I realize that all of you spent your Thanksgiving around a real table with real (breakable) dishes and eating real Thanksgiving food. You all were surrounded by family and furniture and got watch the Macy’s Parade on a real sized TV. For years, that was the way my Thanksgiving would unfold. Relaxed and restful. This year, however, was different, for my family.
We were moving all through out my break. As is typical with the Smiths, we had our last minute crises, like me getting sick, and almost not being able to rent a U-Haul truck. I think my family is God’s comic relief because when I stand back and watch us do things like move, it turns into a huge charade and I can just see God watching us like we were His latest sitcom.
Anyway, we are now in Texas. We have neighbors who introduced themselves, and the town we now live in has stores! Our house is absolutely beautiful and the nieghborhood is very welcoming. This all is very strange and foreign to us. I told my Dad over break that it feels like we have been on a hardship tour overseas for a year (for those of you who aren’t military, that is a difficult assignment in an foreign country). We are literally coming back into civilization and I have realized how hard the last year truly was.
Of course, things were rough moving. Kansas took one last successful stab at me before I left, taking something from me that I truly loved. And we will be a long time recovering financially from the last year. So, really, things will never be the same. We’ve lost quite a lot in the last year.
But as we sat around our plastic card table adorned with tupperware and turkey breast, I couldn’t help but be thankful for the past year. Only God will ever know how rough it was, but through it all I gained so much. I suffered. I love being close to Christ by suffering. It’s an incredible and humiliatingly wonderful experience. I have a much closer bond with my family. Through the tough times, we pulled together. I have seen my family’s faith flourish. I have never felt so incredibly close to that awesome God as I do now. And I have friends.
My friends will never know how much they helped get me through. I felt the prayers and was appalled at their worry for me. I have never had friends until this year. I am so blessed and thankful for all of them. Each and every one of them had their arms open for me if I needed a hug or some support. Their words and advice were always perfect and exactly what I need to hear. They stuck by me, even when others wouldn’t. My real friends, which is so lovely to say, they know who they are. They are such an incredible blessing to me.
So, as things wind down and we move into our Home this Christmas, I will sit by the tree, thanking God in His infinite mercy for three things. I will thank Him for our new life as a family. A home is such a dear thing. I will thank Him for my family, which has grown this year now including our dear Molly, and the closeness we share. I will also thank Him for the wonderful people He has put into my life, my friends.
God is incredible. He gives so much and expects nothing in return.