Broken Thanksgiving

I’m not gonna lie, Thanksgiving hasn’t always been my favorite.

In the years when I was my own favorite subject, this holiday seemed to bring out all kinds of crazy in me as it seemed to shine a big, bright spotlight on to what I didn’t have.  I didn’t have enough money in the bank and I didn’t live near my family at the beach. My friends felt few and far between.  I didn’t have a husband and I didn’t have children.  I rarely felt thankful.

I would come to be with family and would end up tainting the spirit of the day.  I’d sulk as I ‘d help peel potatoes, chop celery, wash dishes, polish the remaining silver.  “Meh” was written all over my face when a family member would share about a pregnancy, a job promotion, or a new boyfriend.  The smallest of things would get to me.  All it would take would be a tone, a look.. and you’d think the media should be alerted.

But then.

One day, the worst and the best happened.  I put down the glass and picked up a new life.

Broken pieces were gradually put back together again as I began to see the world didn’t revolve around me.  Ugliness was replaced with beauty as my lens began to refocus off of myself and on to others.  I learned the benefits of consciously and intentionally loving people through my actions.  With practice, I adopted a thankful attitude and began to see how celebrating others in turn only served to celebrate me.  Oh, it didn’t come all at once, but with a strong mentor and arrows from the Spirit, I began to experience a calm I’d never known before.  I thanked God out loud for His goodness and at long last, I discovered peace.

Give thanks to God – He is good and His love never quits.  ~1 Chronicles 16:34

And now, I can’t stop saying it: God is good.  To say it out loud reinforces my belief that it is true: God is good.  No matter what might hit… God is still good.

With my love and my sadness
I come before You Lord
My heart’s in a thousand pieces
Maybe even more
Yet I trust in this moment
You’re with me somehow
And You’ve always been faithful
So Lord even now

When all that I can sing
Is a broken hallelujah
When my only offering
Is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration
Will rise up from these ruins
I will worship You and give You thanks
Even when my only praise
Is a broken hallelujah

Performed by Mandisa
Written by Gina C. Boe, Tony Wood, Ronnie C. Freeman, Jr. 

Sylvia Lange is a Christian women’s speaker, independent music artist, blogger, and teacher. To see more of her blogs, visit here.  

69 thoughts on “Broken Thanksgiving”

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  30. Dear Sylvia, My son died suddenly in March. He had gotten a car just 6 weeks earlier. He had times in his life when he was close to the Lord. He had been in an accident several years back and as a result his back rendered him disabled. Of course with all the pain he relied on prescription pain meds to manage. He changed so much and was only a shadow of the man he had been. In the midst of all the devastation I found your CD in his car. I can’t even explain how comforted I was that it was among the CD’s he’d chosen within his last 6 weeks. Thrilled my broken heart!

    1. Heidi, what a loss you’ve endured… I’m so very sorry. But thank you for sharing these encouraging words. Please private message me through this website as I would like to send you some more of my music. God bless you.

  31. I felt like I was reading about my life when I read this! I was the same way and God completely flipped my life upside down. I’m still married without children but God has healed my heart in ways I never knew possible and turned my heart towards others. I love Him and I love people! Thanks for sharing Sylvia!!!! Love ya!!!

  32. “There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would.”………. You are a miracle!! Bravo

  33. Sylvia, what a beautiful and honest experience to share. Thank you from the bottom of my heaert. You are a true inspiration.

  34. You are a beautiful gift! May your thankful spirit continue to bless and inspire all to look heavenward for our strength…just as you have!

  35. Your fearless and humble heart is so open and warm and loving.
    Thanks for another glimpse into how LOVE has changed you. It is powerfully impacting.

    1. All the old adages we heard since we were kids are true: “Love does conquer all.” “Love covers a multitude of sins.” And my personal favorite: “Love wins.”

      Every time.

  36. Wow. No matter the distance, nor how long in between times we literally vs virtually “see” each other, I hold you in my heart as a sister in spirit. You are so right; God is good, every day, and your witness has always been great inspiration for me… ❤️❤️❤️

  37. “Put down the glass and picked up a new life”–you have a gift with words. I can’t imagine you any other way but generous and giving!

  38. You always touch my heart and certainly spoke to where I came from BC. Your blog is a TG blessing. BTW, “God is good!” happens to be the treat command I use for my dogs. I love watching them run lickety split, tails wagging from the back of our large yard when I shout “God is good!” (Never minding what the neighbors may think). What a picture of the way I should be running towards the Lord! He is good all the time! Eph 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”. You Sylvia are one of the many spiritual blessings (or in dog language – ‘treats’) in my life!

