An Attitude of Gratitude

Find things for which to be thankful, even during the toughest timesWhat was supposed to be a fun, relaxing, and exciting getaway weekend with friends turned out to be a weekend of self-discovery, spiritual liberation, tears, and—most importantly—learning the most profound lesson of my life. Allow me to paint the picture… Most people don’t know this about me, but when my daughter Summer Rose was born I nearly died giving birth to her. I also suffered from severe post-partum depression up until she turned 1 year old. Summer Rose was delivered via emergency C-section due to me having Preeclampsia. Mind you, I never had any symptoms throughout my pregnancy—not a single inkling. So to hear this the day I was supposed to be induced, you can only imagine how scared I was, because I knew about the effects of the condition. Praise God Summer Rose was born a healthy baby girl, but I was completely broken. My entire world had changed so unexpectedly. I felt robbed from having a C-section; plus my entire body had endured so much trauma that I looked like a totally different April. On top of everything, the post-partum kicked in right away.

To say the least, the first year as a new mother for me was not the most joyous—definitely not what they depict in movies. To add fire to the flames, I lost friendships, lost my dog for about two months, my business account was at a negative balance, and in August I lost two people in my family a week apart. So, as you can imagine, I was not feeling my best. I became very negative in my thinking, or, as Joyce Meyer likes to put it, “I had stinkin’ thinkin’.” I mean, I could barely even pray. So, you would think a nice weekend getaway would make things a bit smoother despite the year I had, right? Nope. God had orchestrated this weekend to teach me a deep and simple lesson.

I was on the bed crying and cathartically spilling out my feelings to my friend, and to be honest it felt so good just to be in a safe place, letting go of everything that happened throughout the year. After a moment of silence, the person who’d been giving me console asked me a very simple question: “April have you had an attitude of gratitude?” Now, you have to imagine me staring at him as if he had three heads and in complete disbelief of his question to me. But, in an instant, I felt this heaviness in my heart and just began to sob, because I realized during the entire year all I did was complain, speak negatively, and complain some more. Yes, I did experience real pain, but it was in this moment where I had to recognize that, despite my trouble, I could I still praise God’s name and genuinely thank him—no matter how dark the situation felt. After all, my daughter was born a healthy baby girl, and I was married to the most amazing man who wanted nothing more than to be a father. Things could have been worse.

Today I am thankful for everything, and I mean everything: having running water, a warm bed to sleep in, my family being healthy, and for understanding how much God desires for me to be the best of me, even through the pain.

Is there something in your life that you have been complaining about? Are you still waiting on the answer? Well, allow me to ask you this: “Have you had an attitude of gratitude?”

In this season of being thankful, I dare you to be thankful for the hardships in life, because those are the perfect moments when God is building your character and molding you to be the most amazingly fabulous woman you can be!

Thankfully Yours, April