It’s OK…

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…if you’re not OK…

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I understand how hard your year has been, truly.  Mine has had its moments of sadness, frustration, pain and doubts too.  While most people seem to be overjoyed at the prospect of having a long weekend, pigging out on turkey and dressing, ham and mac & cheese, eating, drinking and being merry, you might not be feeling so festive right now.  Neither am I.

And that’s OK.

We can be thankful and still feel sad sometimes.  We can appreciate our blessings while mourning our losses.  In fact, I think the losses sometimes make our blessings seem more precious, because we realize how quickly those blessings can be taken from us.

I had friends die this year, people I loved while they were here and continue to love now that they are in Heaven.  I know people you love have died this year too, and this will be the first Thanksgiving that a loved one’s place at the table will be empty.  You might cry.  I might cry.

And that’s OK too.

I hope that your tears are softened by laughter as you remember your loved one, the good times you shared together and the many Thanksgiving meals you put away.  I hope the hole left in your family circle is closed up a little bit as the rest of you draw closer together to try and fill in that space.  I hope you can take a few minutes to be alone, if you need to…to breathe deeply, to pray and to give thanks even in the midst of sadness.

And I hope you know that no one is expecting you to be perfect, to put out a flawless meal or to re-create that Norman Rockwell fantasy holiday.  Be real with your loved ones.  Tell them if you’re having a hard time.  Share your heart with them.

It’s OK.

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(Me and Aunt Ruby, Thanksgiving 2012.  We had no way of knowing it would be her last Thanksgiving with us.  Now she sits at Jesus’s table, feasting on His goodness and waiting for the rest of us to arrive.)

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