It would be a disservice to say, think or promote that we should be grateful for everything that happens in our lives. That’s impossible. Life has within its embrace some very difficult situations that we face: disease, war, and loss of life, to name a few.
When we face these tougher non-gratitude producing moments, what we can seek to be grateful for is not the situation itself but moments found within those situations. In the muck of our most disturbing, troubling trials, we can find moments that sustain us, and moments for which we can express gratitude: moments of grace.
When my mom passed away, one of those trying difficult periods in life, it brought me little comfort when others said, “at least she’s not suffering right now” or “at least she’s in a better place.” I think I felt annoyed . . . okay, maybe even angry, if I’m truthful.
I was a messy snarl of wounded rawness. I didn’t need pretty words that fell flat. I needed authenticity and “real.” I was looking for a place where I didn’t have to defend or explain my feelings, and it was okay for me to feel what I felt.
One night, when I was trying to hide my tears, my husband said, “It’s okay. She’s worth missing.” In THAT moment, I felt peace and gratitude. The words were real! They connected! Pete acknowledged what I was feeling and that my mom was worth every emotion I felt because she was worth it. He turned a deep sorrow into honor.
Those words have been used many times in our home. We found that every time they honor the recipient and honor our feelings. They turn a difficult time into one laced in grace and gratitude that’s authentic. The discovered moment has continued to be a gift that keeps on giving.
Every situation and challenge that comes our way offers its own moment of gratitude nestled within the trial. Some stand out. Others we find when we keep our eyes open.
I recall looking at the list of my mom’s visitors and seeing a childhood friend’s name. I never got to see or talk to him, but I was touched that he made the effort to be there. Today, that moment of discovery still fills my heart with gratitude and appreciation.
If we search, we can find the little signs of ever-present grace in our trials; they are there in moments waiting to be discovered and appreciated just for what they are: moments. There are moments to breathe; moments where we can think about something else just for a few minutes; moments of insight; moments of kindness; moments of rest; moments to rise above the situation; moments of perspective; moments to laugh; and moments of connection or compassion.
Look at your day today. Where have you experienced moments of grace, help, support, love, beauty, quiet, connection, laughter or relief? Where have you had a moment that helped you bare up or transcend?