One of our family’s Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the table at dinner time and share what you are thankful this year. As my turn came, I found myself getting very emotional. As I started to share, I realized that this year has been quite a year for me. I have gone through a lot of change with the loss of my job, my dog and having to move my mom into a nursing facility. But this year has also brought some incredible blessings for which I am incredibly thankful. So I as reflect on this season, here are three things that I am thankful for:
My Family – this year we were able to add a new family member. It was such a joy to be able to marry our son Colin and Katelyn last January. It is so much fun to see the two of them and their love for each other. When I lost my job, it was my family who came to my side to support and encourage me. As I wrote my book that is coming out soon, they were there to provide input, share ideas and push me to keep moving forward. They helped with design work and they were the reason why the book was completed and ready to print.
My relationship with God – this past year has been a year of incredible growth in understanding how God loves me. I have learned to be better at putting my trust in Him and letting go of my own control. Losing your job is never easy, but because of being unemployed it gave me an opportunity to put my trust in God fully, and He has not let me down. He has provided for our needs, directed us to new opportunities and shown us that His plans are always greater than our own. If you asked me a year ago what I would be doing now, I would never have guessed that we would have started a non-profit, a publishing company, written a book. In addition, we are working with other non-profits and doing ministry with churches and youth in Ukraine.
Friendships – Going through difficult times really helps you see who your friends are. This past year we have seen the encouragement from old friends and we have had the opportunity to build new friendships with the margin we now had. It was fun to reconnect with old friends that our work had caused us to not have enough time for. As with any change, we have also had to say goodbye to people who we no longer connected with because of not working together.
What are you thankful for this year? What will God do in your life this next year?