For This I am Thankful

| November 20, 2017

Thankful for You

Fall 2015 marks a season in my life that I will never forget. It was a season that once held tragedy, but marks the beginning of me coming to understand the unending love that Christ offers at a much deeper level.

I will always remember laying in the hospital bed crying as the nurse came in and asked me if I was okay. No, I am not okay, I thought. I remember wondering how I would see my 18-month-old son, Charlie, for the first time without bursting into tears. I remember having a hard time getting out of bed for a few days, and having to remind myself to get up, brush my teeth, take a shower, and eat.

Thankful In All Circumstances…?

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT). Surely God didn’t mean to be thankful in the reality of the miscarriage that I had just had, with a baby I didn’t know I was carrying.

Well, actually that is exactly what He meant and He flat out asked me to be thankful. I never had the chance to celebrate the little life with a shower, or experience the joy of wondering if I was carrying a boy or a girl.  I will say that we did end up naming the baby Finley, meaning “fair warrior”, I am convinced the baby was a girl. On this side of heaven, I will never know, because I only knew death for this child. I will be honest, I was unsure how I would ever be thankful in that circumstance but as I came home from the hospital and began what felt like a new normal, my arms felt empty but the gratitude in my heart slowly grew.

Gratitude Grows Out Of Love

Thankfulness seemed like an odd emotion to grow in this time of loss, but it did, and it was overwhelmingly good. Just as I remember the pain, I also remember my husband who wouldn’t leave my side in the hospital for the night we were there, and our closest friends who came and sat with us. I remember being surprised by the gratitude I felt in the aftermath of such loss.

I felt gratitude as Charlie willingly cuddled even as I felt like there should be another child cuddling in my other arm. I was thankful for the outpouring of love and care we received from our friends. I was honored to be able to tearfully pray out of the same pain for a woman in our small group as she experienced a miscarriage shortly after me. And I rejoice for the love and comfort I felt from God at a deeper level than ever.

He was so good to us.

God is Good

I remember preparing dinner in my kitchen one night and weeping with gratitude as “Desert Song”, by Hillsong was playing. “All of my life, in every season, you are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship.”

God was still God, and He was good despite my circumstances being good. For this I am most thankful.

After the miscarriage, the Fall continued to hold an incredible amount of uncertainty, but with that uncertainty a truth was carried. The truth that there was a loving Father who never left us when we walked through this difficult time. And, this was the truth that God willingly entered our pain with love.

I will always remember the child that is with Jesus surely running through the fields of heaven. But I am thankful that in the broken, there is beautiful and there is God, and He is good. That is good.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

God, gratitude is a gift, but we are living in tough times, and times when it can be hard to have hearts of gratitude and of thanks. But being thankful in all things is Your will for us, and part of the fruit that comes from Your Spirit that lives in us. That can be such a hard truth, but we thank you that you are with us. Help us to sing Your praise no matter what season we are in, because You are good because You ARE good. Help us to be aware of the beauty in the brokenness, so we can look to you in thanksgiving. And when we can’t see the beauty, may we take our eyes off of our circumstances, and look to the cross and Your resurrected son Jesus. Amen.

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Share with us in the comments below.

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24 Comments

  • Reply Hannah November 20, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    What a powerful testimony of the power of the holy spirit! That you have been able to glean so much wisdom and clarity in the midst of such grief is amazing. God is certainly doing wonderful things through you, thank you for being so open!

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      Thank you, I have to always come before Him with an open heart, open mind, and two open hands. And continually take up my cross daily and put my trust in Him. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Susan Evans November 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    We are to be thankful in the midst of our bad circumstances; however, we are never forced to be thankful for evil. God will change the evil into good, but we are allowed to grieve for what we’ve lost, even while trusting a good God who will one day make all things right.
    Susan Evans recently posted…How to Make a Turkey CakeMy Profile

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Agreed. What I didn’t share in the post was that Finley’s name meaning ended up birthing the theme of our Women’s Weekend at our church in 2016 “Fair Warrior”. Yesterday was baptisms at our church, and one of the girls who got baptized shared that she had given her life to Christ on that retreat. I went up to her afterwards and shared that I was thankful that although it was probably the most painful time of my life, surely in death there was new life.
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Alice Mills November 20, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    What I am most thankful for is that God is always making things new, redeeming our losses one by one.
    Alice Mills recently posted…Body Memory: Relearning Safe and HappyMy Profile

  • Reply Holly November 20, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a personal time with us. I too love that part of the desert song.

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Desert Song would be listed on the soundtrack of my life! Thanks for stopping by today 🙂
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Julie November 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing this testimony! I can attest to finding thanksgiving in the midst of pain, hard times! We can always find something good during these times if we look beyond the current circumstance!

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Gratitude in the midst of hard times is a gift. Thanks for sharing, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Danielle Miller November 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this piece of your heart with me and other women! I too experienced a miscarriage and cannot explain the feeling of loss that wrapped itself around me. God was there through it all and I was able to know a side of him I had never seen!

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

      It is such a personal thing that is hard to explain or understand, and just like you I saw His love at a whole new and deeper level. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Keisha November 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    We are to be thankful in all circumstances. This is such a wonderful post full of amazing reminders!!

  • Reply Alicia November 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I have experienced the pain of miscarriage, as well as losing a child. I know the feelings of empty arms. But God has graciously healed, redeemed and restored. God is good. In the middle of sorrow, He is still good, and all that He does is good. Thanks for your transparency; and I love Desert Song, too!
    Alicia recently posted…Winning a 2017 Liebster Award! | What is a Liebster Anyway?My Profile

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Beautiful truths to know. And I said in another comment, but Desert Song would be on the soundtrack of my life, if I had one…
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Kristi November 21, 2017 at 12:53 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thankful you found God’s goodness in the midst of it.

  • Reply Merry November 21, 2017 at 3:42 am

    We lost our first daughter in the fall of 2012, and I so relate to much of what you shared. While our hearts ache with the separation we endure now, we look forward with joy to the day when we will worship the Son from the same side of eternity. Bless you, sister!

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      I am sorry for your loss. May He send you gentle reminders of His love and faithfulness! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Melissa November 21, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing! I am thankful for the privilege of sharing God with my therapy clients and through my blog. I am humbled that He would use me as a way to encourage and lead others to Him. I am thankful for His patience and unconditional love!
    Melissa recently posted…Living in the Word – Prayer Devotional for ThankfulMy Profile

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      May He continue to use you as you continue to seek after Him. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! May your heart be filled with gratitude.
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

  • Reply Ann (Neethu) November 21, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Oh yes there is always a beauty that comes out of brokenness and His goodness turn around everything for our good too.

    • Reply Jessica Schneider November 21, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      So much beauty in His goodness. Thanks for stopping by today! May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.
      Jessica Schneider recently posted…Epiphany at 38,000My Profile

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