Despite suffering, there is always something to be grateful for

By From the Heart | Community Contributors

Feb 28

I find prayer such a beautiful thing. I love to pray for all of the things in my life that I have to be thankful for. I spend many hours a day in prayer. I am thankful for my family, my home, the sunshine, the kindness of a stranger, a smile, the birds chirping in the trees, the rain, the beauty of frost covered trees, my children’s school, my job, the list could go on and on. I enjoy and love prayers of thanksgiving.  I find so much peace in it.

I do however, struggle to pray for things that are hard. I find it so much harder to pray when I am in need. When life is upside down, I can still pray about all I am thankful for, but I find it so hard to pray for what is needed. I struggle asking God to ease my pain, to heal what is broken or to find answers for sickness that is happening to me. I can ask for guidance, strength and courage. I can ask Jesus to hold me. I can tell Jesus I can’t do this alone and that I need to be held through the storm I am in, but I can’t find a way to ask for what is so desperately needed at that time.

When life turns upside down, I have no problem asking friends and family to pray for the intentions I need, but I find it so hard to ask for these things myself. I know the Bible says, ask and you shall receive, but I find it so hard to ask.

I love to pray for others. I dedicate many hours of prayer for friends who are ill, or are going through a difficult situation, for people who are injured, hurting, suffering from cancer, needing a miracle to recover. I will dedicate my work days in prayer for another’s intention. I will offer my suffering in prayers for a friend of a friend who has a child who is on hospice care, another who has a baby fighting cancer, the list goes on and on. I love to pray for others, but I struggle when it comes to praying for myself.

I struggle, because Jesus asked God to take this cup from Him, but not His will be done, but God’s will be done. I trust in God’s plan for my life and I trust He will give me the strength to get through whatever life throws at me. When I am not strong enough, I know He holds me until I can stand on my own again. I know His plans are to provide for me, take care of me and give me all that I need.

I live my life with a very grateful heart and so much love for God and Jesus. I have placed my entire trust in God and His plan for me and my family. I believe whatever we go through, no matter how hard the journey is, it is molding and shaping us to be what God is trying to mold us into. To be better people, to have more compassion for others, to be the strength for someone who may go through something similar in the future and to have understanding for someone else’s situation.

I am so thankful for the power of prayer and I am forever thankful for those who have prayed my family through some of the most difficult times. I love prayers of thanksgiving. I think focusing on what I have to be grateful for and thanking God throughout each and every day for those things is what helps me to walk through the storms that arise in life.  We all go through many hardships in life, we have bad days, traumatic events, illnesses, loss, fear, hopelessness, etc. I have found that during these times, if I can focus on just three things I have to be thankful for, the storm I am in is not so hard. There is always something to be thankful for. If we can focus on what we have to be thankful for, life becomes so much easier to walk through. May you always be able to see something there is to be thankful for.


Kari Pfannenstein lives in St. Cloud with her husband and children. She works as an administrative receptionist in the Chancery, an office of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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Deb February 28, 2019

This is a beautiful, inspiring post. Thank you, Kari!

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