When will this season in my life end? I’m trying to hold on, but I feel myself slipping, and I’m at the end of my rope. Just when I think I’ve hit rock bottom, my foundation shifts and I sink even lower. How is that possible? There is nothing left? How did I get to this place?
All questions I’ve asked myself during transitions in my life, including the one I’m in.
Then, at some unexpected moment, I’m reminded that no matter who I am, where I’ve been, or what place I’m in, I’ve arrived there for a reason. That reason is because there is a lesson to be taught, and something to be learned.
I encourage you to don’t just wallow or let go during these times of uncertainty in your life. I recognize you’re wounded, scared and extremely vulnerable. I empathize with your pain. But, I’m asking you to join me in not playing the victim. It’s not a role I was born to play, and if you’re still reading this, neither were you.
Instead, lift yourself up and fight. Be a wise and discerning warrior of grace and gratefulness. Choose to elevate yourself to new and different heights. Good things can emerge from life transitions, even the unexpected, but you must learn to give thanks in the roughest of seasons.
If you’ve been following my journey, you already know that during this phase of my life, I’ve lost a job, felt trapped in the black hole of unemployment, depleted my savings to survive, became a caregiver to my special needs nephew, as well as an old college friend, and experienced the loss of that dear friend.
The culmination of experiences left me physically, emotionally and mentally worn out. In a word – empty. I felt like my “glass is always full” life had definitely cracked, and over time had been depleted. Not a drop of water left, especially after the last of my tears soaked into my pillow over the death of my friend, whose life had been taken way to soon.
I felt like I had nothing left to give and wanted nothing more than to stay in bed, continue grieving, and keep the covers pulled over my head. But, in the midst of my woe is me party for one, I rested, slept and prayed. And I awoke one day soon after, re-energized, inspired, and full of hope.
I decided it was time to get out of bed, pick up the pieces of my life and move forward into greatness. Even though I wasn’t sure what that was, or would even look like. What I did know for sure was that it is a part of my DNA, because I believe I was meant to be extraordinary, not to give up when the unexpected happens.
So, in this transitional season of my life, I’ve chosen to give thanks in the unexpected moments of life for seven things:
- Spiritual Maturity – I’ve grown to give thanks not only for life’s interruptions, but to be open, and make room for the greater vision God wants to happen in my life. I’ve grown to trust and accept that if God has given something to me once, and then takes it away, he’ll give it to me again, if I trust him, and I’m willing to be stretched and work for it. Iyanla Vanzant once said, “When you are a spiritual warrior you don’t just get to lift 10 pounds, you’ve got to bench press 280.” And boy, was she not kidding!
- Death and Loss – I’ve become grateful for those moments as well because they remind me not take love, life, or my relationships for granted.
- Truth – I’ve become even more appreciative of the truth, and understanding that no matter how much it hurts, it also helps. It’s always the right choice. Speak it in love.
- Storms – Overwhelming change in my life has always been represented by storms. Some predicted. Some totally unexpected that even slow down, and linger. That’s when I know there is a deeper lesson and meaning to be had. What I’ve learned with each passing storm, is to be grateful, react positively, wait for my rainbow and splash forward with a newfound zeal for life.
- My Unique Gifts – As I grow and become more accepting of who I am, and was uniquely created to be, I recognize and better understand my special gifts and abilities. I find myself content to give of them freely.
- Serving Others – I am grateful to have learned the lesson of serving others, even when I feel like I have nothing left to give. It is our actions to serve, not just our words, that demonstrate our love and reveal our heart – our true self. Bless others with the opportunity to find out more about you. It can make a world of difference in your life and theirs.
- Commitments – Honor them and show up! I’m truly thankful for learning how to show up, even in the dimmest moments of my life, and shine bright. I’ve learned that doing so speak volumes, sets an example and often has a ripple effect in the lives of others that you could not have imagined.
If you’re wondering what has come out of all the lessons I have learned and given thanks for, you’ll be happy to know there is a silver lining. In six short months, I’ve started my own marketing and communication consulting business, A Signature Group, and I recently celebrated being part of a book, Behind Her Brand, along with nine other amazing women in their fields.
I was able to do all this because I learned to be grateful for what I had during the valleys of my life, and understand that if I was a good student, I could climb my way back to the peak. This Thanksgiving I give thanks for the many peaks and valleys that I have been blessed with, and I am grateful for yours too!
What unexpected moment will you give thanks for this year, and what will you learn from it? Remember, sharing is serving, because you never know how, when, or if, your words and experiences will make a difference in the life of another. Share with us. Start your ripple effect today.
Sending gratitude your way! Andrea