In less than 24 hours, my house will be full of people and food and noise and fun. And I have a lot to do to get ready for that. There is food to buy & desserts to bake, and toilets to clean. But, I've been thinking a lot today about past Thanksgivings, and since I write this blog even more for my own self & my kids, than I do for other people, I decided to type out what's on my mind today, on the day before Thanksgiving.
On this day, 26 Thanksgivings ago, my family veered onto a new road in life.
My dad is driving the moving truck packed with all our earthly possessions, and I'm sitting in the passenger seat, feeling the pain of separation as we drive farther away from a home I love. The sun is bright and blinding thru the tears in my eyes. My dad is the most understanding he can be. He speaks the encouraging words that dry me up for now & bring the laughter I'm used to.
I know in my heart, even with only 11 years of life behind me, that what we are doing is right. It's not what I would have chosen, but I know that it's right. But, it's been hard. For me, but also for a lot of other people who love my parents. They are strength and wisdom and love to a lot of people. And now they will be that for new people. But who are they? We won't see them fully for many years from now. But they will become who they are in the Lord because He sent my parents to them. It's such a small town that we're moving to. There will be no renown. No fame or fortune. Except in the hearts of the people who meet Christ because of this.
We spend Thanksgiving Day cleaning a house that bears the dirt and damage of unthankful people who left it vacant for us. I beg my parents to let me keep the bright blue carpet in what will be my room. It's a small sacrifice, so they agree. It's something to be thankful for.
I start a new school & life is not easy. Everything is different. There are mean kids whose words will someday become my lectures for my own kids on how not to live. But one day I will realize that it's only by the grace of God that I'm not just like them.
There are friends as well. Their faces aren't the same as the ones in my old town, but they are friends who will remain so for a long, long time, even when time & life separates us.
It will take years to understand what is happening. My dad becoming the pastor of a church is not the only plan God has in mind. There is my life. And my mom's. And my sister's. And my brother's. And the chords of all the people & experiences & struggles on this new road will become the soundtrack to the stories of our lives.
And when 26 Thanksgivings have passed, I will have earned a wealth of life's lessons. My teachers will be God & His word, family, friends and enemies, my kids, illness, love and loss. I will have more things to be thankful for than I can list in a thousand Thanksgivings. I won't know how to be thankful for some things right away, but I will know that God, in His sovereign power, has brought them about. His goodness is everlasting. His mercy endures forever. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.