Heavy Heart

I can’t sleep. My heart is heavy in the wee hours of this Thanksgiving morning. I am thinking about my friends. There are so many of you out there that have experienced tremendous grief this year. Several have lost spouses, or children, or parents. Some have lost homes or businesses. Just this week, three of my friends have had immediate family members diagnosed with cancer. As I write, I wonder how you are. I don’t know how you survive the loss you have experienced. I don’t know the feelings this day holds for you. I can only imagine the swirling emotions, and good but painful memories that spotlight loneliness. I have heard many people making jokes about dreading being with crazy family members this holiday. I wonder if they realize there are many who would give anything to be with their whole family for the day…no matter how crazy.
Thanksgiving is a day set aside to celebrate. If you have a hole in your family, the food doesn’t taste as good. The fellowship is missing. Grief gets the empty spot at the table. The day comes anyway. The food gets cooked and you try to find the new normal. You hold your chin up and move along to create new memories to keep the old ones company. Hope rises, because it cannot die completely. You have a new perspective on what thankfulness means. Life is fragile and you know that first hand, so you cherish it and every moment becomes a sacred, holy breath to celebrate. A new day.
I just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers this day. I ask God to hold each of you close to his heart. I ask him to bless you with friends and family that support you in your loss, and lift you up so that you can grasp hope. I ask him to rise up within you so that you can feel his presence and know that he never leaves you or forsakes you. I ask him to breathe his messages to your heart so you will know his love for you. I ask him to replace your mourning with his joy and the ashes for his beauty. I pray his richest blessings and comfort for you. I pray that the Holy Spirit would fill you up and overflow. I pray that you would have an amazing, grace-filled day in which you see his face in the faces of your family. Happy Thanksgiving my friends. Hold tight.

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