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Thankful Doesn’t Begin To Describe It

Thankful Doesn’t Begin To Describe It
  • “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind” (Psalm 107).

It is hard to know where to begin, this Thanksgiving, in gratitude to my Lord for the blessings of this past year. Do I start with my husband’s promotion? My beautiful new home? The fact that my best friend moved back to Roanoke? My new family at the Blue Ridge Women’s Center? The girls’ progress in our homeschooling? That we now have renters in our old house?

I am phenomenally thankful for all of that. But who am I kidding?

While all of those things swirl around my heart as bountiful blessings, my praise and gratitude, this year, funnel down to a point – like the horn of plenty on the Thanksgiving table – at the end of which is this new baby.

It still, after weeks of knowing, seems too good to be true.  To long for, desperately desire, beseech for, and pound the door of heaven over something and then to receive it…

Thankful doesn’t begin to describe it.

The only way I know how to give Him gratitude for this precious, amazing gift (besides extolling His praise every possible moment I can) is to revel in every moment of it. To be perfectly present in every second of this blessing’s unfolding. To drink deeply of this grace He has poured, savoring its flavor, as I gaze, lovingly, into the eyes of the Provider.

I am doing just that.

Every single step in this pregnancy has been a spirit-reviving overflow of thanksgiving. Every person we’ve told, every announcement of this pregnancy, has been a balm to my soul and a special, perfect moment of joy turned to praise.

Every single piece of this pregnancy feels like redemption.

Pregnancy announcements, for so long, have pricked my soul with sadness; now I am, miraculously, making my own. I have avoided baby items like the plague; now I go into stores and window shop, just because I can, for things we will need for our baby. Baby dedications at church have been some of the hardest days of the year; now I breathlessly anticipate being able to dedicate another child of our own. Maternity stores used to elicit a wave of envy and grief; now I am shopping in them with glee. My heart would constrict in pain each time I saw a newborn baby; now I gaze upon them with a sense of blissful anticipation.

Thankful doesn’t begin to describe it.

I am intoxicated, almost drunk, with joy and gratitude and praise.

One day, a couple of weeks ago, I went into Toys R Us. While the rest of the family checked out the toys for Christmas gift-giving, I simply ambled slowly through the baby section. It was a soul-changing moment – almost a worshipful experience. Here I was – the grief-healing mother who still, after two years, could not spend time in baby stores without threatening to be sucked back into “the hole” – drinking in the reality that these things were going to be in my life again. Letting the reality sink in that I belonged there, in that section, with those things. Boppys, bathtubs, diapers, swings…so much meaning and emotion tied to all of those seemingly insignificant baby items. Things I have avoided for two years. And now, I not only didn’t have to avoid them – I could buy them. I didn’t, because we don’t really need anything, but I could. There was a reason for me to be there – I belonged there, in that section, with those baby things.

It felt surreal, spiritual.

I’ve spent so much time not belonging there, not looking at those things, not thinking about those things – to be able to do so made me torn between falling to my knees and making an altar in the middle of the aisle or pulling things off the shelf and rolling around in them, while crying and laughing with joy. Since it was likely that either option was going to more likely lead the good customers of Toys R Us to commit me to the psychiatric ward than join me in my praise of the Creator, I opted instead for simply writing down my gratitude in my journal when I got home.

Let’s just say I get the whole “King David dancing naked in praise to the Lord” thing.

The Toys R Us trip was just one small yet huge moment of regaining what I have lost – a tiny yet significant step toward redeeming all I have dreamed about and hoped for.

Thankful doesn’t begin to describe it.

 

“He will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” (Isaiah 51)

 

“‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
and the palace will stand in its proper place.
From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained.” (Jeremiah 30)

 

This journey of faith is long, and it is difficult. God’s timing in bringing His work to fulfillment is usually much longer than we would prefer, and His methods are rarely ones we would choose. But there is reward for those who persevere. The ultimate reward will come to us after this brief life is finished, and it will be worth it all. But, sometimes, we are blessed to experience a tiny piece of that reward here on Earth. When we do, I can tell you…

 

Thankful doesn’t begin to describe it.

 

 

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