Thankful isn’t the word that comes to mind when I reflect on this year. That might seem odd, because it seems that I have SO much to be thankful for, but this goes down as one of the worst/hardest/saddest/grief-stricken years ever.ever.ever. And, this has nothing to do with another 11 months gone by with no pregnancy.

You hear heartbreaking stories all the time. Stories of loss. With social media and technology, it seems like these stories are directly in our face.

‘Mother of 4 loses battle to cancer’
‘Car accident kills family of 5’
‘2 year old drowns in backyard pool’

But, most of us would say they NEVER think these stories would happen to them. I was the same. Just as naive. But, one of those stories did happen to me. Our worst nightmare happened, when our sweet, precious nephew, Kai, went to be with Jesus earlier this year after a 15 day battle with brain cancer. Our family’s worst nightmare.

But, the bible tells me to be thankful in ALL circumstances – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. And all includes death.

Scripture doesn’t just tell me to be thankful in all circumstances, but to consider it pure joy when we face many trials (James 1:2-4). So many people think joy is tied to our circumstances. But, that is incorrect. Joy is tied to Jesus and when we have Jesus we can be joyful in ALL circumstances.

I’m not going to say that nothing good has happened this year, because there is plenty good. But, I will say that just like many of you who have gone through tragedies or trials, it’s a daily decision to still praise Jesus despite the fact that it’s been a hard year, and that is what I’m going to do. I’m so thankful for all He has done for me, and even though I don’t always understand his ways, I trust that His ways are sovereign and good. I am thankful.

PS. We are back in the states and adjusting back to work and life here! I can’t wait to share with you all about our trip! Thanks for all those who followed the blog and our pictures on instagram! Hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving!

Thankful in the trials

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  • Jenni
    Posted at 06:47h, 26 November Reply

    Caroline, I am truly sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of losing your nephew. Your post is beautifully written! Hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving!

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 07:20h, 26 November Reply

    Its so hard sometimes to remember that we’re supposed to be thankful but when we look at the bigger pictures- the reminders the Bible tells us about – we have so much to be thankful for – especially that our Lord is with us in all the sad times & the hope He gives to overcome it ALL!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 07:26h, 26 November Reply

    Oh, dear Caroline! I am SO sorry for all you have gone through over this past year. I am still praying for you and your family. Love you, sweet friend!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 07:53h, 26 November Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving! I love what you said about finding joy in Jesus in all circumstances. It hasn’t been a super easy year for us either, but I will say an amen to that.

  • Amie
    Posted at 08:08h, 26 November Reply

    I know this but it’s always a great reminder to be thankful in ALL circumstances 🙂

  • Ursula
    Posted at 08:24h, 26 November Reply

    Once again, great words. I really appreciate the idea of staying positive and being thankful

  • Tanya @ the sky and back
    Posted at 08:34h, 26 November Reply

    I’m so sorry that happened to Kai, my heart aches for you and your family. I think you are absolutely right, though, that it is possible to be thankful in all situations. I’ve found in my moments of deepest grief, that the things I have to be thankful for appear even sweeter to me. And something else magical that happens during grief, is that I tend to notice the beauty in the world even more — a flower, the blue sky, all of it just stands out to me, reminding me that it’s still a wonderful world despite so much loss. Wishing you and your family peace over this holiday season.

  • Mia @ MakeMeUpMia
    Posted at 09:11h, 26 November Reply

    Gosh I love you and your heart! I’m so sorry you have had such a hard year for so many reasons. Hate hate hate it for you all. I’m joining you in continuing to praise Him throughout these storms sweet friend. Welcome home and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving <3

  • Kelli {A Deeper Joy}
    Posted at 09:33h, 26 November Reply

    So very true. Love what you said about joy not being found in your circumstances, but in Jesus. I need to repeat that every day!

