The phone screen lit up the darkness and found its way to the tender part of my heart. Immediately, sleep left my body and energy flooded in as the memories took over my mind.
It was from my best friend. Call when you get stirring.
As soon as I heard her hello, the days faded away and it was as though yesterday was the day I had felt her goodbye embrace, smelled her caramelly scent, and admired her red wool hat. I could hear the smile in her voice and I am sure mine echoed the same joy.
Distance will never never separate us from the gifts God gives us.
She called just to tell me thank you. That an impact I had made on her years ago had trickled down to others and was changing their lives. Tears bubbled up and spilled over as my heart swelled with her kind words. She couldn’t have known how badly I had needed encouragement. How I was questioning everything about my life and wondering if it was even worth it. How it seems like all I do could never be enough to make an impact for His glory. How I had a date later that afternoon to teach my neighbor to bake cookies, but I knew it would be frustrating and hard because we don’t speak the same language. How she was thanking me for doing that very same thing with her. The very same thing. Her words felt like Jesus was speaking to me, telling me that I am enough in Him. That He has given me gifts that He will use. I don’t have to change who I am, I just have to give myself to Him because He has already made me perfectly. That teaching my neighbor to bake will show her His love, because He will use me, and through me He will show her Himself. That she will always remember that day the foreigner taught her to bake.
I will always remember that day.
And this day. This day that my friend called to say thank you, because right now, He is teaching me to be thankful, and what better way to want to give thanks than when you receive it? I can’t help but to want to share that feeling and bless others, bless HIM, with gratefulness.
As my mind drifted back to the day before when my tutor told me how she celebrates Thanksgiving, even though her country doesn’t recognize the day as a holiday, I realized how much more she has it figured out than I do. I, whose holiday this belongs to. She said she calls her parents and tells them thank you. She calls her best friends and tells them thank you. She calls her siblings in Him who have helped her and thanks them.
She gives thanks.
I eat pie and get frustrated that all anyone wants to do is watch football.
Not this year. This year, I am choosing to have a grateful heart. This year, I will remember those who have helped shape me into the person I am today, and I will thank them.