I’m so thankful for you! 2021

Today in the US we celebrate Thanksgiving!

Thank you for being a part of this ministry! I’m in awe each day, of this community the Lord has brought to GTF. People from all around the world with one common goal—to become more like Jesus together. We seek to love Him and each other well and to share His gifts with those in need. Thank you for showing up, for praying, and for loving those we serve together. Thank you for reaching out and encouraging me. Thank you for sharing your hearts and thoughts and lives with me. I’m forever grateful the Lord brought you to GTF.

One common conversation I’ve had the last 18 months is around how grateful we should be. And we do have more than so many. But I also want to take a moment and remind you gently that the last 20 months have been hard for you too. And it matters. Your heart matters. Your struggles and trials matter. Even when they are comparably less than those of others. You matter to God. I’m here this Thanksgiving morning to give you permission to admit when it’s hard without brushing it off because others have it much harder. They do and always will. But gratitude isn’t something we guilt ourselves into. True gratitude cannot be forced. It’s something that bubbles up from our hearts. My sister phrased this, explaining that when she feels truly grateful it’s been against her will. I laughed at the wording but I understand what she means. It’s not forced or cajoled or guilted into happening. Gratitude bubbles up to the surface from our hearts.

If you feel weary from it all, I don’t actually recommend you make a gratitude list today. Gratitude is transformational. But trying to force it is not. Telling yourself you shouldn’t feel the way you do because “you have it so much better than others” isn’t. What I do recommend is sitting quietly for a little while, and focusing on the one thing you can know for sure each moment forever—that you can always be assured of the affection of God toward you. His affection for you does not waver. When you’re at your worst, His affection remains. You are His beloved. Always. Today. Right now.

Then, you can notice the things you are truly grateful for. Not the things you should be grateful for, but the things you are grateful for right now in your heart.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for your encouragement and love and prayers and support. I am so grateful for you. Bubbling up out of my heart grateful for you.

I’d like to end with one request of you today. Be gentle with your heart. It’s been through a lot the last 20 months.

With abundant love and gratitude,

♥ Samantha

PS. I’ve written a letter to you each Thanksgiving since 2017 when we started the blog posts. I had to keep myself from reading them so I didn’t repeat myself on purpose! But it has been a consistent bubbling up from my heart these last six years when it’s just been me and all of you. Sometimes I can’t believe what God has done and all He continues to do. And yet, I know He has so much more He wants to do through us together in this ministry. I’m so very grateful. ♥ You can look back at other years, here’s 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.