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First Thanksgiving Away = First Thanksgiving Here

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, but five years ago it took on a new meaning for me and my family. On Thanksgiving Day 2011, while driving to church in the US another car hit me head-on. My knee, ribs, and wrist were broken; my hip shattered, and my lungs and abdomen bruised. The accident also caused my car to catch on fire. If two strangers had not pulled me out I would have died that day.

Spending Thanksgiving in the ER fighting for my life gave me a greater appreciation for all the other Thanksgivings in which I was not in the hospital but at the dinner table surrounded by friends and family.

In 2012, after a year of therapy and learning to walk again, Thanksgiving was a time of realizing I’d gained a new appreciation for the simple blessing of being able to stand up and worship God, let alone attend church.

This Thanksgiving, without family and friends around, I was more thankful for the global body of Christ and the lovely ladies of my Japanese Bible Study. Lacking my family’s homemade side dishes and pies gave me a new appreciation for Japanese bakeries and grocery stores. Not being with my friends as they buried the ones they loved or married the ones they loved, reminded me of the honor I have to help the Japanese pastors and church members work to spiritually save the ones they love.

This Thanksgiving, my “First Thanksgiving Away” became my “First Thanksgiving Here.”

For that I am thankful.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18, NIV

Written by Brittney

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