I've watched my facebook blow up this month with so many friends, or I guess I should go ahead and add the quotation marks "friends" (because everyone knows no one can have 231 actual friends :) ) anyway, all of those friends are posting every day in November what they are thankful for.
Completely unconnected, I saw someone else mention how their daughter had won an award, and they mentioned "we are blessed".
The two things came together in my mind and I'll admit that I'm likely going to write the next paragraphs with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Tonight, I'm thankful that my beautiful/wonderful/priceless Bella (a foster child that I had a great honor to love for a short time) is no longer with me. If she were with me still, there is a good chance I would have made different decisions, rather than following this crazy path God has allowed me to travel. I'm thankful for the week of absolute torture she and I went through together. I learned more about Gods love and mercy during that week than at any other time in my life I believe.
Tonight, I'm thankful for years, horrific year after year after year of debt. If it weren't for those years, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of witnessing Gods miracle of getting me out. That miracle was part of the confirmation I asked of God so I would know that He really was asking me to adopt Precious.
Tonight, I'm thankful for a courtship that didn't work out. I am completely confident that walking away was God's will for me.
There are more, oh there were more. Just living life for a few years as an adult would leave no doubt of that. But these three are the top, largest most unique failures in my list.
Some of my best blessings in life are the things that didn't work out. The ones that left me in tears, and aching in ways I sometimes didn't think I could breathe through. But like I quoted recently, "I would choose no other life, than the life I have had." (C.S. Lewis - The Last Battle).
There were many roads, some beautiful and promising and full of hope. But they weren't my road. At least, not the road God has chosen for me. The other roads wouldn't have been bad. They just wouldn't have been God's.
If there is one prayer that I hope God will always answer, it's that He will protect me from myself. From the bad decisions, and even the seemingly good ones. And that even the bad decisions He will use to teach me of His faithfulness.