Lately, my mind keeps going to ways and reasons I should be thankful. In so many ways, this theme has surfaced.
First, my oldest daughter starts kindergarten in a month and a half! Yikes! Part of me wants to say, “Where has the time gone? She can’t really be that age!” Then, I make myself stop and be happy. That’s not an easy thing for me to do. It is so much easier for me to sit and dwell in the fact that time is moving much too rapidly for my liking. Once I decide to be happy for her and with her, my world brightens.
When I think about all the things that I have been able to see and do with her because God blessed me to be at home with her for the last 5 years, I am humbled. When she was born, I didn’t think there would be a remote chance of me staying home fulltime. God knew better. I prayed and prayed to be able to be home with my daughter, to help raise her, to see all of her “firsts”. Some of my reasons for praying were selfish, I admit it. I just wanted to be “there”. Other reasons were much deeper. God heard my prayers, and I am thankful he answered them in the way that I had hoped. I realize he didn’t have to, and I’m grateful he did.
Then a few weeks ago, my husband started getting sick. This doesn’t sound like something that would make me thankful, but hear me out. I kept pushing him to go back to the doctor time and time again. He just kept getting worse and they were taking the “let’s wait and see” approach since there was no concrete answer to what was going on with him. My gut said that wasn’t the approach that needed to be taken.
One morning he was on his way to work when he realized his face was acting funny. After getting to the doctor, getting a CAT scan, and being admitted to the hospital, they diagnosed him with Bell’s Palsy. That diagnosis, although not a fun one, was much better than the stroke or TIA they thought he was having!
The next morning came an added diagnosis: Guillian-Barré Syndrome. Of course, as the doctor left the room, I was Googling the syndrome to learn all I could. I had heard a little bit about it, but I soon found out the little bit I heard was sugar coated. Mayo Clinic’s website as well as many friends and family quickly educated me that this could get bad…temporarily (ICU, temporary paralysis, ventilator). The road to recovery would most likely be a long one. The best case senario was 2-3 months. Worst case senario was a year. He could end up having to learn to walk again & walking with a cane for a while. So quickly I had seen my husband go from a strong healthy man to a man with an unknown future. We simply did not know how bad it was going to get.
This brings me to my reason for being thankful. Instead of spending weeks in the hospital, he spent 6 days. There was no paralysis, ventilator, or ICU. Instead of being home recouping for weeks or months, he was home a week. Today, two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, he is beginning his first day back at work. I am again thankful that God not only heard our prayers and the prayers of so many, but chose to answer our prayers in the way we were requesting. What a great example of a loving God that cares for his children.
I do not have the mindset that if a prayer is not answered “our way” that God did not hear us. As a parent, I have the right to tell my children “yes”, “no”, or “not right now”. I fully believe God answers prayers in the same way. Today I am thankful that he answered this prayer with a “yes”.
I plan to start looking for reasons to be thankful, even in times when it doesn’t seem like there is much of a reason to look. My life could always be worse, but I choose for it to be good.