Back in 2008, a couple came to my church and talked to the staff about what they felt God saying to each one of them. I was suspicious, to say the least. I trusted my pastor to keep the weirdos away though, so I tried to remain open to their words.
Our sound engineer recorded the couple’s words to me and I looked back at them today. Among other things, they noted that I was a giver, but had a very difficult time receiving from others. They said God was changing my heart and would teach me to be open to receiving, to enjoy the richness of His goodness. At the time, I felt like receiving from others was weakness. They told me I would come to see it as openness to God.
As I prepare myself and my family for Christmas this year, I’ve been struck by how much I’ve received over the past several years. I don’t know what to put on my Christmas list. I’ve been given a home to call my own, children, a husband who loves me and takes pleasure in taking care of his family, clothing, food, and many non-necessities. What do I ask for beyond that?
The words of the couple came back to me this morning. The truth of their words struck me. After a season where nothing seemed to work out for me, where every road I tried turned into a dead-end, today I feel like I’m on an open, easy road. Sure, I have a hard time with pregnancy and it really stinks to be sick so much. It’s hard to make friends and I long for the deep friendships I left behind in Nashville. My mother and her three sisters have all been through terrible struggles with breast cancer in the last few years. But even with the difficulties, my life is so full and rich that I regularly find myself raising my hands in praise and thanks to God.
He has been good to me.
Last week my daughter had a restless night where she couldn’t quite seem to settle down, so we put her between us in bed. She was so happy to be right there, quietly wiggling and flopping around from one of us to the other. In the dark, half-asleep, I felt slobbery wetness on my chin. Weird. Then again on my cheek. Huh? It occurred to me that she was trying to kiss me. It was too dark for her to see. Overcome with love, I reached for her tiny face and kissed her sweet little lips. Satisfied, she cuddled up next to me and fell fast asleep.
Is there anything better than when your child seeks you out for a spontaneous kiss?
I have learned to receive with gratitude and graciousness. I don’t live in a mansion, drive a luxury vehicle, or wear designer clothes. I’ve not yet achieved my desire to become a regularly published author. But I’ve been given the most priceless, beautiful gifts imaginable. I open my arms to receive them, recognizing the incredible value they bring.
He has been GOOD to me.