Last night I laid alone in bed. Jim was in the living room typing away on yet another job application. A tightness seemed to be compressing my chest. I needed words to process what I was feeling, but the squeeze of fear stifled them. So far, on this journey into the unknown, I've felt very (and rather remarkably) calm. But last night the reality of unemployment with three small boys to care for, no national health care, belongings in storage that need retrieved and sorted... began racing through my mind. All the unknowing caught up with me in a wave of panic. I laid there trying reason my way out of the feeling of helplessness.
It wasn't long until Jim came to bed and sensed my state. I curled up and asked "will you pray?" I had no words. He began with "Lord, thank you..." and those first three words released much of the tightness, because I had forgotten. I had forgotten that gratitude is where we always want to begin.
It isn't always where we end, because we have real needs and we need to ask for our daily bread. But, when we position ourselves to realize that everything we have is a gift, then I'm able to trust that whatever is to come will also be a gift. It may not be exactly (or maybe at all) what I'm wishing for, but it will be a gift all the same. Yes, gratitude is where we need to begin.