  • Camille
    Posted at 11:39h, 26 November Reply

    My heart just breaks for your family. I lost my cousin and best friend in high school and I know how bitterly painful each of the “firsts” are without them. It does make it hard to be thankful and joyful during the holidays. You are such an inspiration and you are so strong for being able to find a reason to celebrate even when your heart is hurting. I think next year has some pretty wonderful things in store 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Elena
    Posted at 11:48h, 26 November Reply

    I just drafted a similar post about how the holidays are hard for me as an infertile and how its tough sometimes to feel that way during a season in which we should be feeling thankful and blessed. You have had such a tough year with the loss of Kai, my hardships have been nothing compared to that. I hope that we can both find reasons to be grateful even during these harder times! Thoughts to you sweet friend and welcome back!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Kelly @ SOKO Blog
    Posted at 13:14h, 26 November Reply

    Sweet Caroline, I cannot imagine the grief from losing such a young life. But your ability and determination to see the beauty in all pain is beyond comforting. Knowing that we have victory in Jesus has always been the one thing I hold onto sooo tightly when hard times head my way. Thank you for being so open with us, and reminding us the importance of continuously thanking Jesus in everything. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Tiffany (A Touch of Grace)
    Posted at 13:37h, 26 November Reply

    My heart still aches for your family Caroline. I can’t even imagine. Your steadfast love for Jesus is amazing. Knowing that Kai is with Him I’m sure brings peace for you all.
    Happy Thanksgiving my dear!

  • Jennifer T.
    Posted at 22:46h, 26 November Reply

    I am so thankful for you and your example of faith as you have had such a tough year. I’m so sorry for all that you have gone through but you are so amazing to always keep such a good perspective through it all. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving and hoping and praying this next year brings many many blessings for you to feel so thankful for 🙂

  • Charity
    Posted at 04:28h, 27 November Reply

    Joy is tied to Jesus! Now if that doesn’t get you thinking I don’t know what will. Our joy being tied to Jesus is the only way we can have joy in every circumstance. Often times I think people get the meaning of joy and happiness mixed up….I’m guilty too. Thanks for the reminder of where our true joy lies.

  • Robyn
    Posted at 08:28h, 27 November Reply

    Beautiful words! Joy is tied to Jesus and not our circumstances… Right on!

  • Isabelle
    Posted at 11:09h, 27 November Reply

    You are so right. Still very sorry for your loss, and it must have been hard to be thankful when tragedy struck. Your post is a great reminder of how we should find joy in knowing Jesus, not in our circumstances. Like my cycle this time. We had our egg retrieval yesterday. I could choose to be upset that we only got one egg out of two follicles after the long delay. I could also choose to be thankful that this cycle was moving along and we got a chance in one egg. I always say that God has a plan for our perfect number of eggs and perfect number of embryos because He is sovereign and has a plan for us. Thanks for the reminder and happy thanksgiving to you!

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
    Posted at 21:19h, 27 November Reply

    It has been a rough year for you my friend. I’m thankful that you have the Lord as your beacon, your hope, and your joy when it may be hard to find joy.

    I am thankful for you, for your blog, for the guidance, love and ministry you show through it.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
      Posted at 17:23h, 04 December Reply

      Loved this post Caroline.

      Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop!

      Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  • jenna @ dearest love
    Posted at 10:45h, 28 November Reply

    Your precious, precious nephew. I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss.
    I remember when you first posted about it earlier this year–it was, and still is, so heartbreaking.
    Praying for you. 🙂

  • Sarah J
    Posted at 23:11h, 28 November Reply

    I see this nightmare on my floor at the hospital all too often. I can’t really imagine the pain that you and your family have gone through and are going through. Praying that the Lord wraps his arms around you and that you feel yourself held in his hand during this difficult holiday season.

  • Emily @ EatLoveProcreate
    Posted at 16:25h, 29 November Reply

    Still finding thankfulness amidst the struggles of life…as always. I love your never ending love for Jesus and all that he’s doing in your life, as well as what is yet to come. Can’t wait to read more about your trip too. You totally deserved to do something so big for yourselves!

  • Cindy Hasko
    Posted at 00:16h, 03 December Reply

    I know we don’t know each other, but I am so thankful we are blogging friends. I love your blog posts a lot!!! We will never understand all of the reasons God has, but He will always be there in the dark & the light times… He will always help you SHINE! xo

  • Leesha @ Living Contently
    Posted at 12:30h, 04 December Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss but grateful that God is great big and can use even situations like these for His good. You clearly are representing a true understanding of joy and peace in your post, and that is something that we all need to see and here more of. Thank you for your heartfelt post.

    P.S. – I love the name of your blog. That phrase is one that my husband says all of the time regarding our big life events.

  • Laura @ Making Baby Provence
    Posted at 14:33h, 11 December Reply

    You are an excellent example of what being thankful in all circumstances looks like. I am thankful to call you my friend. I love you, sweet lady.

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 15:20h, 15 December Reply

    Very truthful post.

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