Each step I took up the stairs was a struggle. It felt like my feet were encased in concrete. It was the night before the court hearing that would determine the outcome of my divorce and the custody of my children. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I didn’t want to be dealing with this mess! Life was so difficult.
I was heading up the stairs to perform my nightly ritual of checking on the sleeping kids and blessing them. I ease quietly into their rooms, adjust their covers, and make the sign of the cross over them, saying a silent prayer asking The Lord to bless them and protect them while they slept. Their innocent, sleeping faces always melt my heart.
On this particular night, I dragged myself into their rooms weary with grief and worry. As I finished blessing my youngest, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. It was as if time stood still, and all my worries and pain vanished. I had a moment of real peace for the first time in a long time. What I realized in that moment was that no matter how bad things can be in my life, God provides so much for me to be thankful for. In my pain and anxiousness, I lost sight of that. God blessed me with this reminder just when I needed it most. I crawled into bed still hurting and worried, but feeling a little more hopeful as well.
Gratitude is a counterweight to life’s anxieties and problems. When feeling overwhelmed, stop and consider all you have to be thankful for. Your health, your kids, their health, the roof over your head, a car that runs, the love of your family, even the dirty laundry, are reminders of how blessed we really are. Gratitude is God’s great counterweight to life’s challenges. It helps us keep a more balanced perspective and reminds us that things are never quite as bad as they seem.
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6