Searching for Gratitude

When coming from a place of fear, finding just one blessing changes everything.

by Julia Attaway — Posted in Family Problems on Jan 18, 2017

Searching for gratitude

My frail child was in the hospital last week, felled by a virus that required extensive rehydration. Then the doctors discovered fluid in her pericardial sac, possibly a result of the virus, possibly not. The fluid grew and had to be drained.

There are, admittedly, better ways to start a new year than to have someone poke at your kid’s heart with a sharp object. I had to remind myself it would have been worse not to have found out about the fluid, or to have known about it and been unable to do anything.

READ MORE: 7 WAYS TO COPE WHEN YOUR SPOUSE FACES HEALTH ISSUES

That helped jostle my own heart toward gratitude: I could be genuinely thankful for living near a good hospital, thankful for the invention of the echocardiogram, thankful for careful doctors, thankful for anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication. When it was all over, I was thankful for no further complications, and very, very thankful to bring my child home. 

Gratitude doesn’t come automatically to me when a big, ugly fear blocks my vision: I have to go looking for it. I embark on the search because the mere fact that I am living with fear tells me that I am not seeing my life as God does.

The happy news is that once I discover one genuine blessing my perspective shifts dramatically, and I often discover many more reasons to be thankful in quick succession. The side benefit: with gratitude in my heart, there’s less room for fear.

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