Thanksgiving: The Ultimate Survival Technique

It was Thanksgiving 1981, and since I was supposed to be thankful for what I had,
I went down the list. I had:

-A husband who’d just admitted to an ongoing affair  
 with a woman he wouldn’t give up.
-A two month old son.
-A completely uncertain future.
-A body exhausted from stress, weeping
 and nursing a newborn.
-A broken, confused, disillusioned heart.
-A mind ready to explode from the traffic going through it.
-A holiday dinner to help prepare.
-A charade to keep up in front of my family.

Thankful? You’re kidding, right?

Wrong. “In all things give thanks” is not a cheap cliché. It was an admonishment repeated often to the early church for a reason. (See 1Thess 5:18, Phil 4:6-7).  It’s a survival technique, because stopping long enough to see God’s hand in the middle of a horrible situation is a way of managing, surviving, and finally, conquering it.

When Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, our country was in the middle of the Civil War.  What was there to give thanks for?  Loved ones were being lost daily on the battlefields in America. Our country was torn apart and full of uncertainty. Yet, Lincoln saw the need to seek God, thank Him for His mercy and provision and ask for our country’s future healing. It was a declaration of trust in God, that despite the turmoil, He was faithful.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
So for all of you women rowing in the turmoil of your own storms, let me offer a prayer, which I hope will bring you peace:

Thank you for bringing to light a sin that needed exposing. You knew it existed before I did, and while it was hidden from me it wasn’t being dealt with. But the fact You exposed it proves You’re indeed “the God who sees”, the one who’s looking out for me, and shepherding me by bringing to light the unpleasant truth I needed to know.
So thanks for the reminder that You’re watching me.

Thank you for giving me the courage to confront this sin and to confront the man I love who committed it. Dealing with this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Expressing my hurt, asking the right questions, drawing the line and taking the right steps have all required a courage from me that I never would have known, if not for this.
So thanks for the reminder that You’re empowering me.

Thank you for giving me a fresh look at the value of the marriage and home I’m fighting to protect. This awful thing has caused me to see how much we really do have. My anger and hurt is so great because I see the value of what was nearly thrown away by a person’s foolishness, and more than ever I want to preserve what was almost lost.
So thanks for the reminder that You’ve blessed me.

Thank you for the loved ones, friends, and allies who are hovering around me now. I never realized how deeply I would need them until I was forced to lean on them in my weakness. Never have I been so aware of how wonderful friends and family can be.
So thanks for the reminder that You’ve provided for me.

Thank you for You—and for You and Me. Your peace, power and love, are what it’s all about. The pain I feel now has brought me to a place of seeking You the way a starving, homeless woman searches for bread. Never have I known the fellowship with You that I now find as I plead my cause before You, seek Your shelter, and know Your comfort.
So thanks for the reminder that You’re my sufficiency.

 OK, now I’ve got to attend to my turkeys – the one in the oven, and the one on the couch who I’d like to throw in the oven. Ooops! Sorry – one more thing, Lord:
Thanks for reminding me I have a long way to go myself!  Amen

Happy Thanksgiving Ladies! -R


  1. Watching me
    Empowering me
    Blessed me
    Provided for me
    The Lord my Sufficiency
    That’s a lot to give thanks for.
    That’s a pretty deep blog post and so much in just a few sentences.

  2. Karri Francies says:

    Hi Renee,

    God’s blessings in this blog venture. What you’ve shared here is wonderful, and also timely for the holiday upon us. Giving thanks I know is an ongoing process.

    In Christ,

%d bloggers like this: