Being Thankful When You Don’t Feel Like It

Several mornings a week during my morning commute, I meet a truck heading south hauling burial vaults. It’s a stark reminder how fragile life is. Even in the stressful times like I’m currently dealing with, when I’m wondering where God is, or I think I want to give up, when I see that truck, I’m reminded I got another day to try again. It may be a bad day, but I still got another one. The people for whom the burial vaults are for didn’t get that, for they completed their final twenty-four run.

My dad was twenty-eight years old when he died. When I reached twenty-eight, yeah, it was a long time ago, I realized I started living years he never got the chance to live. Daddy didn’t get to see his children grow up, never got the chance to finish his pursuit of his dream of being a Country singer. He never got to teach his children life skills, or pass along his musical knowledge, nor stand with Mama when the tough times came, many of which would’ve most likely been avoided had he lived. I made it passed twenty-eight, but he didn’t.

I can remember as a teenager listening to girls complain about how strict their dad was. I wanted to tell them, “At least, he’s alive and cares about you.”  Mama told me Daddy loved us, but of course, he didn’t get the chance to show it. I’ve always felt cheated because of it.

Daddy’s absence left a huge void in my life, and yes, it affected me deeply. Growing up, I was told I had a heavenly Father who’d watch out for me, one who takes care of widows and orphans. If I am to be completely honest, I’ve wondered where my heavenly Father was when the bad days came, kind of like I’ve pondered the same in the last eight years. Maybe I’m not supposed to feel that way, but I have.

My husband lived to see his daughters grow up, but he didn’t live to see all of his grandchildren. I prayed and prayed for many more years with him, but with what felt like the snap of the fingers, he was taken from me. Now, it’s my job to tell our grandchildren he never got the chance to meet all about him. At least, now, I can talk about Dan without the tears flowing. A few years ago, that wouldn’t have been possible.

Despite all of this, all of what I missed without having my Daddy in my life, and not having Dan with me today, I must stay thankful for the time I did get with them. I must also be thankful for each day I do get, even when they’re so bad I think I can barely get through them.

When you don’t understand why so many bad days come, it is hard to stay focused and grateful. When you’ve lost a lot, and you’ve lost some special people, it is hard to believe you have God’s favor. Yes, it is sometimes hard to appreciate the new day when you wake up in the morning.

If your father was in your life when you were growing up, be thankful, and be especially thankful if he’s still with you. Some of us didn’t get that privilege. And be thankful in the morning when you start a new day. Some people didn’t get that privilege either.

Happy Father’s Day! May God bless you all!


© Dee Hardy | Encouraging the Discouraged, 2017. All rights reserved.

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