The alarm, an odd mixture of radio and beeping due to a faulty switch, roused me from my sleep one early morning. I trudged to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Bags under my eyes. Hidden sorrows inside of them. Worsening PCOS. Relationship questions. Church commitments. My tendency to gossip and complain more lately. Little things and big things adding up to a heaviness I wanted to wash away with the cool water from the faucet.
I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t despairing. I wasn’t really even discouraged.
I was just tired. I looked at the small wooden sign below the bathroom mirror.
Count Your Blessings, it read.
I knew what it was asking. I understood the reminder. Think positive. Choose joy. Mind over matter. One of my favorite topics.
Yet I looked at it, understood the meaning and the invitation…
And I said no.
With a few stray tears in my eyes, I said no. I just don’t feel like counting them today, Lord.
It wasn’t in anger or doubt.
It just was.
Then I drove to the church. I walked into the confessional, craving this sacrament of healing. I knelt down before a man who chose to give his life to serve the Church, who listened to my sins and failings and struggles, who ministered through the power of Jesus’ forgiveness and mercy (John 20:22-23).
When I was finished speaking, he spoke.
He told me, in these very words, to count my blessings.
He encouraged me to seek gratitude. To remember that every single breath is from the Lord. To realize that when we are truly and humbly thankful to God for every breath and gift, there’s no room for pride or jealousy or selfishness.
The coincidence of his advice—and those same three words—was not lost on me. God heard my overwhelmed ‘no’ of the morning and gently reminded me through the words of the priest that He has given me everything I have and that He will continue to provide for me in His loving way.
The heaviness was once again washing away and grace was pouring in.