Thank You, for it all

Sitting here, stuffed and exhausted post Turkey day, I cannot help but feel extremely grateful! My feeling of gratitude surpasses the quintessential holiday many of us just celebrated this weekend. The week leading up to Thanksgiving my grandmother was losing her mind trying to get the house ready. I’m talking changing every curtain in the house, ripping up the bathroom tile (dead serious), waxing the floors at four in the morning- for all of five guests in total. Mind you her and myself were included in that number -_-. As she stressed herself out in preparation for the holiday, I spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving remembering where I was this time last year.

Freshly removed from all things familiar, jobless, suuuuuper broke, churchless, without any sense of direction, (this list goes on), but overall very depressed. I remember trying to pull myself out of that funk, because I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and every emotion felt very tangible. I would wake up each morning with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Each day greeted by this feeling of sadness/anger sitting at the foot of my bed waiting to climb back on my shoulders for another round. The moment I would wake up I knew, before opening my eyes, I had to tell God that I was grateful for something, literally anything, so that I could tackle the day. So our conversations started to sound something like this.

God I’m thankful for…

-Waking up this morning

-The ability to walk and breathe on my own

-That I have a bed to sleep in and clothes on my back

-For my family that loves me and encourages me

-For the strength to get up today

-For the ability to move my fingers and toes

-Having a clear and conscious state of mind

-For every autonomic function in my body working the way that it should (I’m a bit of a nerd)

This may sound absolutely ridiculous, or maybe even dramatic to you, but understand this. I didn’t say these things like a mantra or recite them casually. I literally prayed these “seemingly small” prayers as if my life depended upon it. As if I had once been a quadriplegic and had suddenly been given the ability to instantly walk again. Why and what did these prayers do for me? Showing gratitude saved me. One, it helped me realize how my situation and the emotions I was feeling, may have seemed valid, but in the grand scheme of things were not that bad. Two, being grateful, when on the outside “it looked like” I didn’t have much to be grateful for, gave me perspective.. Which led to hope. Hope led to becoming focused, and being focused gave me direction.


Fast forward to this year and I’m in a completely different place, and that alone is enough to be grateful. I also have to thank God for the difficulty of that time. If being humbled and having to fall on your face does anything for you, it should definitely cause some sort of redirection in an area of your life. Amen or Amen!? Last year, and the months of seemingly small mundane tasks in between, brought me to where I am now. Now I have the opportunity to pursue things I never thought I’d be a part of, and I’m so thankful. Like the Beatles say “All We Need is Love”, and they’re not wrong, but the most sincerest form of gratitude is what all of us need as well!

Expressing true thankfulness for the small things can alter the direction of your life. It brings contentment and a sense of peace while also giving you the motivation to do more. Gratitude goes beyond one day a year, and it goes beyond being grateful for external things. As the rest of 2018 comes to a close rather then being focused on what I think I missed out on this year, or what resolutions I never got around to completing I'm going to say Thank You instead. Thank you for the tears, laughter, hurt, frustrations, and for all the joy. Thank you for the big blessings, and thank you for the small everyday tasks that were teaching me while I was unaware.

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving this year, and I hope you remember all the things you have to be grateful for.



Chantel RiveraComment