I need to write today because thankfulness is radiating in my heart. More so than any other Thanksgiving, this year I feel truly, tirelessly grateful for my life and the blessings sprinkled throughout it. This Thanksgiving is so different from any other I’ve had, but love is abounding at this feast. No, I’m not at my house in the cozy atmosphere of snowy Colorado, but I know I’m loved, and I am thankful for the time to reflect on my thankfulness here at my aunt’s lovely Carlsbad home.
The greatest of all Thanksgiving gifts was that my dad flew into San Diego yesterday on a last minute non-rev flight, stayed for a total of 17 hours, and left again at 4 am this morning, all so he could see me, since I hadn’t seen him since August. That act of love makes my heart sing. I know what a sacrifice it was for him to do that, but I know he wanted to do it more than anything. Though my relationship with my dad has never been perfect (no relationship is), I know that he loves me and does what he does out of genuine love. Being away from home at the holidays is hard, but now I see that this is what makes the holidays so much more special. What matters is the people you’re with. The fact that I have family—that I have a place to be right now—is amazing. I’m so blessed and happy right now Lord. It’s hard, life is unpredictable, and I hurt, but this is so beautiful.
The train ride here to my aunt’s house made me cry. Really, the train was surging along the coast right as the sun was setting, the perfect Switchfoot song was playing in my ears, and it was all too much. The utter beauty of the pink sky reflecting on the baby blue and white foamy ocean brought tears to my eyes. The train conductor came on the loud speaker and told everyone to put away their phones and look at the gift that is the sunset, and I agreed. I needed that moment so desperately, I needed that mini breakdown caused by nothing else except the beauty of creation. I think my heart had a little eruption. Maybe that is what true thankfulness is like: to know I don’t deserve any of this, but knowing I am so loved by a Father who will paint the sky for me anyways, even though I’m just me. My tears were coming from a genuine place of awe and gratitude in my soul, and I pray that I will allow that small offering of praise to happen within me more often.
I am thankful today Lord. I am thankful for a place to call home, thankful for the mysteriousness that is urban California, thankful for the ocean at dusk, the shadowy palm trees against the pink sky, the hustle and bustle of car lights and people journeying home, thankful for the train, for the people and the diversity. I am thankful for my dad and his guitar playing and his hugs. I am thankful today.
Though life is hard and I so often feel unthankful, I know I have the ability to write and read and think and feel and love, and really, those are the things that make life real, so what more do I really need. My family will always be loving me in their quiet, abundant ways. God will never fail. So let me breathe and rest in joy and gratitude. I am in this wild journey till the end.