Ever since I left home in California for college in Indiana back in 2002, Thanksgiving has been a holiday I have frequently missed out on with my intermediate family. Whether going home with a college roommate, spending the day with a teacher’s family, or driving to my grandpa’s house in Ohio, I always seemed to find a place to celebrate with people I love.
On the World Race in 2009, I spent Thanksgiving fasting with my Ometepe Family for the nation of Nicaragua. While Thanksgiving was always surrounded by food, Thanksgiving meant a lot more to me when we gave up food as a prayer to the Lord to see other people come into the family of God. I was completely overwhelmed with the presence of God that day. I was reminded that thankfulness is an action of giving thanks for what you have.
Americans usually celebrate by giving food. In Nicaragua, we chose to give our day to the Lord through prayer and fasting, because that’s what they had to give.
Today, I find myself in Gainesville, GA. Financially, I couldn’t swing flying home to California, or even driving up to Indiana to visit my college family like I’d planned. It’s easy to feel like I’m ‘missing out.’ I was a little pathetic about it for a while, honestly. Then, I started thinking about Nicaragua, and what I learned there. Today I’m reminded I’ve been given a beautiful opportunity to give thanks for the place God has planted me right now.
Today, I choose to give thanks for what the Lord has put right in front of me.
I am captivated by the Lord’s love for me. Right now, he’s put wonderful friends in my life who understand who I am, where I’ve been, and what God’s calling me into. Adventures Staff celebrated thanksgiving last week, and it was a wonderful reminder of the body of Christ I live with everyday. We really do life together.
Today, I’m celebrating Thanksgiving with a ridiculously wonderful group of friends. I have no doubt we’ll have a blast, and we’ll give thanks to the Lord for all He’s done for us.
What circumstances do you find yourself in for the holidays this year? Do you feel you’re missing out, or can you see the purpose in the what God has put right in front of you?