I am so THANKFUL to live in a country that affords me unparalleled freedom and protection. A country that will fight enemies foreign and domestic and will stand up for the oppressed and the weak. A country that does not penalize me for my faith, personal life choices, or because having an opinion or thought that may differ from the status quo.
We have all taken our civil liberties for granted on occasion and have quickly forgotten how blessed we are and equally turned a blind eye to the atrocities that are happening around the world. Daily people are suffering and dying for living a life that their government, society, and families are forbidding and condemning them to live. How THANKFUL am I that each day I am given an opportunity to pursue my dreams and explore every avenue to obtain my heart’s deepest desires. Not that there will not be tribulations or opposition, but even so, I am not fearful that my pursuit of THANKFULNESS and happiness will be met with a death sentence.
Can you imagine being stoned to death by your own family, your own father and brothers, because you chose to marry the person you love and not an arranged marriage to your cousin? Not only did her father and brother attack her, but the jilted cousin joined in on the attack. All this because she decided to choose and pursue the love she wanted. How about being imprisoned for refusing to denounce Christianity, having to deliver your baby in prison, and knowing that aside from a miracle, you will be put to death for acknowledging and professing your faith? Worse, it was her brother who filed the complaint against her which resulted in a conviction for apostasy, or the renunciation of faith, that carries a punishment of 100 lashes and a death sentence. Or what about hundreds of girls and young women being kidnapped, literally snatched from the arms of their parents and loved ones, and the government not able to do anything to protect them? Where do you turn if those that have been elected or called to protect you fail and abandon you?
I am so THANKFUL that I am allowed to marry who I want, practice the faith I believe in, and when threatened with any harm or malice, can rely and depend on both my local authority and those that serve our country to shield me and protect me from danger. I am THANKFUL that I do not have to live in fear for having an opinion or belief that is not in alignment with those in my family or society and that I can openly express those thoughts and ideals without retaliation or the possibility of corporal punishment. My prayers go out to those that continue to suffer for righteousness sake and it is my hope that they will be vindicated, rescued, and honored properly for standing strong in their convictions.
As you look around you and ponder all that is this world, be THANKFUL that you are allowed to have your own thoughts, that you can practice any faith you choose, that you can seek a mate you determine to be suitable and not have to accept someone else’s idea of what is best of you, and that even when you disagree with the majority, that is okay too and no one will imprison or kill you because of it. Life is the most precious commodity we have and its value is immeasurable… until someone else decides to stifle another person’s life, dictate their thoughts and actions, and destroy that life if it is does not follow what has been mandated.
Today I am THANKFUL to have the life I choose.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ Maya Angelou