(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
My Thanksgiving Story
By Michelle Ochen
The holidays have a way of bringing people together. They are commercialized to be spent with biological family but for many, the reality of spending it with family is not possible. Perhaps distance, death, divorce, or other unfortunate events keep many from experiencing Thanksgiving with family. When we look back at the history of Thanksgiving, it brings comfort to our hearts because it was a time of people gathering together, blood relation or not, and celebrating how thankful they were to have survived that first year in the Americas.
God has given a beautiful gift of genetic family, but He has also given a beautiful gift of friendships in our life that can have bonds as strong as family and can fill that capacity in our hearts.
1 Corinthians says that God has made from one blood all the people of earth through His Son Jesus. We are all one big family in His eyes. This truth has brought my heart much comfort as I have spent most of my adult years away from my immediate family at Thanksgiving time. Missionary work caused many Thanksgivings to pass amongst a different kind of family. To the best of our abilities, we would still prepare a classic Thanksgiving meal, but we would share it with those who were not physical family. Regardless, our hearts bonded over the meal and we found new things and relationships that we were thankful for.
I want to propose a challenge for those who cannot spend Thanksgiving with biological family this year. It may just be the year that God wants to introduce you to a new relationship in your life that He can use to fill your heart with joy and thankfulness as we reflect on all the good He has done in one another’s lives. Happy Thanksgiving!