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How Gratitude Can Help You Move on from Heartbreak

No matter the magnitude of the loss, you can choose to feel God’s presence.

Mother and son
Credit: Getty Images/moodboard RF

Life rarely goes according to plan. Several months ago I purchased airline tickets to go home and surprise my mother for Thanksgiving. I wanted to celebrate her birthday and spend time with family for a couple of weeks. But heartbreakingly, Mom recently became ill and passed away. Instead of going home for the holidays, I went to say goodbye.

There are many people who are dealing with difficulties: losing a loved one, getting a bad diagnosis, facing more bills than the paycheck can cover, finalizing a divorce. We live in an imperfect world where the road can be bumpy and treacherous. This is when it’s tough to be thankful, to look for the good in life.

I have chosen to be grateful even though my heart is empty and sad. The joy of going home for Thanksgiving has been replaced with loving memories of being at the dinner table and watching Mom blow out her birthday candles.

I refuse to let unexpected circumstances silence the power of gratitude. Cultivating a grateful spirit, attitude and mindset helps me through times like this. I will not let grief, sadness, loss and disappointment get in the way of the joy that accompanies gratitude.

I’m thankful for Mom and how she showed me the way of a faith-filled life. I’m grateful for all the people who sent sympathy cards, who called and prayed for me. Their kindness and love brought me God’s presence. Giving thanks for them helps me see my troubles in a new light.

This Thanksgiving we can all choose to exercise the power of gratitude, inviting its comfort and strength. Gratitude will heal broken and disappointed hearts. Thoughts and prayers of thanksgiving will shift our perspective from despair to hope, from darkness to light. It will allow us to see God’s goodness in all circumstances. 

If you are in a difficult place today, I pray that, little by little, you can find thanks for the big and small things within and around you, no matter what else is happening. My hope for you is to feel and experience the grace of God—with friends and family and even alone.

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