  39. Year after year, I get caught up in making sure the Thanksgiving meal is served hot, on time and as perfectly as I possibly can make it. What I’ve missed year after year is that moment when you look around the room and see how beautiful life, family and friends are. Yesterday, I stopped, looked and truly felt thankful. Happy belated Thanksgivng Syl. I loved your blog!

  40. I think many people feel this way. Personally, I know at times I have for sure. Today I am, like you, glad to be approaching the holiday from a state of consciousness and appreciation.

  41. What a timely message for so many during this entire season. Thank you for sharing your personal journey in such an honest way, yet taking us to the “light at the end of tunnel.” God is good and definitely our superglue. I am so thankful that His hand has been and continues to be on you. Love you and keep writing! It is all a part of the Master’s tapestry called Sylvia Lange.

  42. Feeling broken is the pits. It can rip your heart out. I’ve been there, done that but thankfully not this thanksgiving….well maybe for a minute or two. Sylvia, you are sooo right, it’s when I take my eyes off others and focus on me….brokenness enters and tears me apart. Lord keep me others centered. I love you Sylvia ❤️

  43. I love your generous heart and your honest spirit. Thank you for sharing on this glorious Thanksgiving day. The things of this world may allow us brief moments of happiness or sadness, but with Jesus at the core of our being, nothing can ever steal our joy. Only whole hallelujahs from now on!

  44. Loved this. I feel like the more we focus on others and not ourselves, the easier it becomes to deal with what we have going on in out own lives.

  45. My toddler grandson, Alden, spent yesterday and part of today,
    Thanksgiving Day, at Rady’s Hospital. He was there for a simple tonsillectomy, but docters concerns that the adnoids had grown back, and the bronchial tubes had become restricted, made it very scary for me, and all his family .
    He has many medical issues due to genetic birth defects, so we often worry about him.
    Divorced, for 3 years, alone for 5, I have had some lonely Thanksgivings in the past few years, even though this is the first one I have spent without a Thanksgiving with family or friends.

    This year I was entertaining and loving on Alden’s siblings, my 8 and 4 year old, grandchildren, Rhett and Maisie.
    I have to admit, It is not much of a holiday and while I can list my blessings, someimes my lonely, sad thoughts, way outnumber my moments of Thanksgiving.
    My little grandson whose adnoids were taken out a year ago, had not grown back, and the bronchial tubes were fine. And that is a Thanksgiving better than a meal with family all around.
    As I sit here alone, eating my rotiasserie chicken from sprouts and costco mashed potatoe and gravy, I can’t help reflect on my life.
    Things don’t look like things do in other homes, but God is good and I know he was there yesterday, at 7:30am for little Alden and he will be here today, for me.
    Life doesn’t always look the way we want it to, but God’s love is there, whether we see it and even when we don’t feel it.
    God is good.

    1. Susan, there’s a big lump in my throat as I read this beautiful, raw response. I’m so sorry for the worry and pain you are in. But dear girl, you are a great example of what PERSPECTIVE can do in the midst of some very trying circumstances. And it’s a choice, isn’t it? God bless you, sister!

  46. You are amazing. You get into my head, into my heart, into my life experiences with your writing. You have given words to a phenomena that comes along with putting down the drink. No one told us about that part, did they? Thank you for your openness and honesty and your beautiful insight. Happy Thanksgiving….and I do thank God for “giving” you your life back!!

    1. No one told us but you know what? If they had, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. But never mind, this life… this honest and dry life is the bomb, isn’t it?

  47. This reminds me of what makes basketball so cool. There are lone wolf players who irritate, but there are teammates who make good use of the pass…pass to the next guy who has a better position for a shot. In life, uplifting the value of the guy next to us…giving him or her the chance to shine …makes a good score possible. It’s a win win for him or her and it is a win for the giver …you. Love in action engenders love in return. …but don’t expect a return on the investment. That’s what is so uplifting. It is the satisfaction of the caring action that is done so the other person’s life is better for your being there that is so special.

  48. Thank you for sharing your story about Thanksgiving. I cannot understand your feeling exactly because I have never celebrate Thanksgiving before but I am excited to know what Thanksgiving is today.

  49. Syl, This is one of the best blogs you have written. I am filled to overflowing with thanksgiving for all The Lord has crammed into my life.
    I just lost a dear friends and my heart was empty but when I heard at his memorial that his biggest wish was to spend Christmas with Jesus and his beloved wife who left us for her heavenly home 2 years ago, my whole attitude changed. The ache of my empty heart seemed irreparable until one day a new couple joined our church. I was sitting next to them the day they joined. Who ever in their wildest dream would have know that this same couple would become what The Lord send to fill the empty spot Lois’ home going left. Now they’re gone but this same couple has become a real balm. God is good. Thank you Lord for knowing what I needed and for sending me more than I could ever dream of.

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