Forgiveness and Gratitude in Times of Struggle

I admit it: I haven't been myself lately. Not fully. And, probably not for a while. There are a number of reasons for this. Some, like chronic pain and life circumstances, are relatively out of my control. Others, like the rut I've let myself fall into, rest more on my shoulders. What's true, though, is that I haven't always been the person I try so hard to be in recent months.

I am fighting a sometimes losing battle to stay positive in the face of struggles. I am trying to hold onto the very things that are fundamentally a part of who I am, my passions, despite the hardship this causes. I am searching for what my future might hold, when I might finally feel like my life has started, and I am forgetting to be present right now, at this moment.

And I don't like any of this. Quite the contrary. Some days, I am struggling to remember who I've always wanted to be, and to accept who I am today. I am fighting my own feelings of frustration and disappointment. I am trying to love myself, at least a little bit, every day.

But enough about me. While all of this, the health issues and the personal struggles, have been hard on me, they have been hard on you too. The ones who stand by me on the days when I'm not sure I can get out of bed. The ones who have to watch but can't always do anything to help me. The ones who listen. It pains you to see me this way because you love me, and what happens to me deeply affects you. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for this love, and I hope that I can continue to repay you with some love of my own.

But I also need to ask you for forgiveness. I know that I haven't been quite myself for a long time, and I know that you have had to put up with a lot because of this. I know I lash out at you, I don't mean to but I do. I can tell you that it's not personal, that sometimes I just act, but I know that it feels personal to you. I also know that I have been needy and difficult in ways that are unfair. I don't mean to do this either. My circumstances have been isolating and demoralizing, and I haven't always reacted with grace. I am sorry for a lot of things I have put you through.

I want you to know that even though I'm not totally myself right now, I am not making excuses. I take responsibility for who I've been and I want to make amends. I want to work hard to be the person I want to be. I want to love and appreciate the people who have and continue to stand by me. I do. I hope you know that. And most of all, I just want to tell you that I have so much love in my heart for you all, and this love can only continue to grow as I continue on my journey with the people who continue to support me.

Finally, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be better. I am better every day because of you. In a season that emphasizes giving, that gift is more precious than you could ever know.