A Thanksgiving Prayer - The Meaning of Family (With Illness) via CertainlyHer


As I was sitting down in the living room this cold blistery morning, emotions were running through my body. Emotions of overwhelming thankfulness and reflection – thinking about how hard this life is and the struggles that are so real that sometimes I wonder if I’m even going to make it through the day. So thankful for my family, it’s not a “normal family”, not like the ones you see your friends have where they play soccer mom and take their kids to karate class and go to PTO/PTA meetings at the kid’s school or having a date with the hubby.

No… we don’t have the pleasure of doing the “normal” things.

Let me get back to what I felt emotionally on the couch:

This overwhelm of “little things” of thankfulness. You know that the “little things” do add up. Right?

Then I thought about this story I read about having a penny jar. Every time you have a thankful moment you add a penny to the jar. By the end of the year, you can see with your own eyes that there were happy and grateful moments in life. I can see how that could work and some people actually place notes of gratitude in a jar so they can read back on those moments. Such a great idea, right? Well I never did get to do it and now I’ve been washed over with so many emotions.

Here’s what I thought about – the struggles of a family

Our family has a peculiar set of struggles that I think no one wants to admit but they see it in their own families however no one ever talks about it. Loved ones with depression, I mean downright to the ground can’t breathe don’t want to leave the house and not wanting to see a soul type of depression. The only reason to leave the house is to see the doctor for pills that obviously don’t work and for the absolute necessities like food and clothing. To have family members say they want to help and when they get knee deep in what they finally see what depression can be, they run as fast they can out of the picture – out of pure fear of getting too far deep of perhaps “catching” the depression or illness. This is understandable. It’s hard. Having an illness that no one understands is rock hard.

Then there are moments – of Thankfulness

  • To see the children laugh and crack jokes.
  • To see my husband’s smile or maybe dare I say hear his laugh.
  • To go to a restaurant and eat THERE – the complete awkwardness but satisfyingly good feeling that we can accomplish such a feat.
  • To see the children learning and flourishing with knowledge – learning the ABC’s, reading books that interest them to take them off to far away lands, to understand that everyone is different in their own unique way.
  • To know what illness is and be empathetic to what others might be feeling.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Of course I’m thankful to have food on the table and a roof over our head. It’s amazing how good God is to us.

Illness can be arduously painful physically and emotionally. However knowing that everyone in this world is going through struggles it reminds me that life is hard for everyone. No one has it easy. Hope is what brings us through the hard times.

To understand the struggles of what a family endures creates a thankfulness of no other. It creates a bond and strength in a family. That’s what I’m truly grateful for – God’s strength and enduring love that He provides.

No matter what obstacle may come between our family, we will always have the hope for better times and we will get through the tough times. ALWAYS.

Thank you Lord Jesus for always being with us. We pray that others who struggle with illness in their families will come to you for hope and strength.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

A note to those who have a loved one with a mental illness –

I know it can be scary and you wonder if things will get better and there will be good days and bad days. Understand that it’s never going to ever be “normal”. You can’t compare yourself to “the normal outside of your family”. There is no comparison. Understand that everyone will struggle in their own way, it may not be illness but it’s something that you cannot fathom going through because it’s just not your test in life. Keep track of your wins and be thankful for the little things. Keep hope and faith alive and welcome prayer into your life. Know that this life isn’t all that there is. There is more but in the mean time, love and spend time with your family. That is my prayer for you.

Peace, Happiness, Love, and Thankfulness to you,