I love to give gifts to people. It’s a joy to hunt for just the “perfect” thing that I hope will bless the receiver.
It’s part of who I am, and what I do.
Years ago, when someone was praying was praying over me, they said, “You can’t “out-give” God.” From time to time, I remember that, and I ponder what it could mean.
But lately— the last few weeks— that has been swirling around in my thoughts.
This past Christmas, I was given the opportunity help a dear, dear friend get special ornaments to someone else, in a different country, to bless and minister to others.
Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue. But— Covid caused major changes in the mailing system.
At first, someone else was supposed to get them from me, and then mail them. But— that didn’t work out.
So, with some help figuring out what to do, I was finally able to learn how to do it.
The process of figuring it out— it was frustrating! I was tempted to be annoyed, and may have given in to that a little… 😳😔
But— this friend who was asking for my help— if you knew her, you’d know what I know about her. She’s probably the most giving, sincere, kind person I’ve ever been blessed to meet.
So— I figured out the process.
Then I found out there was a deadline for getting it to my friend’s friend! Prayerfully, I got it mailed, and it arrived just in time!
All that intimidation and worry about language barriers, how to pay for it and difficulty physically for me were found to be pretty ridiculous— It was such an easy process, once I figured out what to do.
I felt happy that I got to be a tiny part in blessing others, to help share the Gospel message.
My dear, dear friend messaged me today. Her friend had passed away.
I’m sitting her marveling at how God used me to bless someone who just wanted to be a blessing to others.
Gifts that now serve as a special memory of a selfless, beautiful sister in Christ, that I never got to meet— but I will get to meet her, and rejoice with her, in Eternity one day.
This time I had no part in hunting for the “perfect” gift. This time I was just a messenger helping get the perfect gifts to another destination.
Funny how things impact us that we never expect will.
We cannot out-give God.
His purposes are as mysterious as they are fulfilling and more beautiful than simple words can ever describe.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12 NASB
I think we all have well-meaning people in our lives. You know the ones that are quick to redirect our honest, heartfelt, deep moments of transparency, into something that makes them feel more comfortable.
The ones that think they know us well enough to correct us.
But reality is— they just don’t get us at all.
They don’t realize the wall they are putting up, or the signals they send.
Maybe this is why God is often the only One I feel comfort in, or safe confiding in.
God has never left me feeling like something is wrong with me.
He never leaves me feeling like I’m stupid, or over-sensitive, or misunderstanding His Word or calling on my life.
He never tells me to push myself farther than I know is too much for me.
He tells me to lean on Him, that He is my strength.
Not that I have to do things in my own strength or because it’s what people are expecting me to do or be like.
God has never made me feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about.
God never makes me feel like I’m a burden.
I am often confronted with things I see others have that I just don’t have.
Relationships I’ve just never had access to, for whatever reason.
I’ve spent my life working to be for others what I’ve wished I had.
Someone who hasn’t been in my shoes can’t understand my perspective.
That doesn’t mean my perspective is wrong.
That doesn’t make me a target for mocking and sarcastic opinions.
That makes me normal.
I have been broken.
God has chosen to repair some things, but He has also— for His reasons— chosen to not repair other things.
Giving my life to Christ has not fixed anything about me to perfection.
I have been conditioned to feel ashamed, to feel “less than” everyone else.
But Not by God.
God has been working deeply in me to re-condition me. To fix ungodly beliefs about me being deserving of nothing more than being under the feet of others. Ungodly beliefs that I deserve to be the scapegoat carrying the shame of others.
That is not what God has created me to be.
I have grown children, and I’m still struggling with a belief system imposed on me as a child— the belief that things would be better if I just weren’t born. Belief that I’m supposed to take the blame for things others have done.
Belief that my reputation, my feelings— my life— don’t matter like everyone else’s does.
Undeserving of the life God chose to give to me.
Those are lies of the enemy of God that people who claim to be Christians have imposed upon me.
It’s not often, anymore, that I reflect upon these things.
As I do now, I recognize God’s Hand upon my life.
God moved me away. He has provided for me and nurtured me.
As The Potter, He has been deep at work reshaping the ungodly beliefs others have bestowed upon me. People I have striven to impress, to gain the attention and affection of.
Even today, decades later, the striving is in vain.
It’s exhausting being the only one that cares about nurturing relationships I’ve wanted to desperately hang on to.
I am exhausted.
So— I am letting them go.
I’m not expecting the same effort I put in. In fact— I’ve already experienced the evidence that I can fade off into the distance, and just be gossip, but no relationship.
Experience has taught me I’m not someone others will put that effort into.
Emotionally it has always been a taxing thing for me. It has caused anxiety, stress— worry…
Physically I am just as weak as I am emotionally, now.
My reaction wants to be to just not care.
But that’s not how God made me.
God made me to not only care— He made me to empathize with others who have similar experiences.
There are those I’ve tried to share things with that will tell me to calm down, that I’m too sensitive, that what I’m feeling or understanding isn’t real.
Those people are wrong.
And I’m done hitting the walls they put up out of intolerance for what is just me.
God placed them in my life. I don’t believe they are fulfilling God’s calling for them in my life, and I do think God cares.
Often my spirit feels weighted down with a sense of grieving. That is just fact.
It’s not depression.
It’s not self-esteem issues.
Grief over the ones who helped instill those ungodly beliefs God is working to fix my understanding of.
Grief as He calls attention to them, as He focuses on making sure I recognize each one of them, and He shows me what His Truth about each one is.
People are fallible.
I just want to be malleable under His Hand as He works out all of those mars and lumps.
NF – All I Have Lyrics excerpts “All I ever wanted was somebody to hear me And all I ever wanted was somebody to feel me And everybody wanna tell me that I’m out of my head…” “And you better get ready cause you might find I’m from a different place and my kind It’s a little bit different than yours is…” “I don’t live for the world I live for the King, I live for the King, focus Wrote this with emotion You do what you wanted but you can’t contain me…”
Don’t tell me that this isn’t real, don’t tell me it’s not how I feel…”
“All I ever wanted was somebody to get this…” “I stand behind these words. I’m a Christian but I’m not perfect Don’t tell me to calm down. I’m calm now,…” “Yeah it might take a minute to get it but once you get it everything will be crystal clear I don’t think they see my vision here. I don’t think they see my vision here! Don’t tell me that this isn’t real Don’t tell me this ain’t how I feel This is all I have. All I have.”
Atunci când burniţa descurajării mă îngrozeşte, fă ca viaţa mea spirituală să înflorească.. fă să dispară ceaţa groasă care îmi învăluie fiinţa întreagă ! Fii Tu Soarele neprihănirii care să strălucească !