This lesson really hit me on Thanksgiving this year. I was all set to go over to my parents and have a nice traditional Thanksgiving experience with my family. Thanksgiving morning arrived and all of a sudden I felt very unsure about leaving the house that day. I prayed to know if it was right for me to go out. The answer was a very strong, validating no. I was heartbroken. How could I be home by myself for Thanksgiving? I would miss out on all of the Thanksgiving traditions. A beautiful set table where we dine and share what we are grateful for. Where we make great memories through our connections as a family.
As I sat at home all I could think was " This is not what Thanksgiving is supposed to look like...." Forget that many members of my family planned to visit me later that day with scrumptious food in hand. I still wanted the "traditional" version of Thanksgiving. I just knew that I would not feel the true meaning of the holiday without it.
While my family was eating miles away from me, I decided to watch a conference talk by President Uchtdorf from the April 2014 general conference called Grateful in Any Circumstances. He talked about being grateful in any situation regardless of your circumstances good or bad. This talk really opened my heart and reminded me what this holiday is really about. It is about creating a connection with our Heavenly Father and our Savior through deep, far-reaching gratitude. As I thanked my Heavenly Father for so many of my blessings, especially the stellar health of my dear one, the spirit and meaning of the holiday rushed into me. I felt so humbled by the warmth and love I was receiving. I didn't need to experience the"traditional" Thanksgiving to feel what I desired. In fact, I have never felt the spirit of Thanksgiving more than that day in my bed sobbing through my tears of gratitude. It was such a beautiful reminder that meaning is usually found by actively searching for it, it rarely finds you.
I will never forget the Thanksgiving I spent in bed. Closeness and love was definitely felt from my family even though I was miles away from them. I felt everything I desired to feel and all it took were sincere prayers of gratitude. I love that we can feel the spirit of Thanksgiving at anytime of the year and in any circumstance.
Have you ever felt that in order to feel the full meaning of an event it had to play out a specific way? What happened when it didn't? Please share your thoughts :)
Here is the talk I referenced by President Uchtdorf