Be Thankful for the Scary Stuff

I read many blogs and heartfelt sentiments right before Thanksgiving noting all the things people were thankful for. I didn’t write about mine because I figured they were much the same.

I was wrong.

When I look back over the past year—the past three years to be exact—I am thankful for a whole set of different blessings.

I’m thankful for the tornado warning we had while our boat was tied to the side of a canal overnight. I’m thankful for the 20-hour trip down the west coast of Florida in the fog, thirty miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. I’m thankful for the three-second waves that tossed us around on Lake Michigan, and the enormous yacht on the West Coast of Canada that crossed our path and sent us bouncing out of the water bow-first with its wake. These were physical tests…the emotional ones were equally frightening.

I’ve come to realize it’s the scary stuff that tests you. If you’ve faced your fears, survived adversity, met and conquered challenges, you know what you’re made of.

Every black moment in my life has come with a lesson. Every lesson has brought a bit of wisdom. And with wisdom comes confidence and a strange inner peace that fortifies you for the next event.

We’ve all faced emotional challenges with spouses, parents, children, siblings…even our own health. We’ve learned we can face whatever life throws at us because we’re survivors. We’ve been there and done that. We’ve known adversity and we’re still here. Maybe we’re a little battered and bruised, but we’re still breathing.

So give me the scary stuff. I’ll stare it down and be thankful because it forces me to learn and to grow and to appreciate the people in my life, the experiences we’ve shared, and the blessings we enjoy—all those things other people give thanks for every year.

And I know I’ll be ready for whatever the future brings.

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