Thanksgiving (An Uncharacteristically Serious Post)

We are fast approaching the time of year when the United States has ordained that its citizens take some time off to be thankful. Fundamentalists and non-fundies alike are blowing up the Internet with lists of things for which we can be grateful and (oftentimes) covert condemnation of those who don’t look quite thankful enough.

Yet, thankfulness cannot ever be the product of mere command. Some days there would seem to be very little in the way of glad tidings for which we can express our thanks. Some days we just don’t feel very much like being thankful for what we have or can do in the face of what we do not have or cannot do.

“Giving thanks always and for everything” writes the Apostle Paul. But there are some sayings in Scripture that are hard to bear. Thankful for years spend “wasted”? Thankful for being abandoned by friends and family? Thankful for abuse and loneliness and poverty and deception and trauma? It seems so unlikely, so farfetched, so inhumane to even suggest that such at thing is possible.

But I must confess that in my life there have been moments of time when heaven and earth have briefly met and I can see with eyes undimmed by the pain of all the things that have come before when I can be thankful even for these bitter things that have come and gone. Because I believe that there is nothing that can come into my life but that it has been allowed by a gracious Heavenly Father who can take even the wrath of ungodly men and bring good from it. Pain has enriched the glory of grace. Condemnation has increased a love of mercy. Heartache brings with it an increased depth and breadth and height of the ability to love and weep and care for others. For to be thankful is not to claim to have enjoyed what has happened but rather to acknowledge that we are now the better for having endured it.

And so in the spirit of this season, I thank God for allowing my life as it has been thus far. For those who have loved me and befriended me as well as those who have hated and ill-used me. Many have intended evil but I have faith that God has meant it for good. And there is always grace.

I would hasten also to thank all of you as well for your graciousness and your kindness and your encouragement as we’ve shared this time here. Nobody knows what fresh trials or blessings or frustrations or wonderful surprises may be in store for us over the next days but I trust that when it is over we will be able to say together that our Heavenly Father has done all things well.

Enjoy the season. Hug your loved ones. Eat, drink, and be merry. We’ll talk again soon.

121 thoughts on “Thanksgiving (An Uncharacteristically Serious Post)”

  1. May I ask if this means this is the beginning of the end of SFL? What a blessing it has been but I understand the tremendous amount of time it must require. Not to mention the sacrifice your family has given to share you with all of us! I almost feel like I need to start preparing myself to loose contact with my support group. 😥

    1. I was wondering the same. I want to try and get some contact information from some people here I especially like. I am not sure what the best way to do this is. I have trouble navigating the forums well enough to find anyone. You all really mean a lot to me. You have been my daily therapy session and I really appreciate it. 😀

    2. There’s no need to freak out! I’m just taking it slow here for a couple of days while we’re adjusting to the new baby.

      After that we’ll be back again for the foreseeable future.

      1. YAY!!! (I didn’t know it was apparant that I was freaking out..)
        But I AM very glad I don’t have to give up my favorite addiction just yet.
        No pressure Darrell. Enjoy your family. We love you.

        1. Ohhhh, I can put away all the books and the blogs I’ve started frantically stuffing away. I was so glad I had book marked Don’s from a while back! 😀 I agree, absolutely no pressure! However, you know your critics are slivering out of their chairs now that you’ve answered my question!

        2. Oh no, The comment above was posted from my brother’s laptop! Ooops, guess I should have checked his sign in name! 😳

      2. In the meantime, we can go back in the archives and find some topic that deserves a new round of discussion. There are some early ones that were very insightful but there were fewer commentors and you can read our tone and voices were different when we first arrived on this site… and now as we have grown as a family how our tone and substance have changed and matured (everyone except me that is).

        Darrell, you take care of what you need to take care of at home. We’ll be fine. We are the lowest priority in your things to do inbox right now.

        Love to you and the family Bro.

  2. Darrell, thank you so much for your time, wit and knowledge. I’ll bet there are many like me who used to post frequently, but now just log from time to time to get my “SFL” fix. Lord knows where I would be without this site…God bless you, your family and especially your new little one about to come into this world. We love you !!

  3. What doesn’t kill you leaves lifelong scars, PTSD, obsessive ruminations, and suicidal ideation, and leaves you a burned-out shell of yourself who is only waiting to die.

    But if you truly accept Jesus into your heart then it’s suddenly not a problem. So if it still is, it’s your fault.

    It’s so sad that you’re going to kill yourself. If only you’d known that you didn’t have to.

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