A Thanksgiving, Years in the Making

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been looking forward to this thanksgiving for a long time. You could ask my students at church what I’ve been looking forward to for weeks and they would say Thanksgiving. Not only is it my absolute favorite holiday without a doubt. But this year was going to be even more special than most years. This years was going to be different than recent years.

A year ago I might have told you that there was a heavy heart at the Thanksgiving table because there was an open spot at the table. There was an open spot at the table that was reserved for one person, my brother Matt. He hadn’t been to any holiday meal in a very long time. At this point last year, I didn’t know when the next time that I would be able to speak with my brother. If you would have told me last year at this point that I was going to be cooking bacon for Matt’s dish thirty minutes before our family came to our house, I probably would have called you insane and looked at you like you had a few heads. Last year I just didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to write a post that looked similar to this

But that all changed on January 3rd, 2015 when we reconnected through the most unlikeliest of ways. But I am so grateful for the fact that we did reconnect. But I digress, back to Thanksgiving. I had been looking forward to this day since I knew that I learned that I was going to be  moving to Memphis when I took the job in April. It was going to be the first holiday that my whole immediate family would be together in 8 years.

Its been a long hard journey to this Thanksgiving. A few seats at the table for my family have not been filled, due to people passing away. But there was, for the last eight years, an open seat at the table. There was a void in my family.

But this year, this year was going to be different. This year that spot was going to be filled. By God’s faithfulness it was going to be filled. Matt told me earlier this year that he was going to be able to make it for Thanksgiving and I was excited

This week at home was a true testament of God’s faithfulness. For the first time in 8 years I sat across the table from my brother. I sat across from the guy who a year ago I didn’t know the next time I would see him. We ate stuffing, turkey, rolls, and just about anything else that was put in front of us. We drank beer and swapped beer. We played games with our family. We went on a late night Ice cream run. He even came and watched me run a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. To say that I was blessed this Thanksgiving would be the biggest understatement that was ever made.

There was not an open seat this year at the table. In fact we added a seat to the table because he brought his girlfriend with him as well. This year was different than most because this year every seat was full. (Not to mention my stomach that may have been too full.)

Don’t ever give up on God. His plan is bigger and better than anything that we could ever imagine. We are not sovereign over the world like God is so why don’t we trust in the Lord to help us out. I almost quit last year on god. I almost threw in the towel because I never thought that Matt would come home. But God was bigger and better than me like He always is.

Thad Ernst