I’ll be honest: It’s been a rough year. I’m not complaining…it’s been a great year, too. Lots of good, but lots of not-so-good at the same time.

Thanksgiving is about celebrating abundance. And let’s not forget that abundance comes in all flavors. When it rains, it pours. The blessings, the struggles…they come in waves, don’t they?

It’s hard to find something to be thankful for when adversity is all around you. This year especially, I know a lot of people are feeling this way. The challenges we face can sometimes appear to outweigh everything else.

But here’s what I’ve been thinking: Adversity is actually a blessing.

It’s only through adversity that we discover our strength. When we face our challenges head on, whether we tackle them with grace and poise or end up clumsily falling into the depths of sorrow and frustration, we eventually come out the other side. And, when all is said and done, we’re better and stronger for having gone through it.

In those moments of struggle, we see what we’re made of. We glimpse the essence of who we really are.

Sometimes, we surprise ourselves. Sometimes, we’re painfully disappointed.

But it’s always a worthwhile exploration. That’s what it is to discover.

And in discovery, there is always growth.

I feel like I grew a lot this year.

So this Thanksgiving, I suggest, give thanks for your struggles. Recognize that the challenges you face are gifts—invitations to explore a deeper side of yourself.

Give thanks for unanswered prayers and mistakes you’ve made.

Be thankful for the opportunities you’ve been given to grow, and learn, and discover more about who you are and what you’re capable of.

And remember: It’s the hard times that make the good ones so special.

I hope your holiday is full of ease, and love, and pure unobstructed joy.

And turkey.

And stuffing.

And pie, too.