Written by: Melissa Lefevers

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us here in the States. It means lots of turkey, gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce and vegetables. We celebrate our gift of being able to live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” We celebrate our freedom of religion for which our founding fathers came to this very country for. It is a fun time of celebration and food, football and of course reflecting on what we are truly thankful for.

I will admit this year things are a little different this Thanksgiving. I will admit to you that at the close of 2015 i just knew that 2016 was going to be the best year ever. Well, lets just say it has not been. Oh, it hasn’t been “bad” or “horrid” just tough. Like nail biting, stress filled, tears shed, good fights fought, hard parenting, moving everything, everything changing, and trying to find a new normal tough.

With much anticipation I am looking forward to 2017 but with new eyes. What do I mean with new eyes. Well, let me explain. God has done such a work on my eyes, my perspective this year. Through out this last year He has challenged me to really see Him and trust Him. The kind of sight that does not come from human eyes but eyes that are laser centered on Him. The kind of sight that says I walk by faith and not by sight (2 corinthians 5:7). With this type of trust and vision I have become the most hopeful I have ever been. Hopeful because I know where my help comes from. (Psalm 121:1) Hopeful because no matter what is going on I have something to be thankful for.

God has truly taught me that there is joy in Thanksgiving. When things get tough and I don’t understand I honestly sit wit him and ask why? Time and time again this year in that honest question he has answered with because I need you to know this. The this is that he was working on something, someone or in a situation I just couldn’t see. I couldn’t see it yet because I was either to busy looking at myself or to busy trying to figure it out.

I remember one morning sitting on the back porch of my temporary residence thinking why can we not find a house? I asked God why he would want us to move to only leave us without? Yes, I was thankful for the hospitality of my mother and father in law (still am) but I just wanted something normal. We moved, uprooted, left my family, kids in a new school and I just wanted my own bed, my own time with my kids, and to be able to walk around in my PJ’s. Was that so bad? Just like that he said because I am working on something and working on the five of you.

My oldest two were sharing a room and honestly they are so opposite they don’t really play that much together. In this time of sharing a room God brought Violet and John together and now they share a deeper relationship with each other. I hear them giggling and laughing and talking. Not just chit chat but talking about real stuff. Talking about things going on at school and talking about hard things together. If we would not have been without a house, not being able to find anything then this would have never happened. So I am thankful. I know it was God’s plan for them all along.

So, yes, this Thanksgiving I have new eyes thanks to one of the toughest years I have had. Yes, I am thankful for this tough year because I have new eyes. Eyes to see that He is truly in every single detail. So as I sit and eat way to much turkey and cornbread dressing I will smile and be thankful for the smiles around the table, food in my belly and the wonderful crazy life God has chosen for me.
Let us be found singing like David:

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 1 Chronicles 16:8-10