In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Monday, November 23, 2009

If You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going

I am thankful that I believe. I am thankful to know God’s grace & love. I am thankful that I don’t have to earn my way to heaven.

I am thankful every single day that in having walked through hell, that I made it, a little burnt at the edges maybe, but my soul is no longer black.


I am thankful that in having lived through hell, I  have the desire to try to be “Jesus with skin on” to everyone I meet. I am thankful that my memory doesn’t allow me to forget the road I’ve walked and the lessons I gained along the way.

I am thankful for my history because of the perspective it has given me to view the world and people from. Through these glasses I see hope, even when it might seem all is dark and lost.

I am thankful for the new heart I was given, which has given me much love for people. Especially those deemed unlovable by the world.

I am thankful that with my new heart, I don’t have bitterness, hate or want revenge against those that hurt me.

I am thankful for the opportunities to wash the feet of those that are hurting, to listen without judgment,  to share my story so that someone in the dark can have a sun ray of hope, that speaks of better days to come, or whatever it is I am asked to do today.

foot washing

I am thankful that “church” doesn’t mean a building and doesn’t mean Sunday’s.

I am thankful that God/Jesus doesn’t live in a box.

I am thankful that I no longer live inside of the box, that I thought I had to live in, in order to be loved by God.

I am thankful that I don’t have to have all the answers. And that I don’t have to be right…and that I’m not always wrong.

I am thankful that each day is a new opportunity to try again. And that’s it’s okay if I don’t do “it” perfectly. I’m not always sure what “it” is but I’m thankful that sometimes I get “it” right the first time the lesson comes around.

I am thankful that my greatest blessings are not material things, but people.

I am thankful for all the secret keepers in my life…for all those that make it safe to speak.

I am thankful for my demon slayer. Without him, I wouldn’t be here.

I am thankful that at the end of the day I can forgive myself for all the times I messed up…and pat myself on the back for what I didn’t. (okay, I’m working on that last part :)

I am thankful for these hands that were made for working & loving, these ears that were made for listening, these lips that were made for speaking, these legs that get me where I need to go, this mind that knows what I need to do(most of the time :), this body that is healthy and most of all, that I don’t know what it is like to have to live without them. I am thankful for those I know in my life, that do not have some of these and have taught me with grace and dignity what it means to live without.

I am thankful for those that have been put into my life to teach me something.

I am thankful for all the people in my life that haven’t kept a record book of my wrongs.

I am thankful for a husband that doesn’t keep score.

I am thankful for children who have loved me in spite of everything…who know everything there is to know about my life and still think highly of me. I am thankful that I can say that all five of them are high up on my list of friends.

I am thankful for the freedom I have from drugs. Even more, I am thankful that I no longer need them to survive or forget.

I am thankful that I am no longer hiding behind cigarettes.

I am thankful for this year of claiming courage as mine and to find that it’s really been there all along, I just didn’t know I had it.

I am thankful to be a resilient woman.

I am thankful that after all the times I’ve  knocked on deaths door, I was given another chance to be here. I am thankful that I’ve been freed and given this chance to live the life I never even dreamed about.

Today, I especially thankful because twenty five years ago today, I set out to die. I did not want to live. Maybe some day I will have the courage to tell you that story. That story really isn’t all that important as the fact that I didn’t die and that I got to live and tell my story. And now all I want to do is live. I just want to live fully out loud and with wild abandon.

I no longer want to die in order to forget. Instead, I am thankful that I got to live and tell my story. I am thankful that God didn’t listen to me and that He who is bigger, had me wrapped in His arms all along.

Lastly, I am thankful for you, my loving, accepting, encouraging, and supportive blog world friends. You people are amazing. I cried as I read each and every comment to the letter I had written to my 13 year old self. Thank you for listening, as I tell you my story.

Please tell me what your thankful for today.

Love & Hugs, Lori


Jan said...

It is nothing short of wonderful when we get to the point that we can be grateful for the bad - it helps define us. It teaches us patience and persistence. It gives us resolve. Without it, we wouldn't be able to appreciate the good.

Lori, I am grateful you are here, with us, 25 years later.

Brian Miller said...

wonderful post...feet washing...what symbolism there is in that act...and to put it in play with those that we have the blessing to touch each day. thank you for this list, it brightened my day.

LPC said...

Yes. Keep going.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, this is amazing. I am thankful for so many things in life...and I am so thankful for meeting you!!!

Bogey said...

Lori, being able to unshackle yourself from all of those burdens so many years ago, has indeed made you a remarkable woman. I know what it was like to be living on the edge wishing to fall over. When I think of all that you have accomplished in those twenty five years I am astounded. I scrolled down your sidebar looking at all of the smiling faces that you have in your life and I am grateful that you are here for them.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a wonderful post. Really excellent reminders. For Life! I can't imagine life without God. He is the keeper of my days!

otin said...

That is a wonderful post, not childish and immature like mine! :)

Have a good Thanksgiving!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm thankful for those who recognize the importance of gratitude. Lovely post.

Buckeroomama said...

A truly beautiful post, Lori. Many of the things you wrote, you wrote so "from-the-heart" and it's that kind of thankfulness that I want my children to learn.