I have a huge confession to make. To be quite honest, I’ve just become more aware of this issue in my life, so it’s not like I’ve been keeping it a secret. If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you know that honesty and vulnerability are my creed.
Well, here’s the thing: I don’t know how to accept God’s gifts. I initially was going to write, “blessings”, but I’m so often tempted to think that I have a huge hand in what God blesses me with, that I just couldn’t write that word. I felt God telling me to write, “gifts.”
Now I’m not that good at accepting gifts in general, especially as of late. Because of my incredibly difficult financial instability, I’ve had to receive gift after gift from friends, relatives, strangers, and church family. That’s how I’ve been able to eat and survive since August 2017.
I’ve gotten better at receiving gifts from people, but I definitely have this overwhelming sense of “I have nothing to give in return. I’m so emotionally drained that I honestly can’t take on anyone else’s burdens right now. I can’t even give emotionally. I have nothing to give.”
God is showing me that I’m very incapable of receiving His gifts. There are two reasons for that, as far as I know.
- I think that if God gives me a gift, He’s going to take it away or give me something bad to balance it out.
- I think that my life is meant to be spent in servitude to God, but not in the receiving of any gifts at all.
I’ll speak on the second reason in this blog post. This realization recently hit me as I’ve been thinking about my upcoming trip to India. As I book each flight, research accommodation, and think about what my Father might do while I’m there, I often find myself saying things like, “Well, if I meet a nice guy, I’ll marry him because I want security and protection. I don’t need it to be romantic. I don’t see that happening for me. I don’t mind.”
On Friday, while speaking with my therapist about this, I began to think about it a bit deeper. As I thought about the marriages I’ve seen happen and the marriages I’ve closely observed, one thing is apparent to me: I don’t think God will bring me a good, loving husband.
Whether it’s because I saw so much pain in my parents’ marriage or because my friends’ loving marriages seem so out of reach, I’m not sure. It’s probably a combination of both. So I resign myself to putting up walls around my heart, distrusting almost every man I encounter, never finding one good enough for me. While thinking about India, I felt the Holy Spirit say to my heart, “Why don’t you think I can bring you a loving, romantic, strong husband? Why do you think you’ll have to settle? Can’t I do anything?”
This is hard for me. It was hard for me to hear that, because I was so satisfied with, “I’m going to be single. I’m going to serve God. I’m going to suffer and serve Him. I don’t need romantic love. I can do it, just me and God.”
Wow that isn’t healthy at all!!! Why DON’T I think God will give me a wonderful husband? Why do I think serving God equates to constant suffering and sacrificing our joy? That’s so anti-Christ! Jesus celebrated things all the time, so much so that the Pharisees called Him a drunkard and glutton. While Jesus suffered, that suffering didn’t consume His entire life. His life on Earth was a beautiful balance of suffering and celebration, while never losing joy.
God, retrain my brain to understand servitude. Teach me Your ways. Let me be willing to accept Your gifts, even when I don’t feel good enough.