Thinking Gratitude or Grief?

After our son’s suicide, there was a dangerous side to my grief. It was my thought process.

I kept repeating lies over and over and over again, and believing them. Here is what I told myself: “You failed as a mother. You are guilty for your child’s death. God doesn’t love you. God doesn’t care. You will never heal. You will never get over Matthew’s death. You don‘t deserve to heal.” My mindset was filled with untruths, negativity, and outright lies!

You may be in that terrible frame of mind right now. I have a prescription for you: think about something that you can see that you can thank God for—right now. Perhaps it is as simple as a beautiful cloud formation, or perhaps some flowers are blooming in your neighborhood or at work. Maybe you will see a gorgeous sunset today. Give thanks for it.


Perhaps a friend phoned today to chat, or you had coffee with a friend. Thank God for that, whether the conversation was helpful or not. Someone showed they cared. Thank God for the forgiveness of your faults. Thank God for a good meal, or a piece of your favorite pie. Look around you, there ARE lovely moments to be thankful over. Look around you, there are lovely people around you—it may even be the checkout person at your grocery store. Did they smile perhaps? Thank God for a stranger’s smile.


About seven years ago, my husband and I started a simple notebook filled with something to thank God for—every day. It might even be a visit to the dentist—which is NOT one of my favorite tasks, but we could be thankful for SOMETHING—no cavities, super-clean teeth, a pleasant dentist, whatever! Even if your visit was painful, your problem may now be solved!


Here is something else to think about? Could we give thanks for the hurts we experience or the pain in our hearts? We won’t escape pain, of some kind, while living on planet Earth. But here is the truth: God desires our thanks, yes, even in the tough times. So I encourage you to find SOMETHING that you can truly be thankful for today! Your thankfulness is not only obedience, but it will lift your spirit. It will allow you to see how many blessings you still have!


“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” Psalm 50:14



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