My friend Whitney Johnson always makes me think with her Dare to Dream blog. In her latest post Bitter or Grateful , she writes of how difficult it is, sometimes, to be grateful. She says: "We need to ackowledge the loss...(experience it)... for a time. But then we choose".
The other day I was visiting with a friend who was feeling very down, acting upset, negative. He explained he'd had a lot of disappointments that week.
I wondered what it would feel like to focus on the disappointments in my life (there are disappointments in all our lives). As soon as I made the decision and changed my focus I was shocked by the way I felt. Life felt sad and dark and overwhelming. It was an immediate fall from Grace. I felt removed from Deity. I stayed in that desolate place until the next day, when I realized that if I could make the choice to focus on the disappointments, I could also make the opposite choice and focus on all the good in my life, once again. Like two hand rails on the stairs, I could choose which to hang on to.
This experience helped me see why God says we should give thanks in all things, it is for our sake. Feeling gratitude brings us to a place of grace, where the difficulties and disappointments still exist, but somehow things don't seem so overwhelming.