It’s Thanksgiving Day and I’m sure most of us have had quite a bit more turkey than we could handle. And it’s probably SO cliche for me to be talking about thankfulness. BUT… here I am. And I’m talking to you about thankfulness. So, let’s hop in!
When people ask you what you’re thankful for, what are some of the things that usually come to your mind?
The first things that come to my mind when I am asked what I’m thankful for are things like family, friends, God, my church family, and second chances. Those are the typical answers. And they’re also good ones. I love spending time with my family and getting together on this day to share what we’re thankful for is pretty awesome. There are tons of laughs, great memories, and seriously… the food is pretty legit. 😉
But lately I’ve been thinking… Shouldn’t I be doing these things every day of the year? Thankfulness shouldn’t be a one day occurrence. It should be a part of our every day lives. And I get that we have busy schedules and it’s a great time to have with family. And of course we’re thankful for them and the blessings that God has given us.
But what about the other things? The hard times? The tough moments in life that have shaped us into who we are? The friends we’ve lost? The people who have pushed us to be better than the person we were yesterday? Because the truth is, those things matter too. Every trial and every situation you go through has shaped you into the person you are today.
Think about it. I mean really sit there for a minute and think about one thing that happened to you that you know for a fact has shaped you into the person you are today. Even for as hard as it was to go through, you know you came out better than the person you were the day before. You know you’re stronger for it. You know you’re wiser.
There are two Thanksgivings that will always stick out in my life. The one I want to tell you about today is one that I believe had the biggest impact on my life. It’s literally changed mine and my family’s life forever.
It was 2006. I was staying with my sister at my brother’s condo in Virginia. We were down there with him and his wife for Thanksgiving and it was an awesome day. Her family came and we just had a really great time together. That night my brother hands me the phone and tells me “Mom wants to talk to you.” I said ok and took the phone and walked into their bedroom.
“Hey Krissy. I have something I need to tell you…” Her voice was unusually solemn.
“Pastor Edge, he had a heart attack yesterday.” My heart sank.
“But… he’s ok right? Is he in the hospital? He’ll be fine, I know it!”
There was a long pause before my mom told me the news. “He died, honey.”
My hands went cold. I couldn’t get any words out as I handed my brother the phone and went to my room. There were no words. Just sadness, pain, hurt, and extreme confusion and anger at God. Why would He let this happen?! Especially the DAY before Thanksgiving? My sister and I ended up cutting our mini vacation short. The course of the next few months were busy, a little crazy for my 15 year old self, and very emotional. Our family was close to his and it was extremely hard for my dad. Pastor Edge was truly his best friend. I know he tried to stay strong for us, but even then I could still see the pain and the loneliness in his eyes. There were times something funny would happen and we’d be like “Oh we gotta tell Pastor when we see him!” And then it’d hit us, he was no longer with us.
After the funeral was said and done, there was one big decision to be made. Who was going to be our pastor? I didn’t actually know this at the time but apparently Pastor Edge was going to slowly filter my parents in as pastor and he become senior pastor of the church. But apparently God had a different plan with the timing.
On December 13, 2006 my parents were voted in as the new Pastor and First Lady of our church. (Sidenote: My sister was all excited because it all went down on her birthday haha.) I was excited, too. I mean, what kid doesn’t want to be a PK? After a bunch of hugs and “Congratulations” one elder came up to me and said something that I would never forget. And I found it to be extremely true to this day. He said, “You know, people are going to be watching you now all the time. You’re gonna have to be careful because everyone’s just going to wait for you to slip and fall.”
I don’t know about you, but that freaked me out!!! All the happiness I felt was instantly gone and replaced by fear. That was the first time I ever felt insecure. And it wouldn’t be the last. I wish I could tell you that since I’ve become a PK that life is glamorous and has a ton of perks, but that’d be lying. It does have it’s high points, but I also had quite a few low points. I learned that not everyone who wants to be your friend is really a friend. I learned not to wear my heart on my sleeve. That you can’t trust everyone. And a whole lot more that I won’t bore you with right now.
With all that being said (and I know this post is probably a little depressing — not trying to be I promise), I am grateful and thankful! I’m thankful that I went through those trials and situations. I’m thankful, not that my pastor died, but that the experience and wisdom I’ve come to know has helped me become a better person. The things that followed his death (my parents getting voted in, etc) have changed the course of my life forever.
The things I’ve gone through since then and conquered… THOSE are the things I’m thankful for! A lot of you ladies don’t know my whole story yet, but I do plan on sharing it with you very soon. Some of the things I’ve gone through are depression, thoughts of suicide and self harm, loneliness, loss of faith, and broken friendships. These are the things that have brought me to where I am today. These are the things that have made me into who I am. These are the things that have made me passionate about the ministry God has called me to do and the person He has purposed me to become. These are the things I’m thankful for. Although they may not be pretty, they were stepping stones into a greater purpose for Him.
Sometimes we only thank God for the glory. But let’s remember to be thankful for every little detail of our story.
So with that I have to ask… Other than friends, family, and a relationship with Jesus, what is it you’re thankful for?
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
pssst! Did you hear the exciting news? We will be starting a new series in the upcoming months! Keep an eye our for In Her Shoes!