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Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18~NLT

The leaves are slowing falling from the trees. I opened the door to the first frost just this week. Steam rising off the hot coffee in my hand as I let Lola out the door. Our furry friend quickly made the trip out and back, tiptoeing across the frosty ground.

Thanksgiving just around the bend. My calendar looks a lot like the little dirt lane we lived on in the mountains of Virginia; riddled with potholes. Marked up with appointments and tests, I have let this thing of giving thanks slip up on me.

We are, for the first time ever, without a plan. I pondered if this was God’s design for us this year. Refining me. Molding me. Teaching me to live in the day to day. To let go.

I’m letting go

Of the life I planned for me

And my dreams

Losing control

Of my destiny

Feels like I’m falling and that’s what I believe

So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith

Trusting and trying to embrace

The fear of the unknown

Beyond my comfort zone

~I’m letting Go by Francesca Battistelli~

I have been rolling around in my thoughts the letting go. Letting go of the weariness, the wallowing, the brokenness. The feelings of being overwhelmed as I look at the potholes on my calendar. The pictures of my fragile frame.

I was thinking of my precious and tiny mother in law I was blessed to know a few short years. How she must have suffered with pain as the cancer ate through her bones. Tiny yet strong. She did not let the pain stop her, until the very end. Never took more than an over the counter tylenol.

When I lament in my pain, I picture her sitting around my table. Her heart blessed by the aged family china that once belonged to her, at each place setting. Or the day, in all her spunk, she slapped my very grown up man right in the mouth for spouting his dislike of her politics.

The sweet crochet hat that sat on top of her head. Her hair, every woman’s crowning glory, gone thin and white from all she had been through. Burying babies, her man, her adult son. Cancer over and over again, the final stages in her bones.

Yes, I am struggling still a bit, to give thanks in the hard. I am slowly coming to terms with it as the season approaches.

Thankful this is not cancer eating through my bones. Thankful for the pain I can feel, as I think of those who can’t feel anything at all.

Thankful for the marked up calendar my insurance affords us the appointments and tests.

Thankful for the man, a good and spritely woman smacked and made him who he is. Tender and patient, ever mindful of my every move, doing all he can to help me through the pain.

Every day is a giant leap of faith as I try to live in the present and not look ahead.

I trust that God is writing a story through this, just as he has in the other letting go. Giving me a compassion for the weary soul, a need and strong desire to give encouragement. Share my story. Share more of His grace.

I was humbled to fill in a couple of weeks ago and teach our Sunday school class. I asked the question Jesus asked Peter not once but three times, “Do you love me?”

“Do you love ME, Tammy, when the thanksgiving comes hard? When I give you a new story? When the days are long and the pain takes your breath? When I ask you to take a leap of faith and trust Me in this?”

I imagined His breath on my face as he leans in and asks not once, not twice, but three times. I think to myself, after all He has done for me, is there any other answer but yes?

…Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10~NLT

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn

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