A Sunrise and Gratitude

A good friend of mine, Melody Ferrell, wrote this on Thanksgiving Day. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

This morning I walked out my door to behold a breathtaking sunrise. 
I wanted SO badly to capture it, to photograph the beauty, but the best part of it was hidden behind the structure of my home. I was heading out to run over to a boot camp, and I thought, "Maybe, just maybe, if I run fast enough, I can get far away enough from these buildings so that I can see the full horizon."

So I set off running, turning my back to the sunrise as I focused on my run. But after only 5 minutes of running I could see that I wasn't going to make it in time. The sunrise was already fading and I was going to miss the chance to capture it and keep it forever.

And isn't that what we so often do? In the moments where beauty grabs our hearts, or where joy offers its hand to us, or where gratitude is the only sensible response to a situation... we run.

We run... because we are afraid. We are afraid that this joy we so hope to possess forever will be fleeting. We don't want to allow ourselves to feel the full depth of the joy and the thankfulness, because we know that we very well might lose it. I can think of many times I have looked at my daughters as they play, wanting to feel SO MUCH GRATITUDE to be their mom and yet allowing myself to feel fear that something might happen to them one day. So I harden my heart to the joy because I am so afraid to lose it.

We all do this, because we know that grief and loss are just as familiar to us as joy and gratitude. Our tomorrows are not promised.

But what if we choose to live and love with OPEN HANDS? What if we choose courageous gratitude? A gratitude that says: I will revel in this moment and feel the joy of it to the core of my soul, because it is beautiful and good. I will not be afraid of losing it... because loss is a part of living. I will allow the pain I live through to teach me sweetness of joy. I will allow the grief I experience to enhance the fullness of my gratitude. I will feel all of these things to their fullness, and I will not buy the lie that says that dulling my joy will somehow also dull my grief.

I will live with open hands. I will be grateful for what is placed in them and I will understand that it is not promised tomorrow. I will not be afraid to be grateful.

I want to live like this. I CHOOSE to live like this today.

And the best part? God looks out for us in our grief and our loss. God even makes those things beautiful if we allow it. Today when I got home from boot camp, I looked at Facebook to discover that my trainer had already taken a picture of the beautiful sunrise.

The thing I thought I had lost... God gave it back to me.

And I will not be afraid to be grateful