Charlotte Lankford: Finding reasons to be thankful

Look for those things in the midst of the difficulties for which we can be thankful.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD Modified: November 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: November 26, 2013
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A time to give thanks.

For family. But what about the one who continually pushes our buttons?

For friends. But what about the one we can no longer trust?

For health. But what if it's not good?

Well, you get the idea — and it has never made a lot of sense to me for us to go around saying we are thankful for things gone wrong — the death of someone we love, mistakes we've made, broken relationships or poor health. It seems dishonest to pretend those things don't matter.

After a serious climbing accident in my 40th year, I was uncomfortable with people who wanted me to talk about it. I couldn't think of much to say except: “I fell. I had multiple broken bones and serious injuries. I survived. End of story.”

But then a wise friend suggested that instead of talking about what had happened to me, why not talk about what I was learning from what had happened to me.

That was easier. Rather than putting the emphasis on the brokenness and the pain, I began to talk about the countless friends who had written, prayed, visited, cooked, cleaned, cared for my children and laughed and cried with me.