Thank You

Jan 29 / Hannah Souter

Listen to the audio version here:

There’s so much I don’t understand. At times, the unanswerable questions of life and being human can overwhelm me. I’ve fumbled my way into a practice that’s really helping me. A two-word prayer: Thank you.

Something about this elemental prayer is loosening the grip of fear, so often strangled around my heart. There’s a cadence—a rhythm it has—that’s creating a spaciousness for me to breathe. On its shore, my feet can touch the bottom after swimming in the stirring waters of my mind.

When I don’t have the answers,
when I can’t grasp onto certainty,
when all I feel
is the groundlessness
of everything,
I am learning
my best way
(my brave way)
is to say

Thank you.

Thank you doesn’t claim to know why.
Thank you doesn’t justify.
Thank you cannot control
and settles
into the gift
it is to receive.
Thank you is Courage planting
a flag
into a field called Faith.

Thank you is right here
right now.
This breath.
This day.

I don’t understand.
Thank you.

I don’t know for sure.
Thank you.

But, what if?
Thank you.

But, how come?
Thank you.

Prayer by prayer, thank you is saving me.

Join Hannah for her upcoming course, Becoming Alive: Body-based Practices for Wholehearted Faith on Fridays from February 9-March 8. Most of us learned that our bodies were something to fear, perfect, ignore, or overcome. As a result, we have become a disconnected & dissociated people—not fully alive to ourselves, others, God, and creation. We were made for more. In Becoming Alive, participants will be invited to incorporate body-based practices into their spiritual formation. If you have a fraught relationship with your body—or no relationship at all—this course may be a healing next step.
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Hannah Souter
Hannah Souter is the Assistant Director for the Institute for Pastoral & Congregational Thriving at Portland Seminary, where she also earned a Masters in Ministry Leadership. Hannah served as a pastor in SE Portland and now works at Leadership Center—helping leaders grow in personal and organizational wellness. Hannah is a born and raised Portlander. She and her dog, Teva, like to play outside and have dinner parties with friends.