I'm not who I was.
I am prone to discontentment when I feel as though there is something more that I need.But when my needs are met and/ or exceeded, I have a difficult time receiving the blessings that God has given me through others. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate or desire blessings. Quite the contrary, actually. But when it comes time to accepting those graces? I have a hard time really taking them in… stuck somewhere between the absurdity of entitlement that says, “I deserve more,” and the harrassment of unworthiness declaring, “I’m not good enough to be given so much.”
Challenges of receiving well are especially apparent at areas in which I can’t reproduce or reciprocate the favor. My closest of friends, (and sometimes just really gracious people), have a habit of helping out with my kids or feeding me, and in so doing I will be grateful beyond what I can express. Sometimes, it looks like this:
I will be soooo grateful yet simultaneously feel guilty for my inability to express my gratitude. (My somewhat unpredictable health issues make me wary of committing to keep others’ kids, and I’m just flat not gifted in the kitchen department.)
Truth: a true gift isn’t given for the purpose of pay-backs.
I think I am comfortable with being loved via the methods in which I am gifted to give love, because I recognize and understand them, and I can “pay back” the gesture. But if I’m given something that I know that I can’t return, it’s a battle for me to enjoy it without guilt. This is completely illogical, of course. But sometimes truth takes a slow path from my head to my heart.
Fortunately, One who is greater knows what I need, and in His infinite wisdom, chooses to give me more (or not). After all, if I could sufficiently reproduce the blessing myself, how much would I really be hurting for it to be given to me in the first place? (That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy or benefit from blessings that I can also reciprocate.) Sometimes, such instances have been flat miraculous, and sometimes simply practical, but I can’t think of a time in my own experience where God didn’t choose to use people to bring the blessing about.
The thing about those who love me is that I know there is no expectancy of the returned favor. Yet my unworthiness is accentuated. Receiving takes humility. And let’s be honest: being comfortable with humility doesn’t come naturally. For some, that pride shows up in more obvious forms of entitlement. And for others, i.e. ME, it shows up in often less-obvious but equally as damaging ways.
Isn’t that precisely what God does for us though? He makes us worthy. He mercifully graces us in ways in which we will never be able to reciprocate, and He delights in doing so. How often do I deflect the love of others… the love of God himself… because of my awareness of unworthiness? They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When God looks at me, he beholds beauty because Christ stands before me. When He gives to me, he beholds worth because Christ lives within me. I nearly said shame on me for not well-receiving the various avenues of love that are presented to me, but the truth is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no shame on me. Nevertheless, I strive for that place of humility where I can peacefully receive love and fully enjoy what was intended for me to receive.
I am participating in Chrystal Hurst’s 28 Days of Prayer challenge. Today’s challenge is to yield. “The dictionary defines ‘yield’ as to give way to arguments, demands, or pressure; to relinquish possession of something, to give something up, or to cease to argue about.” So today I’m working on giving up control over the who, what, when, where, why and how blessings are given to or witheld from me. I simply say thank you, and I rest in His more than enough-ness.