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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This Year I Have Many Thanksgivings

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

The truth is, 2011 hasn't been the best year for us, but it wasn't the worst either. It's been a year of progress and loss, happiness and sadness, work and rest, prayers and thankfulness, as well as love and forgiveness. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, today I want to count my blessings, specifically in 2011. These are not listed in any particular order.

I want to thank God that my husband is still alive and well after a serious accident this summer on the interstate highway in Charlotte, NC. I thank God for the angel He brought by way of an 18-wheeler trucker who blocked traffic to keep others from hitting my husband while he was turned around backwards and facing oncoming traffic. There were many doctor trips and a back injury that resulted with physical therapy, but we are all aware of how blessed we were that it wasn't worse.

I want to thank God that my mom is still here with us after surviving cancer surgery and six weeks of radiation treatments form a very aggressive cancer. While she may still need another surgery, we are taking one day at a time and thanking God for today. 

I want to thank God for His unconditional love and peace when we lost my father-in-law. There was a level of comfort to our family that soothed us in ways I hadn't experienced before. I know that this grace from our heavenly Father will continue to carry us through the holidays without our loved one.

This year we also lost my uncle. I know that my cousin felt God's love and comfort when her father died. A peace surrounded her that hadn't been there before, because she found God. I rejoice and thank the Lord for her salvation.

I want to thank God for the birth of my new little nephew, JJ. In spite of a rocky start with a blood infection that landed him in the hospital for a couple of weeks and months of antibiotics, he's a healthy and happy little boy who has brought much joy to our lives. I'm so thankful for him and for how well my sister and her husband handled everything. God definitely gives us the strength we need, right when we need it.  

I want to thank God for how far my daughter has come in overcoming her delayed developments and jumping 3 grade levels in reading. Also, I'm thankful that her hospital visit worked and her chronic migraines are no more. We were able to break the cycle as her pediatric neurologist had hoped to do. And I thank God for doctors and hospital staff who work so hard to make people better. And I'm still thankful there are no seizures. 

I'm thankful to celebrate another birthday (4-0) and another anniversary with my husband, Dwayne (18 years). This year my husband's birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day. Happy Birthday, Dwayne! I love you and I'm thankful to be celebrating this day with you!

There are many other things I'm thankful for--too many to list--and some too personal to mention, but God knows them all. 

Regardless of what you might be going through, know that you aren't alone and God is with you. He will comfort you, but you have to be willing to allow Him, because He will never force Himself on anyone since that would take away our free will. 

Accept the free gifts that God is offering whether it be salvation, healing, forgiveness, freedom from strongholds, etc. To accept His unconditional love, you must step forward and receive it. The gift has already been offered.