share the day or the beautiful season ahead. Then there are those who have decided to no longer be a part of our lives and with each passing day the chasm seems to become more and more impossible to bridge.
This year, I will celebrate the holiday season with somewhat mixed feelings; the main reason being that I still miss my Mom dearly and won’t be sharing the day with family. That situation creates an emotional pain and numbness within that is not easily dismissed or forgotten. Needless to say, it is a difficult time and a bit tough to deal with, but once the day is behind, the pain becomes less and less until I no longer feel the sadness.
Another reason attributing for my mixed feelings is due to the emptiness created from the loss of love of some family members and the relationship with some friends. Having gone through many changes in my life, especially over the last few years and most dramatically in the past year, I knew the possibility of being on the outside looking in existed. I say this because these changes have resulted in some family members and friends making the decision to alienate from me. Some, although professing their support and friendship, have drifted away and no longer contact me. On occasion, when we have met, they extricated themselves from my presence as quickly as possible as though I had the plague. Others have simply resorted to shunning me completely. Needless to say, both situations have hurt because, after all, I am still a person with feelings and still the same person in my heart that I have always been. I have done nothing wrong nor have I affronted any of them.
A dear friend of mine once taught me that when things happen, ask myself this question: “What is it that God wants me to learn from this?” That one little phrase is the catalyst for this letter. I have come to know in my heart that God knew exactly how and in what direction my life would take and that He loves me just the same. I know in my heart that He wants me to pray for those who have chosen to judge me. He wants me to pray that they may grow in strength and trust in their faith and to love others as He loves them. Most importantly, God wants me to forgive and love them just the same. Thankfully, I have reached that milestone.
This is the Beautiful Thanksgiving gift God has given me this year. I am so thankful for all the people who have touched my life and been a part of it because my life undoubtedly has been enriched through my relationships with them. They were before, and are now, a blessing in my life because I am learning that through their decisions to sever their relationship with me I can become a stronger person with a stronger character as I continue my journey to live my life honestly. I have already realized how my faith and trust in God has strengthened and I’m relishing every bit of it.
Lastly, I am so very thankful for all those who have bravely allowed their faith and trust in God to reach out to me with love, compassion, support and true friendship in spite of what others may say and feel about them for doing so. There is no doubt I have been and continue to go through major changes in my life, but one thing is constant: I have learned that my relationship with God is more beautiful and wonderful than it has ever been; that my relationships with those family members and friends who are still here with me is honest, true and completely sincere; and lastly, that I have the capacity to forgive and love beyond what I ever comprehended was possible.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and may all of you enjoy the blessings that God has and continues to bestow upon you and your families!
With much love,
November 25, 2013