Lord. Do you know the kind of thank you that feels empty, that only comes sauntering into the ear of another because the speaker feels it is required?
This isn’t like that.
This is the kind of thank you that takes time to build up in a heart like mine. And I know You know it, because I believe that You shaped this clay-like heart with the Hands that make miracles on Your magnificent pottery wheel.
And I know that You were there with me in the moment today when I was singing about hope with Brandon Heath and the sunshine was spilling on my skin and my being was filled with a thank You so big that I felt I could not hold it. And because of the countours You shaped into my soul on that pottery wheel, I was already searching for syllables to set that thank You down here on the paper.
So here I am, writing down the words that will never be enough to thank You for what You’ve done for me, but I have to try. I have to try tonight.
Thank You for giving me a Mom and a Dad who teach me everyday what it is to be strong. What it is to love. What it is to be something for someone else. What it is to follow You.
Thank You for giving me sisters that leave brown paper bags on porch steps. That call me and listen to me through the sounds of their own children in the background. That cook chicken soup filled with love. These sisters that I could not live without.
Thank You for giving me brothers that laugh with me. That continue to teach me things all the time, even when class let out three years ago. That get angry for me when boys don’t act the way they should. Brothers that say hard words, like “I’m sorry” and who are raising their families and loving their wives so right.
Thank You for giving me friends. That challenge me to be closer to You. That call my name in the cafeteria on days when I feel lonely. That are showing me what it is to be close to people in a whole new way through you. That sit cross-legged on university sidewalks. That share books when Amazon orders go awry. That answer phones and type out texts.
Thank You for putting people people in my life who are teaching me that the princes You make men into are so much richer and more lovely than any fairytale boy who ever picked up a shoe.
Thank You for my exhaustion. I’m learning that it means You’re putting the gifts You tucked inside me to good use. I’m learning that exhaustion is fulfilling, and I’m learning to trust my tired eyes into Your Hands.
Thank You for Your love. You know that it’s been a journey and a battle, learning to accept Your love. You know that for a long time I didn’t think a thing as beautiful as that could be meant for someone like me. Thank You for giving it to me anyway, as unworthy and as unlovable as I am. Thank You for finding ways to love all the crooks and corners of a girl just like me.
Thank You for my family. All of them. And I know You know that “all” is a hard step to take. But every one of them shaped me. You used them all to shape me, God, and I know I’m getting shaped into something far beyond myself, so I thank You for all of them. The ones with hands that guided me into the warm sleeves of pea-coats in the million ways they show their love, and the ones who have left.
Thank You for another day. Another day full of worry and homework and driving and breathing air into lungs specifically and wonderfully hand-crafted by You.
There’s so much more, God. I could write this thank You into the rest of this book, into another and a few more after that. But I think that tonight, I just have one more thing to add.
Thank You for helping me start learning how to pull this thank You from the paper, and how to start writing it every day into my life.
-Jessi Sanders 2012