The Key to Gratefulness
I don't believe gratefulness comes from thinking positively.
I don't believe it is a state of mind.
I don't believe it is a choice.
I believe . . . it comes from surrender.
This past week, pain was high, visit to the doctor and a heavy dose of antibiotics. (We're possibly getting closer to the decision for a surgery and colostomy.) I missed my son's semi-final volleyball game, and was on my side with a heating pad for most of the week. Day four of antibiotics has now started and the pink in my cheeks is back. I feel motivated and somewhat excited to do laundry. My brain feels fresh and alive again.
Tomorrow is the book signing day at a local bookstore and I was fearing having to cancel. It's not a big deal, except the store manager has done a good job of promoting my book and we have some friends coming by as well. I didn't want to be that person who doesn't show up. But I might have been. Yesterday, looked bad.
In my journal yesterday, after encouragement from a friend (thank you LB), I surrendered my control. I told the Lord that I didn't need to be at the book signing, I was wiling to disappoint the manager, look like a slacker and risk book sales. I wouldn't cancel the event, but I wouldn't fear losing it or fear calling in sick at the last minute. I would just surrender . . . and wait.
I admitted that I could only see a few steps ahead and that being there at that signing seemed like the best idea. . . but maybe I couldn't see it all. Maybe there are more details to the story that I am missing. Maybe it's better if I'm not there. Who knows? So I let it go . . . my plans, my committments, my expectations, my reputation, my need to follow through on things . . . let it go. And I asked Jesus to do something better.
"Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe." Proverbs 28:26
This morning, as the antibiotics complete their work in my system, and as my strength is returning, and as I realize I will be able to be at the bookstore tomorrow, I feel grateful. I'm not as concerned about what to wear, or what to say, or those awkward moments when people look at my book and set it back down and walk away . . . big deal! I will be off my couch, standing up, able to visit with people and enjoy a day of health! Who cares if noone buys the book! Who cares if I feel inadequate as an 'author'. I start to wonder about the conversations I'll have with people. I feel grateful for the store manager who has worked hard to promote this. I feel like I get to attend a party that was almost cancelled and now I can go.
And if, no one shows up. If no one buys the book. If something happens and I'm back on my couch again in the morning, all will be well. Nothing to fear. Hands open, letting go, letting go.
It's days like today, where I feel thankful for what living with a chronic illness forces me to do – let go, again and again and again. Aaahhhh . . . freedom.