Giving Thanks For The Hard Things

This year was hard for us. 

  • Farming took a nose-dive and finances tightened until I had a hard time breathing.
  • Infertility still stalked and some hoped for fertility aides did nothing.
  • Adoptions fell through. As in more than one. 
  • Our heater died at the beginning of winter. No joke. 
  • My four-day-a-week job dropped to only Mondays and Fridays. 
  • Almost every single calf born in our barn died within six weeks and it took us almost a year to figure out what was wrong. 

Every year around Thanksgiving, I jump at the chance to thank God for His gifts. I love listing them, rejoicing in them. 

But this year I felt God say something different. 

–> Thank me for the hard things. <–

I didn’t want to. At all. I’d rather focus on pretty, poetic words. But the Spirit wouldn’t let me be. The nudges continued until I began to whisper in broken, tear-filled moments… 

Thank you, God, for infertility. Thank you for limited finances. Thank you for the days when farming drains every reserve I have. Thank you for less work. Thank you for the money that is owed to us that has not been paid. Thank you… 

And as I whispered thanks, I began to see. Glittering. Clear. Glorious. 

I saw my husband kneeling by the bed, gripping my hand and crying out to God. I saw the hardship and wounds to his pride refining the David-Heart in him. I saw his broken words of surrender touch the hearts of those around him, causing them to look and surrender again to the true Ruler of All. 

I saw the book that was born from sorrow come into being– and ran fingers over words on the computer screen: Thank you, Natasha, for writing about your pain being redeemed… I saw the written remembrance of my pain birth healing. 

I saw deep inside this self-sufficient, prideful heart– and found safety and restoration, again, at the feet of my Redeemer. The One who breaks down every layer that I build between His cleansing fire and my flesh.  

I’m not saying I like it. In fact, some days I hate every single minute. But I’m thankful. 

And I rest in His promise that this world is not the end. The fire does not last forever. Once the gold is purified and refined, it is shaped and molded into beauty. 

What hard things do you need to thank Him for this year?

In Him {and only through Him}, Natasha

Natasha Metzler

Natasha lives and writes from a dairy farm in Northern New York. Life hasn't gone according to plan but the heartache sings of redemption. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com

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  • TRINA HOLDEN

    Natasha, your commitment to thank Him for the hard things inspired me…so I tried it myself…and sure enough, saw glitters of glory where I least expected. It was a powerful exercise–thank for leading us in this choice to be grateful

    • NATASHA METZLER

      Isn’t it marvelous? God continually astounds me with His goodness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1103139415 LORRETTA STEMBRIDGE

    It’s all good. All.

    • NATASHA METZLER

      Amen.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ JULIE SUNNE

    The Lord works it all together for good–everything–even when its painful, horrendous, harrowing. Thankful always for that. Blessings on your Thanksgiving day, Natasha.

    • NATASHA METZLER

      Thank you, dear Julie.
      Blessings to you as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christy.fitzwater.5 CHRISTY FITZWATER

    Natasha, I know people right now who have experienced all those hard things. Women need to know God is still loving and God in the middle of all that. I’m sorry for all those hurts piled on top of each other, but I pray the fruit that comes from it will be immeasurable.

    • NATASHA METZLER

      Thank you, dear. There are definitely many who have struggled through extremely hard things as well. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to say that God is faithful– right from the middle.

      Blessings!

  • JACQUI

    Natasha-Thank you so much for sharing honestly! I look forward to reading the book!

    • NATASHA METZLER

      Thank you. <3

  • NAOMI B.

    Thanks for this post!

    I am loving and hating finding something to be thankful for in the hardest things. Sometimes it just seems like it might be more fun to complain then to thank. To wallow then to feel blessed.

    But I am so blessed, and I am loving to realize it fully and to keep on giving thanks and to say ‘no’ to the part of me that only wants to complain!

  • JAMEE M

    I am sitting in bed bed-bound with a flare with tears streaming down my face. It has been such a hard year. I’ve been battling multiple chronic illnesses for nine years and this summer ended up life-threating complications that resulted in an emergency surgery and multiple hospital stays. It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever been through – that We had ever been through. Not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. It has been a long recovery and sometimes I struggle to find God in the midst of it. I know with every fiber of my being that He is withe and is working I just don’t see it yet but can trust in His promises! Thank you so much for sharing this! My heart needed it so much! P.S. We also went through infertility and multiple failed placements before we brought home our daughter so I know how much of a gut-wrenching roller coaster it can be! I will be praying for you and your husband! If you ever need a listening ear or some encouragement, I would love to chat!

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Oh, wow, Jamee. What a year (or rather, nine years!). Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/TheMaryBonner MARY BONNER

    One of the hardest things for me to do is to be thankful for the hard stuff…loss of income, loss of a child, loss…period. Yet, it is in the darkest times of my life that I have felt his hand on my heart most clearly. These seasons of life are part of my story…part of what makes me ME and makes me what HE wants me to be.

    Beautiful post, Natasha…I am praying for you this morning.