Grateful for the Manna

Grateful.  This word is constantly growing in our hearts and in our tent.  Over the summer, I found a hat with the word “Grateful” written across the front.  In seconds, I grabbed the hat, paid for it and left the store.  Grateful…exactly! I knew it was the right word to describe the feeling in my soul.  Unconsciously I had been on a search to discover the feeling reverberating within me. It was a deep, overwhelming feeling. For a while it didn’t have a name.

Even happy tents have bad days, weeks or months. Ours is no different.  One day in May, just before preparing dinner, our plans suddenly changed.  Before we could process what was happening, we were in an emergency room, an ambulance, another emergency room, a cat-scan, an ICU room, a surgery waiting room and then another one and then another one.  Our precious daughter was in the biggest fight for her life in her thirteen years and we were there as parents.  Scared, confused, loving parents.

The hours turned into days, the days turned into weeks and the weeks even turned into months.  Months of symptoms, medications, appointments, healing, recovery and processing.  Months.

In the midst of our happy tent nightmare, the things that we needed the most constantly appeared. The right doctor, the right nurse, the right test, the right card, the right meal, the right friend, the right text, the right diagnosis, the right family member, the right prayer, the right hospital, the right time, the right result, the right treatment, and the right place continuously began to appear.  Almost like it was falling out of the sky right into our laps.  One morning in the ICU room, I found myself eating a cookie for breakfast.  I texted a friend telling her that I was having cookies for breakfast and I didn’t even know where they came from.  She quickly responded, “Manna.”  Manna from heaven.

I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. Exodus 16: 4

A grateful heart sees beyond the immediate moment into all of the moments before this one.  A grateful heart swells with emotion where words disappear.  A grateful heart pours out its tears of deep joy that flow back into the well of gratitude that runs within all of us.  A grateful heart takes note of the smallest details in life.

As the fall leaves begin to fall and the season changes, we are grateful.  Grateful for community, prayers, friends, family, snuggles, hot chocolate, warm blankets and more days together in our tent. And for the buckets and buckets of manna!

From our Happy and Grateful Tent to Yours,

Meredith Bell

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