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  • Sydney Meyer

Searching for Thanksgiving

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 (CSB)

Let’s jump into this raw.

No "Grateful - Thankful - Blessed" stamps.

The year 2020 has been hard, and at times finding things to be grateful for has been unbelievably difficult.

Jobs have been lost.

Loved ones have left this earth.

Marriages and families have been held to the fire.

Our country has exhibited relentless hatred.

Mental health in quarantine has visited the shadows.

“But Jesus is alive! Jesus can redeem all these trials we are enduring and there is still so much to be thankful for!” Yes, this is without a doubt true.

However, let me first say to those who have endured any of those situations or worse: Your tears, anger, sadness, and frustration are 100% valid. Your search for Jesus in the chaos is valid. Your desire to so badly understand his plan and trust when it seems impossible is valid.

I hope these words allow some space for you to breathe for a moment because you and I were not designed to carry these burdens by ourselves.

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 (CSB)

I often return to this verse as a reminder that I cannot carry my heavy burdens by myself, but when I call upon him, Jesus will take them up.

In this time of giving thanks, when it feels like the last thing you want to do, let me remind you that sitting silently in Christ’s presence because you don’t have the words or cannot muster up gratitude, is still an act of praise.


A week ago, I had a hard day and felt nothing but anger. I put that anger on Jesus and in turn felt like a terrible Christ-follower because I couldn’t find the strength to trust God. My husband lovingly reminded me, “Syd, even on the days you are frustrated with God, the fact that you’re still praying with him is showing trust. Because you know he’s real; because you know he is capable of handling the outcome of the situation.”

(Man, I love it when my husband spills truth when my stubborn self isn’t ready for it.)

The basis of the Echoes of Hope blog, as my mother sweetly puts it, is that hope is not praying for something and waiting in anticipation for Jesus to fulfill it. Hope is trusting that no matter the outcome of a situation, Jesus is still in control and with you every step of the way.

The outcomes of some of 2020’s situations have been nothing but perplexing. Still, on the contrary, some have been incredibly beautiful and I encourage you to pour out your praise to Christ for all he has done!

Thank him for still providing even when the bank account has been at $0; for bringing new life and marriages into the world; for sparking conversation about injustice in our country; for slowing us down to have quality time with loved ones.

For those who cannot fathom giving praise in the current climate, I encourage you to first try sitting with Jesus. No fraudulent “thank yous”; no fake prayers because it’s the “right thing to do.”

Try starting with, “Jesus, I do not have room for thanksgiving in my heart. Please join me in this moment. Please give me rest. Please help me to lean into you while you heal my heart.”

This Thanksgiving may look different compared to the past and there’s no need to pretend it’s not. While it may look different, I pray you cling to the hope that…

Christ is still here.

Christ is still redeeming this earth.

Christ wants nothing more than to hold your heart and walk through these times with you.

For Your Reflection…

Has your year been great? Keep counting those blessings and use them to equip you when times get hard. Help others hold onto your hope.

To those struggling, take this moment to be still. What’s dwelling in your heart that you need to turn over to Jesus and experience his rest?


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