By Tanisha Hall
Wife of Jermaine Hall (2014-GA)
There was a point in my life where I felt that I had everything under control and life was great—love, career, and the things that I clung to that seemingly felt important. Yet, in 2014, life had a way of humbling me and reminding me that each breath is a gift. Every moment that we are able to speak to our loved ones is precious.
The first “gut-check” that I had of gratitude was when the doctors told my family and me that there was no hope of survival for Jermaine. It was in that second that I realized I would no longer have my best friend. I would no longer have the person that I could call and tell about my day or things that bothered me. It was in that instant, where the smallest to big things we tend to complain about are no longer important. For example, the unforgiveness that you hold on to because someone made you mad or hurt your feelings either intentionally or unintentionally. Or focusing on the mistakes that you made, which in turn shifts your mood and behavior to regret, guilt, and shame. After 2014, gratitude has been one of the things that I have learned to embrace and enjoy.
I cannot say that I have always been grateful after 2014. However, I learned to see the beauty of life and the people that God placed in my life. There were moments where I became ungrateful because I did not understand why God allowed Jermaine to die. Why did this have to happen to me at age 24? Why did Jermaine have to transition at a young age? Or, for lack of better questions, why my life? I realized that if I would stay stuck in that moment of “Why?” I would never move forward. I would never see that things just happen beyond our control. Sometimes we may not have the answers to everything. But what we can do is be grateful for the season we are in. We can be grateful for the past pain which showed us the strength that we never knew we had to move forward to our purpose. We can be grateful for the food that we are able to eat. We can be grateful for spending quality time with the ones we hold near and dear to our hearts. And to be honest, we can hold on to the memories that we were able to accumulate over the years with the person that has transitioned.
Overall, I knew that gratitude is one of the most essential components to receiving blessings and shifting our perspective on life. Thus, last year I decided to intentionally share what I was grateful for on social media using the #30DaysofGratitude. I can honestly say that I learned a lot about my thinking, attitude, and the areas that I needed to change. I also learned that there is always something to be grateful for—like the coffee we so need before starting our day, or the text message from that friend to let us know we are loved, and even more, the individual who paid it forward at the drive-thru.
Gratitude has been and will always be something that I hope you work on just as much as I do. I challenge you for the next 30 days to intentionally write down what you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. You will be surprised just how much your attitude shifts and how much you have been carried along the way by God, loving you through each season of your life.