14 Mar Maintaining An Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude: The quality of being grateful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness (Oxford Languages via Google).
While most of us mark 2020 as the year Covid stopped the world, I got a double whammy – December 2020 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Over a period of seven months, I experienced three hospitalizations, seven rounds of chemotherapy with four of those rounds resulting in anaphylactic reactions, eight liters of fluid being removed from my peritoneum, major surgery and the loss of all of my hair. Most days I felt so sick that you would think gratitude would have been the last thing on my mind, but you would be wrong. I found myself grateful for the little things that would have been beyond my notice before.
I was grateful for…
- Quarantine; which meant I could work from home instead of going on short-term disability, which would have resulted in a significant reduction in pay.
- Zoom; as it allowed me to see my friends when my blood work made it unsafe to be around people.
- People who commented on my smile when looking at my bald head and eyebrow-less face.
- Home deliveries of yarn so I could crochet beanies both to distract myself from the constant nausea caused by the medicines I was taking and to keep my head warm after I lost all my hair.
- My parents who dropped everything to drive up to Delaware from North Carolina every two weeks to help during the rough days after chemo treatments and went home when I was feeling better so I could maintain a sense of independence.
- Online gatherings saved to YouTube so I could attend The Journey when I was healthy enough to watch.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
We are called by God to have an attitude of gratitude, giving thanks when life is great and when it is not. Today, I’m grateful that my hair is growing back and that when I look at pictures taken during the past year, my smile, and more importantly, my joy, has never wavered.
Next time you find yourself dwelling on all that is wrong in your life, try finding something you can be grateful for and let God know how much you appreciate that he’s got your back in all things.
Jennifer Newman, Communications J-Teamer
Jennifer has been attending The Journey since February 2020. A Sourcing Analyst in the purchasing department of an international juice manufacturer, Jennifer builds Excel spreadsheets by day and sings in a competitive barbershop quartet by night. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling with other single friends.
For further inspiration, check out The Journey’s latest series, “Gratitude Adjustment“!