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Gratitude for the Hard Times

Terrhonda Hillman
By Terrhonda Hillman

“Today, I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.”

-Anonymous

I often look back over my life recounting the times when people have extended a helping hand in my time of need.  This help has come in the form of words of encouragement, physically lending a hand, and often times, monetarily.  In those moments, I have been on the receiving end and expressed my gratitude graciously.  Though I was happy to have people extend themselves in my times of need, I often experienced a feeling of helplessness that I didn’t like.  Looking back, I think that feeling may have partly been my ego, but for the most part, I believe that I felt that way because I knew I could do better.  Deep inside, I knew that I was much better than the person I was.  I remembered praying to God and asking that I no longer be the receiver, but to allow me to be a giver.

After many years of self-discovery, awareness, and growth, I am now experiencing the role of the giver.  I realize now that in order for me to embrace the role of a giver, I needed to experience how it felt to be the receiver.  As a receiver, I learned how to be a giver. These were dark times, but if I had not been in the position of need and had not felt what it was like to receive from both cheerful givers and reluctant givers, I probably would not have learned the importance of being a cheerful giver.  I often think of a friend that I would ask to borrow sums of money from.  She would always respond cheerfully and send me the money, no questions asked.  I remember saying to myself, “I want to give just like her.”  Today, I still model her attitude whenever someone asks for my help. I freely and cheerfully give of myself.

I can honestly say that I am genuinely grateful for my dark times.  It took each of those moments for the woman that God created me to be to take her rightful place.  A seed has to be buried in the dirt to bloom into a beautiful flower.  I am grateful for the fertile soil of insecurity, pain, doubt, and fear that I was planted in.  It took that dirt, that soil, to cause me to push through.  I would not be the virtuous woman I am today without the darkness.  I am grateful.

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