I wake up every morning and say “Modeh Ani Lifanecha — I’m so grateful for another day.” Lately, though, it’s been hard to say those words with the same meaning they used to hold. I never really know anymore if I’m truly grateful for the day ahead.
I haven’t seen some of my friends in months. I’m still learning partially over Zoom, and it’s really hard to focus with my little brother making noise. Some days, I’d honestly rather curl up and go back to sleep than struggle through another day. Which makes me question why I’m telling You that I’m so thankful for another day.
There’s always someone worse off than me – I get that. But, unfortunately, no matter how many times I tell myself this, my heart still aches with disappointment. I’ve poured out my heart and soul to You, begging You to answer my prayers. With every unanswered one, I’ve felt myself start to drift away, and it takes all my strength to pull myself back. Lately, I feel like it’s been more take than give on Your part. I’ve nearly given up on asking for help, because it always seems to end in disappointment: no matter how much I plan and prepare, something goes wrong.
Then, I remember: I have so much to be grateful for. I have an amazing group of friends who never cease to make me laugh, wonderful teachers who do their best to educate me and inspire me every day, and a little brother who is so eager to help me pack my snacks for school. His little face makes me smile every time I see it.
I’m trying to trust the process. When things don’t seem to be going according to my plan, I recognize that they are going according to Yours. No matter how hard today is, there’s something to gain. Something to accomplish. Something to learn. So maybe today won’t go as planned. Maybe today will fall flat on its face. Maybe it’ll just be really, really hard. Maybe it’ll be one big uphill battle. But it’s a chance. A chance that isn’t guaranteed. And I intend to make the most of it.
So yes, I’ve decided. I am grateful for this new day.
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Esther Ginzberg is a sophomore at Maayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in New Jersey. She is a Staff Writer for Fresh Ink for Teens.