Every year of college, I’ve written a prayer for that particular year that I feel captures some of the essential things that happened that shaped me more into me as I ought to be. The essential things, I mean, that, if I’m not careful, I forget to thank God for. So there’s a freshman prayer of thanks, and a sophomore prayer, and a junior prayer. And I’m working, at the moment, on my senior prayer of thanks. Which is crazy to me. Four years goes by fast.
So here are some things that happened recently that I’m thankful for.
A conversation I didn’t think I needed to have with an old, dear friend–several of these conversations, in fact, with several such friends–that came at the sweetest time and helped me clarify my very confused and frustrated thoughts.
A hilarious talent show, an apple pie, and my family just being my family.
Going to a football game with my sisters and remembering why I like football, lame English major though I often am. Playing backyard football with my sister and niece, and being tackled into a gigantic leaf pile, after which my niece proceeded to bounce around on top of me (flagrant personal foul). And then just lying there looking up at the trees beginning to change color, and feeling glad to be an aunt and a sister.
While being rambunctious with the niece, I got a slight cut on the inside of my finger, and my dad, for the first time since I was 12 or so, watched meticulously as I washed it, dried it. Then he put the ointment on the scratch, unwrapped the bandage, and put it on my finger. In that moment, I remembered what it feels like to be a daughter, with a dad who takes care of her, and I thanked God for the moment.
I’m realizing as I write this that life doesn’t always look as pretty as the things I’ve just written about. I am in the middle of making decisions I don’t really know how to make, where both alternatives promise to hurt, at least for a while. I’ve listened to other people and the things that make them hurt, and it makes me at once angry and terribly sad.
I have a hard time keeping joy in the midst of tragedy. Sometimes, I can’t feel happy. I have a hard time trusting that things will turn out okay, someday. Better than okay, really. I assent to God’s providence with my head, and then sometimes I simply am not content with how the world works. I murmur. Restlessness consumes my thoughts, and I mope around, as if this life weren’t a gift.
Life is a gift.
Let’s thank the Giver.