Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Be. Thankful. Always.

Golden spheres holding memories slowly freeze to blue. Tears stream down the girl’s face as she finally voices her longing for better times. My face is also wet as I watch the exchange between her and her parents, because the truth behind the scene reflects the state of my heart exactly in the past few months. Happy memories are slowly turning sad, because soon the people and places in them will be gone. Pixar did it again. (the scene is from Inside Out, the newest Pixar movie if you hadn't guessed)

But I think I’ve discovered a way to keep these memories from turning completely blue.

“Be thankful in all circumstances.” Yep. That’s my secret.

Be thankful, whether sharing a funny moment with a friend, or watching a family member deteriorate from a sickness, or hitting that high note perfectly, or leaving your home in Africa after living there for almost six years.

Whether happy or sad, be thankful, “...for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”  I fully believe God cries with us when we cry out of genuine sadness. And I fully believe He laughs hysterically with us (oh what I would give to hear what God’s laugh sounds like!) when we can barely breathe because we’re laughing (or cry-laughing?) so hard.

We just finished celebrating Thanksgiving last week, and we’re already moving on and looking forward to Christmas. What happened to being thankful? Do we really limit it to one day a year, a week a year, or a month a year?

Or do we limit it to happy times? Do we limit it to the people who gave so much of their lives for us?

Some of my friends in Uganda (2010)
Some of my first friends in Uganda (2010)

Here’s something to chew on:
Can we be thankful for not getting that perfect gift on Christmas?
For realizing we may not have enough money to last us through the month?
For a miscarriage...
For a friendship turned sour…
For a person we despise?

You know what, I’m choosing to be thankful for every moment, every second I got to  spend here in Africa; and still get to! I still have a little more than five weeks left to go!
I’m choosing to be thankful for every cultural misunderstanding, every tear I’ve cried or caused to cry, every drop of sweat accumulated in a stuffy building during a long, African event, every bump and bruise… I’m choosing to be thankful for those. And I’m so so very thankful for the amazing times as well, so many I can’t even begin to write here.

Some of my besties (2015)
Though my memories of this place will always be tinged with blue, they will stay golden.

Because, for them,



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