My point in sharing is not only to share my grateful heart but to expose a few things I learned in her suffering. First, my faith was put to the test. I came to realize that the lineage of Christ followers before me is likely the reason my faith cannot be shaken. Our faith is time-tested and didn't just happen overnight. The seeds have been sown and harvested season after season after season. For that, I am grateful.
Second, despite my fear and sadness, I maintained an unexplainable hope. My hope for each day is not that my life will be easy. I know in this life we will have trouble and pain; even Christians will have unbearable pain. But I know no matter what the day holds, I have hope in Christ. For He has overcome the world. Not just a shallow hope, but a deep, deep hope and trust that He knows the plans He has for me. That none of this catches Him by surprise. That He's my Rock, my Comforter and my Stronghold. I was reminded just recently as we discussed the resurrection in Sunday School that I'm putting my trust of everyday struggles in a God that has overcome the grave and sin. This is not a simple hope that might know what He's doing. It's a deep understanding that He has got this.
In August, when my Mom faced the first days where she was experiencing some relief from the constant pain, we went to the mountains. Just the two of us. We slept in, with the windows open, laughed and enjoyed each other's company. I'll never forget waking up that Saturday morning after arriving late the night before and Mom was still asleep. It was a crisp, cool morning and the curtains flapped in the wind. I let her sleep in because the recent pain had worn her out. It was taking a toll on her body. I opened my Bible that morning and turned to Psalms and began to pray for her and this is what the Lord gave me. People talk about hearing an audible voice of God. I have not experienced that personally but I am grateful that He always gives me just what I need through His word, just when I need it. That cool, quiet, mountain morning, He provided once again a sweet passage that spoke directly to me:
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
So this Thanksgiving I'm thankful on many levels: thankful to have my Mom back, thankful for my family and our faith, and most of all, I'm thankful for a God who will strengthen me, will help me and will uphold me with the right hand of his righteousness.