Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  All of my favorite parts - family, good food, and a focus on God - without the commercialism that has infected Christmas and even Easter.  One of the only God-honoring holidays that we still call by name on our school calendar ("Thanksgiving Break"). 

Now, though, Thanksgiving is bittersweet.  Last year, Thanksgiving came just a week after my D&C where Kyria's tiny body was removed from mine.  We gather with family, but it is with the keen sense that we are missing three little someones who left this earth far too soon.  This year, I'm starkly aware of my flat stomach that is not seven months pregnant as it would be if Jordan had lived.  That we don't have a one-year-old or a six-month-old, as we would if Naomi or Kyria had survived.

Sometimes, people want to help me feel better, more thankful.  When they do, they often begin with "at least..."  "At least you have your daughter...at least you're healthy this year...at least you know you can get pregnant..."  Yes, I'm thankful for those things, but they don't remove the hurt in my heart for my children in heaven.  Nor should they.  The human heart is capable of great extremes - fear and excitement, hurt and peace, sadness and joy.  Gratitude and sorrow.  Missing my children doesn't mean I don't love the family that I have.  Rather, it's a testimony to that love that is so precious that I wanted to express it to our children.

But there's another love that I need to focus on this Thanksgiving - God's eternal love.  The greatest blessing in my life is knowing God as my Father because of Jesus' death and resurrection.  Because of that, I know there is much more to life than the here and now.  Because of that, I know that my "good-bye" to my children is temporary.  Because of that, I know that "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Cor. 4:17, NIV).  Not "at least", but "the most!"  As hard as the empty chairs are around my table, how much sadder it must make our heavenly Father to have empty places in the Book of Life, where names could be written if only people would trust in Jesus. 

And so - my challenge to me and to you - when we think about our missing children this Thanksgiving, let's also think about God's "missing" children and consider how we can share the good news of eternal life in Jesus with others, and so help fill God's house with family from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Kristi, you have such a beautiful way of writing your thoughts out. Thank you for this post.