Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Thanksgiving is the Hardest Holiday for Me

On Monday, Jordan and I went to our institute class.  Institute is an LDS school of religion.  We can choose classes about things like certain books of scriptures, church history, or parables of Christ.  Our class that we've been taking is about the history of our church, and it has been really good.  The teacher is an amazing historian and has so many great stories and insights that make the class absolutely fantastic.  The lesson on Monday was about some of the struggles and hard things that the early LDS people had to go through, which was a little odd to teach right before a holiday where we are thankful for our blessings.  He challenged us to spend some time this weekend to be alone and say a prayer of gratitude.

Today, I was trying to do just that.  This time of year is probably my least favorite part.  Three years ago, my friend died in a car accident.  Two years ago, my wonderful grandma was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  Both things happened just days after Thanksgiving.  So on this holiday when I am encouraged to be happy and grateful for what I have, I am reminded of loved ones I have lost.  Those memories come back with full force, and though I try to think about other things, I can't avoid wishing that they could be here.  

I know I already posted about being grateful for hard things, but I really felt like I needed to say this today.  Though Thanksgiving is hard for me, it is also beautiful because for a couple days I remember and think about all the people I have loved who have passed away.  I remember who they were, and what made them unique.  I remember the ways they shaped me into who I am today.  And I remember that although there is heartache, it will not last.  Because of Christ, they will live again.  I have felt His love and their love too many times to doubt that fact.

So, I choose to be happy, despite the pain.  I choose to have faith in my Heavenly Father's plan, even if I can't see the end right now.  I choose to cherish the memories that I have, because they encourage me to be a better person.  I want to be like the early pioneers of my faith, and hold strong no matter how hard it may seem.  This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for love, and family, and Christ.  I am grateful for the people who have loved me and helped me grow.  If you have ever made me smile or laugh, you are on that list.  I am grateful for for my health. I am grateful for my wonderful, amazing husband and for his example to me.  And I am grateful for my angels. 

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