Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thankful Me: Thanksgiving Day!!
Happy Thanksgiving! Although this is the last post of the Thankful Me series, I challenge us all to start and end each day with thankfulness. The days will come that winter sets in and you feel as barren as the tree outside your window. Take an extra long sip of your coffee and choose to be thankful for what has been and the promise of what is to come.
When choosing a word for this last letter, I couldn't help but think of my alma mater, East Carolina University. I had never heard of this place prior to visiting as a potential student. I vaguely knew it was east of Raleigh but not quite as far as the ocean. As I drove with my parents down interstate 264, I despondently said, "Don't you dare leave me here. This is the end of the earth". In my defense, 264 is a long stretch of highway that abruptly seems to end at the outskirts of Greenville; however, 264 does continue but I didn't know this at the time.
After I was settled in my "air-less" dorm, I waved good-bye to my family with tears streaming down my face. I still remember that feeling of utter helplessness combined with a determination to overcome.
I threw myself into survival mode, and almost 11 years later, I am still here.
I am thankful for this eastern part of the state for many reasons. I met half of my bridesmaids here, and we now share stories of love and children together. I discovered my passion for nursing here and broadened my scope with a Master's degree. I was involved with a campus ministry as the leader of the worship team, where I learned that true leadership requires humility.
My most defining moment of thankfulness occurred one normal evening in a building called Mendenhall. This is where I met a guy in a striped sweater who was sharing his experience from the past summer in Africa for a mission trip. As I saw him talk, I remember thinking there was something different about him. I was drawn to him, and I didn't really know why.
This stranger is now my husband, and I am so thankful I walked through those doors that evening.
Our marriage isn't perfect, and I'm sure if our walls could talk, you would need to wear ear plugs. But the base of our marriage is love. Love that protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love that keeps no record of wrongs.
I'm thankful for him, and I wouldn't have met him if I didn't take that long drive down highway 264, east of Raleigh and not quite at the ocean...
Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more -- a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleases me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be