Yesterday was quite an emotional day for me, for it was the first Thanksgiving without my precious mom here with family to celebrate all of God's blessings. Although my mom wasn't usually in our home on Thanksgiving Day because she was too sick to travel to Georgia from Ohio, she was still just a phone call away...to hear her voice, to ask her when I should put the turkey in the oven based on its weight, to ask her how much broth to use in her perfected gravy recipe, to hear her talk to our children, and to tell her how very thankful I am for being such an amazing mother and "Mimi." However, yesterday I wasn't able to do any of that. I got really emotional as we went around the table with Jason's family sharing things we're thankful for this year. I have SO MANY things to be thankful for, but at the top of my list for this past year was my mom and the life she lived, the legacy she left behind, and the love she gave to me and to so many others in her 63 years of life. I miss her so much! Our sweet daughter, Shelby (6 years old), got quite emotional after seeing me cry. I tried to comfort her and share with her that Mimi is experiencing God's blessings of joy and peace and healing in heaven. I gave her this picture of my mom to hold and that seemed to help, and she carried it around with her the rest of the evening. Life and death and all that happens in between are hard to explain to a child--I have plenty of questions myself! Yet I have no doubt that Shelby found joy and peace holding that picture of her Mimi that loved her and all ten of her grandchildren so very much!
My mom was so excited about our adoption, and that was most definitely second on my list of things to be thankful for this year. One year ago, the desire to adopt was deep in my heart yet as I've shared before, Jason wasn't on the same page at that time. So yesterday, as I looked into my husband's eyes and shared how very thankful I am for us to be walking together on the journey to adopt, tears of joy and thanksgiving flowed from my eyes. There is still so much waiting to be done and so many unknowns to walk through, yet my heart overflows with thanksgiving at the thought of it all. I hope and pray that wherever our daughter is in China, the Lord plants a seed in her heart...a seed of peace and joy knowing that there is a family in Newnan, Georgia that can't wait to embrace her and welcome her into our family forever.
In Colossians 3:15, Paul says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...and be thankful." I confess it is HARD to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart. I am quite often impatient, anxious, and worried about too many things, including "who and where is our daughter?" It is a very surreal feeling to know that God has a daughter for us, but I don't yet know who or where she is in the vast land of China. There are so many unknowns, so much waiting, and so much that is out of our control with adoption. So for those reasons alone, I am learning more each day to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart. But Paul doesn't stop there...he says to "be thankful." Be thankful for the unknowns. Be thankful for the waiting. Be thankful that I am not in control. Seriously? This goes against my human nature! Yet isn't that what the peace of Christ is all about? I can only have peace during the unknowns, the waiting, and the uncontrollable things when I am thankful...thankful that Christ is all-knowing, thankful that Christ's timing is best, thankful that Christ is in control.
A thankful heart indeed!