This past summer, we celebrated my dad’s 79th birthday on Kiawah Island. Reaching 79 years old is awesome, but it is especially special when you consider what Daddy has been through.
On Easter Sunday, 2006, Daddy had an echocardiogram. It was supposed to be his last test before he was released from the hospital for an episode of what the doctors believed was congestive heart failure. The news from the echocardiogram was grim; the test revealed that Daddy had a very large aortic aneurysm.
Within a few hours, Daddy was rushed to Duke for emergency surgery. When we got to the hospital, we found that Duke houses one of the top doctors in the world in aortic aneurysm repair. When the doctor looked at Daddy’s test results, his exact words were, “I’ve never seen an aneurysm that big in someone still alive.”
The next few days, weeks, and months were a blur as our family, our church family, and many people throughout the county began to pray for my Daddy. In a miraculous way, God brought Daddy through the surgery and the difficult months and years that followed.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is the time to reflect upon our blessings. One thing that I am thankful for is that for the last 11 years my boys have been able to know and experience their grandfather.
The “blessing of Daddy” is not the only thing I’m thankful for, however.
I have a charm bracelet that I sometimes wear. On it, I have placed charms to represent answered prayers. There’s a house charm on the bracelet that represents a house that we desperately needed to sell. We were told that it was worth little; however, it sold for $40,000 over what we anticipated. Also on the bracelet is a weightlifting charm; that charm represents my being healed from anorexia when I was young. A little apple charm represents a fabulous vacation that God gave us for free, after I prayed for a vacation when we had no money. The bracelet also holds a little boy charm, which represents one of my sons. A few months into my pregnancy, the doctors decided that, based on my age and some medical tests, there was a good chance that he would be born with Down’s Syndrome. Seven months later, my son was born healthy, strong, and without the disorder. There are a lot of charms on my bracelets because God has been faithful and good to answer my prayers. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for those things.
However, there are also things that I’m thankful for that never made it to the bracelet.
In 1998 after seven years of marriage, my husband and I found out that we would have our first child. Shortly into the pregnancy, the doctors discovered that the baby was not developing correctly and we eventually lost him. I grieved for years and years over my precious baby that I never got to hold. During those years, it was difficult to find any way to give thanks about the situation.
Now, however, I can look back and I am thankful. My sweet child never had to make hard decisions; he never had to choose whether to follow God or deny him; instead, my sweet baby has always rested comfortably in his Heavenly Father’s presence. I have no doubt that my child was the first person that my Mama found when she entered heaven. I also am fully convinced that my mom has him singing in a trio, quartet, or choir praising Jesus.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful that God is good both in our answered prayers and the difficult situations of life. The Bible says in I Chronicles 16:34, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” This is the season to remember our blessings, to thank God for them, and to bless others as we have been blessed.
Thanks for reading!
Love ya! 😊!