I have been dealing with the worst cold and sinus infection of my life since late August. To make sure there wasn’t an underlying issue, I had a chest x-ray, extensive blood work, and two rounds of antibiotics. The diagnosis: healthy woman with a persistent cold that will clear up in its own time. The head pressure is finally subsiding but the residual effect is plugged ears. I can hardly hear anything externally and feel like I’m underwater all the time. I don’t say all this for sympathy because, trust me, I have gotten PLENTY of that in the past five months. I say this because it has allowed me to be still, to be quiet, and to be thankful.
It’s the start of the holiday season – my first holiday season after a tragedy – the hardest time of the year for most grieving people. I’m here in small town Texas with our son to spend Thanksgiving with Simon’s family. It is surreal to be in his warm, perfectly appointed home childhood home without him. I’ve only known it with him. We have visited yearly, sometimes more, for over a decade. We got engaged just a few miles down the road. We have brought our new babies here to meet relatives for the first time. And he is laid to rest on a hill nearby. It’s a lot to process.
But sitting here in the silence caused by a relentless virus on an exhausted immunity system, I am forced to be still. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” That is washing over me. It is shifting my thinking from being forced to be still (by an illness, by guilt, by prison, or a million other things that could force us to be still) to the desire to be still. After days of uncomfortable quiet in my mind, there is an innate longing to just stop. Be still. And be thankful.
Thankful for small towns and big cities.
Thankful for this family that has loved me as one of their own for 11 years.
Thankful for a warm home and crisp, fall mornings.
Thankful for a merciful God that spared Simon’s life for almost 35 years so he could make an impact in his shorter-than-average time on earth.
Thankful for family and friends that will gather over the next few days.
Thankful for salvation.
Thankful for love.