Do you like to receive gifts? I sure do! I especially love the ones I receive when I’m having a rough day – it just lightens the load a bit and brings a smile to my face.
As I’ve shared in my prior blogs – the journey God has me on is a really hard one, it’s painful, and it can be very lonely. About a month and a half ago I was doing great. I just re-read an email I sent to a friend at the beginning of January. I told her that I’m feeling very confident in where I’m at on the journey and that I can’t see progress being made but I know God is doing it. At that point I had no doubt that God was going to stick to His promises and this is the journey He has called me to. It felt great to be at a place of such confidence and peace in the journey.
But…I’ll be honest…the past few weeks have not been the case, not even in the slightest. I’ve spent many nights crying as I plead with God. Plead with Him to make things happen, to take away the pain, to excuse me from the journey, even telling Him that I can’t nor do I want to keep walking this path. The word that best describes how I feel is weary. I’m a weary traveler on this journey – some days my feet are barely able to keep taking steps forward. I’m so grateful that during this season of weariness that my Savior does not grow tired or weary (Isaiah 40:28). Not only does He not grow weary, but He gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:29). I am so very thankful that I can rest in that – when I am weary, God will give me strength. I don’t need to find strength or create it – He’ll just give it to me. And He’s done that. I’ve told God on numerous occasions over the past number of months that I am so weak, I can’t keep doing this, I cannot continue on this journey. But…look who is still on this path…oh, haha, it’s me – I’m still here – God hasn’t removed me, instead He’s strengthened me for the journey He’s called me to.
There’s something else that I thank God for on this journey – gifts! These aren’t the gifts that you get at Christmas because that’s what you do and you expect to get them. I’m not talking about birthday gifts or wedding gifts to celebrate a significant date or event. I’m talking about the type of gifts you get from a loving friend or family member when life is hard and any little encouragement is welcome. Such as when a loved one dies and you receive gifts of flowers, cards, meals, etc. Those are the gifts of the heart – gifts meant to lighten the load, uplift the spirit, and encourage the weary.
I could share with you so many instances when God has lavished gifts on me when He knew that I needed it most. One of those times I asked God for a gift – that’ll be in another post. The rest of them I never asked for – I was too weary to even ask or think of asking. Even if I had thought of asking I wouldn’t have known what to ask for – nothing would ‘fix it’ and I am too weary to come up with a gift that would lift my spirits. But God doesn’t need us to tell Him what gift we need – He knows us better than we know ourselves, He knows the pain, the heartache and the journey. And He knows what gift will be perfect for the moment, what will lift our spirits, point us to Him, and remind us that there is hope.
God has given me some incredible gifts throughout this journey. He paints me the most amazing sunrises and sunsets – He knows that this Princess Warrior loves sunrises and sunsets and they give me renewed hope. He’s provided me with fellow Princess Warriors to walk along side me – Daughters of His who are walking the exact same journey – you can’t beat that – having someone who can truly and honestly say ‘I get it, I’ve been there, I’ve felt that pain’. He’s blessed me with Scriptures which jump off the page to remind me of what He’s called me to, His promises, and who He is.
The most recent and one of the greatest gifts He’s given me on this journey was given to me yesterday. This past week and weekend were very hard for me. God knew I was struggling, He knew how weary I was and so He lavished an amazing gift on me. Yesterday, I was blessed with a niece! God brought her into the life of our family yesterday afternoon. I haven’t been that excited or joyful in a very long time. Getting to hold this newborn baby, only a few hours old, was amazing. I’ve had this experience before – my nephew was born a little over 2 years ago and it was a phenomenal experience when he was born and I first met him. You’d think that the second time wouldn’t be as incredible – but it was just as amazing. My heart is so overflowing with love and joy I can’t even put it into words.
Being an aunt has been a huge blessing as I walk this journey. Holding a baby or playing with an active 2 year old does the heart good. There have been so many times during this journey that I’ve spent time with my nephew and it has been one of the best comforts in the midst of the uncertainty. Receiving hugs and kisses from him is an incredible gift from my Heavenly Father. And now to have a niece as well – double the joy, double the love, double the comfort in weary times.
Our Father desires to give us good gifts. His word tells us that if a human father gives good gifts to his children, how much more our Heavenly Father will lavish good gifts on us (Matthew 7:11). Allow your Father to lavish good gifts on you today – be sure not to miss them, they may come as something as routine as a beautiful sunrise or something as expected as a wet sloppy kiss from your niece or nephew. Don’t miss it and be sure to thank your Father for the gift – He doesn’t have to lavish these things on us – but He wants to because He loves us!