Be glad for all God is planning for you.
Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always.
I was talking with a woman at work today, and I stated that I am thankful for the things in my life that have been painful or difficult. At which point she looked at me askance. And then the phone rang, and our conversation ended.
But it made me think of these souvenirs that have been taking up space in my house. Now that I've gathered them all up, I guess I'll throw them away. I don't need them anymore. But they are not unpleasant reminders for me.
They actually remind me that the hard times in life make really good classrooms. I've learned a lot about patience, and compassion, and imperfection. I gained strength through weakness. I saw the people around me in a new light. My marriage was blessed.
Before the accident (and other medical crises that have come my way) there were hard times that left invisible souvenirs. Times when grief overwhelmed me. Times when getting out of bed and facing the day required monumental effort. Those days were worse than the times of physical injury and pain. I felt guilty, because by NOT being grateful for each moment...each breath...I was dishonoring the very ones that I was missing so much...the ones who wanted so much to have just one more day.
I think that's when I learned to give thanks. I forced myself to look for at least one thing a day for which to be thankful. It took some practice, but when you get in the habit of looking for things, you get a lot better at recognizing them.
Today I am thankful for troubles.