So here I am, miserable and sick with a case of stomach flu and an even worse case of self-pity. In bed, able to keep only a few things down, sleeping most of the day.
But deeply hidden in my heart was a little question-mark that would not shut up.
“Aren’t you supposed to give thanks, even now!?”
“But how!!!? What for!? This hurts and there’s not much I can do!?” I asked.
Since there was no answer that I heard but the question wouldn’t let go of me, I asked my longest online friend on Facebook “How to be thankful while having a case of the flu 🤔”. His response:
“It could be worse“.
It could be worse. Four words that sent my mind spinning and put an end to my self-pity. Yes it could be worse. A lot worse.
Like for my sister in law, who has been feeling like this for over 30 weeks now because of her pregnancy. She has four kids to worry about already, to raise and care for. And still quite some weeks to endure what others think to be a blessing… but to her it comes with a cost. My flu will be gone in a few days. Already I have spent 12 hours without throwing up so the worst is over now. I Thank God!!!
I could have to do without the support and care of my husband. Without him to look after our daughter, take her to school, feed her, clothe her, take her to a friend to play have fun… and without him making me soup and hot tea or to take over whatever needs to be done in and around the house, what would I have done?! It is because of his care that I get to migrate between couch, toilet and bed undisturbed, that I can rest and let this bug run its course without worry. I Thank God!!!
I could have to do without my little girl, who is bringing me drawings, kisses and hugs, who crawls in to bed with me and offers to stay the night… if that would make me better. She doesn’t nag or whine, she understands why mommy cant read her a book now, or put her to bed. Thank God!!!
I could have to still show up at work to either have enough money or even keep my job… But no! First of all, I have a job, and one I love doing. That alone is something to be grateful of! But mine comes with compassionate coworkers and paid sick-days! I Thank God!!!
I could be homeless and without a bed to hide away in until this is all over. Cold and lonely out on the street, no warm blankets, no fresh towels, no extra set of clothing when this one gets dirty… Instead I have a warm bed in a safe house with a warm shower, clean towels and new pj’s to wear if I should mess these up. And then another blanket on the soft couch downstairs where I can sit and sip tea and watch my family… I Thank God!!!
For almost two years now, there is a saying on our wall. One that my husband put up there for me, to remind our family of this daily: “Dankbaarheid is de kortste weg naar geluk“, which is Dutch for “Gratitude is the shortest road to happiness“. Yet I needed a friend from an ocean away to remind me today.
I Thank God he did!!
Praise the Lord, who carries our burdens day after day; he is the God who saves us.
Psalms 68:19 GNB