this day emerges, glowing, from a string of dark moments, demanding–look, look–see the light even in this forbidding forest.

and yes, my heart does give thanks, reminders that God does still give good gifts.

I am thankful for friends who won’t budge, even as I try to push them away.

I am thankful for sleepytime tea and blankets with velvet tassels. I am thankful for cobalt and orange and new green. I am thankful for the smooth brown bird that rests beside my bed.

I am thankful for poetry. I am thankful for stories with happy endings. I am thankful for scenes acted out on screens that wend their way around my heart and give me moments of rest in the chaos of myself.

I am thankful for the ability to seek help. I am thankful for the bravery (I don’t know where it came from) to walk into unfamiliar offices and trust the heart of a stranger with my pain.

I am thankful for walls that don’t move, a vertical movement to steady my spinning. I am thankful for strong arms and fingers, for rubber shoes with hard edges, for the friction of chalk on polyurethane. For adrenaline, for falling, for the thrill of height and victory. For the ability to give something my all.

I am thankful for tears. For the ability to release emotion. For the comfort found in the fierce embrace of a brother, one found and not by blood.

I am grateful for psalms, for hymns. For communion. For the expanse of the night, the fresh breath of wind, cool concrete under my bare feet. Dandelions.

I am grateful that He hears my prayers, and treasures every one. I am grateful that the Spirit intercedes for me when I don’t know what to say, or am too tired to say it again, “with groanings too deep for words.” That He gathers all my tears in a bottle, not one are lost in the ground.

I am thankful that the Son died for me, took all my sins, just because He loves me. Just because. I am grateful that love is so powerful. If it can do that, what else is possible?

I am thankful for the familiarity of a few old friends. Thankful for laughter and nachos and trust in the hands that hold the other end of my rope. Thankful for the relief in not having to hide, not having to pretend. In the fact that tears and giggles are both perfectly acceptable.

I am thankful for honesty. I am thankful for the ability to reach out in a text and know the distance will be breached, if just for a moment. I am thankful for the ability to choose.

I am thankful for memories, even the bittersweet. I am thankful for the moment your hand slipped into mine. I am thankful for every moment with you, before and after. I am thankful that you exist in this world, and that I got to exist with you. That our stars crossed paths for even a little while. I am thankful for the hope that it could happen again, that where there is life, there is hope of new beginnings springing from feared endings. I am thankful for the strength of beautiful things.

and where there is thankfulness, there is joy, and where there is joy, there is hope. hope that cannot be drowned, even in the rivers of sadness that plunge through my bones. and where there is hope, there is a promise–that today, and tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, will be worth it.