On my desk is a mason jar of silver linings, pieces of paper with moments in time I found gratitude during a storm. (It’s much prettier now than the notepad in my phone. Lol) It reminds me to keep an attitude of gratitude. And on an immediate level, I can pull one out when I’m feeling down & remember there is always a promise of hope. Welcome to the introduction of a new blog series called “The Migraine Chronicles: Silver Linings” or “Silver Linings” for short. Every Thursday for the next 10 weeks, come back to the CDP blog for a new entry & a new silver lining.
The first day of 8th grade, I was devastated in the way only 13 year-old girls can be when their class schedule is “ruined” by an elective not of their choosing. Thrust into an ill-defined class, “Leadership” sounded more like a public speaking class than a skill to be admirable or valued. But our God works in mysterious ways & the class I got stuck in turned out to have that one teacher I’ll never forget. Her words helped shape & encourage me at that vulnerable age of no longer a kid but barely a teenager, let alone an adult.
She started each class with “attitudes of gratitude”: what are you thankful for today? It’s about cultivating a habit, choosing to give thanks for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t. Some days it’s easy. When we’re happy our neurotransmitters reward us with mood lifters so everything is golden. Some days it’s hard. But it’s those days when it’s most important to search for something to be grateful for no matter how small. On those days I call our attitudes of gratitude a silver lining.
As I tell my Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) families, if you search for a silver lining in the midst of a storm before long, you’ll find another one. And another. It takes effort & time but you’ll get to clearer skies & you might even catch a glimpse of a rainbow in the storm.
I’ll never forget my 8th grade Leadership teacher & her decision to start each day with a grateful heart. I could so easily choose each day to have a hurt heart. And it does hurt. My heart has broken hundreds of times. I met people & listen to their stories. Stories of infertility, infidelity, battery, homelessness, illness or death of a child. How does your heart not bleed to listen to someone pour their heart out to you?
You find the silver lining. You help them find it. You grab on to that glimmer of hope. The light in the storm. And you take it one day at a time. When it’s too hard you take it one hour at a time. One minute even. Tomorrow will come. Amen. I believe.
Until Next Time,
The Migraine Chronicles: Silver Linings (this very introduction!)
Week 1: A Soul on Fire
Week 2: Part I My Dreams Come True Weekend
Week 2: Part II The Happiest Place on Earth