Am I Thankful?

My two healing partners:crutches and walker with my
hope for the journey reminders: leash to walk the dog, and a soccer ball
to dribble by the shoreline (a favorite activity)
…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
     Sometime in Fall, I start to reflect on the year that is winding itself down to a close. I look back, on the hopes I had in January for all the “good things” that God had for me for that particular year. I ask  Him to reveal what I need to see as I look back. I usually ask the questions, “What is useful to my walk with You, Lord and in my relationship with others?” and “What do I need to learn from this year as I go ahead?”. Fall is a reflective season for me as I journey toward the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas and seek to stay grounded, thankful and connected through the bustle of what is to come, a culmination of the days leading to, God willing, another year. So, with that in mind and this year in particular I ask myself the question, “Am I thankful”?
     What pops into your mind when you think about thankfulness? I know for me it’s good stuff! Good things. God given, good things. Generally, I don’t think I am thankful for the negative, bad, rotten things that may have happened. My mind goes right to the good stuff!
Enter the Mind of Christ.
This year my take home lesson, started with the anticipation of good things, but was interrupted by what could only be described as, well, let’s just say less than equal to the good things anticipated! AT least by a temporal perspective.
     In February, while driving my daughter and her friend home for a sleepover, interruption number one occurred.  While sitting at a red light, we were struck from behind by a car that was sitting behind us, which had been hit by a Pick- Up Truck that never even slowed down! CRASH! So it began. My abrupt wake up call beckoning. Could I be thankful, in every circumstance? This present circumstance?
The girls were shaken but physically unharmed.
The car was totalled.
I woke up the next day, surprised by the pain I felt. Whiplash. And an un-drivable car.
(I want to add that I continued to work my regular hours, including classes while I went through the Physical Therapy for this. I pushed through and endured the pain because I knew my boss and clients were counting on me with no ‘back-up” plan. We also did not pursue a law suit but settled for coverage of medical cost for treatment and “fair” compensation for my car.)
Instead, I asked, thanklessly, “Why, Lord?”
The still, small whisper, returned, “Trust me, I am here”.
Changes came this year. Unplanned. Unexpected. Completely without warning.
Sometimes it hurts to follow you, Lord.
     The welcome weather of Spring and a fun-filled, anticipated school Field Day. As a mom, you bet I was there, to help, enjoy and share the day with my daughter and the wonderful school community.
Having taught 4 1/2 hours worth of moderate to intense type classes the day before, I would not have anticipated an injury. Obstacle courses are after all my business, more or less. But, on this day, there was one last squat, bend, twist and SNAP! I felt it. Wake up call. I ignored it. Until my husband found me crawling on the floor at three in the morning because I couldn’t walk, or get back in the bed after I had slithered my way to the kitchen for another ice pack. We were off to the emergency room. Welcome interruption number two. All. Circumstances. Ouch. It really hurts, Lord.
     I work in the world of Fitness. Walking therefore, is a very minimal requirement. No walking possible. Pain, probable. Movement. Not happening. The Hip is complex, and so was the injury. Bone fleck, tear, Arthrogram, MRI, x-ray. Fearful words. Work as I knew it was halted. I literally went from active to sedentary. Halt. Thankful? No, afraid, yes.
     June, brought a final word from my boss. I was no longer a good fit for the future of the company. What good is a Fitness Instructor who can’t move, teach, train? I wondered the same thing myself as I absorbed that blow. Strike 3!
     Was I thankful? Sorry to confess, I was angry, hurt, sad. I heard the Lord’s voice: “I am with you, do not be discouraged or afraid.”
I look back on this year and I see pain and loss. But I also see his hand intricately involved in redirecting my course and redefining me.
 My hope remains because hope resides in me:
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
The reality is, there has been good which has come from each of these circumstances, that look so bad from a superficial perspective. Beneath the surface is where truth roots deeply and where faith is grown. Am I thankful? Ultimately the answer is, yes. Was I thankful during the wake-up calls that God allowed into my life this year? Not initially. But ultimately.
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
Job 19:25
I CAN and will give thanks in all circumstances ULTIMATELY because
He has called me to it and He makes it possible for me to do it:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Phillippians 4:13
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according
to the plan of him who works out
everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ,
might be for the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11-12

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

6 thoughts on “Am I Thankful?

  1. What a hard year it has been for you, but you are truly blessed to have the Lord present in your life, knowing and caring about you!


  2. This really hits home for me and I'm glad you linked it up on my blog. My reality check for me came January 1st of this year when my husband walked out into our garage and saw my car pushed into the garage and totalled. We were hit by a drunk driver in our own driveway! My car was totalled. The next month in February we were hit with another big thing. After going to a routine well woman exam I was told I needed to have surgery. It was rough and the medical expenses we were going to have to deal with right after the holidays in addition to having to buy a new car…I couldn't imagine what else could have happened to us. Then 1 month later after my “female surgery” I discover I am pregnant. It was a surprise since I didn't think I could have gotten pregnant during that time. It was hard to count our blessings, new car surgery, the expense of a new baby…what was God doing to us? Back in August I lost one of the kids I was watching in my home Day Care because my OB appointments were getting in the way. I prayed and prayed and brainstormed to God to help me find a way to bring in an income for my family in a way where I wasn't lifting kids all day long. About a month and a half ago, due to lifting too much I went into a little bit of pre-term labor that was stopped at the hospital. That is when I prayed the hardest for God to help me come up with something to help make ends meet.I discovered an online job where I would work from my laptop and decide my own hours. I initially failed the qualification exam to get into this job and while I cried over it, I finally said, God you are in control, you know how much I can handle. For some reason even though it clearly stated they do not give anyone another chance to take the test, I got an email saying I had been invited to take the test again. I passed that test and now I'm working from home like I wanted to. I still am in a testing phase to make sure I am a right fit for their company, but I feel so blessed to get the opportunity to at least try and see if this will work out for us. God really lifted my spirits because I was feeling like a failure and now I can see that things work out in his time and he has a plan for us, even when we fail to appreciate it or see that he was in the picture the whole time and if we just stopped to trust Him, we could have given ourselves less grief. Anyway, sorry for the long story, but it really hit home this year. We are welcoming our second baby into the world right before Christmas….what a time to celebrate life huh? God is amazing. 🙂 Heather From and Mommy Only Has 2 Hands!


  3. I love your outlook. I lost my job three years ago and just couldn't understand why. It was so hard to wrap my head around all that was happening to me during that time. Fast forward three years and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It brought me down a path I would never have gone down and I'm so much happier and doing something I love. Sometimes the path isn't lighted right away but God does have a plan for us all and we just need to believe in him and trust decisions that are made along the way.Stopping by from the Blog Hop.Tamra


  4. Sometimes it hurts to follow you, Lord. Very true Dawn – I can see you are younger than me, but I have found myself in your place (and not exactly) many times. You seem to have a very good head on your shoulder.I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Phillippians 4:13My husband and I were just talking about that verse – I have it right next to me on my calendar.I love that verse.Another My grace is sufficient for you!I know you will continue to recover – slowly.Welcome.sandie


  5. Dawn: We each have our difficult times in life. I wish I could say that mine come in cycles but they sometimes come three or four at a time. In 1996, my stepmother and my dad were diagnosed six months apart with Cancer. I was helping look after a cousin of ours. The first three months of 1997 each one of them were hospitalized. These are just a few of my 'in-tandem- trials.”


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: