Have you ever been given a beautiful gift hidden in pretty wrapping? A gift that looks like it is sitting there just waiting to be delightfully discovered? The thought of being given a gift makes me feel special. It’s a simple gesture that sends the message:
“You are loved”.
When I began the wild ride of raising my daughter on my own, I wasn’t exactly thinking about all the gifts I would receive along the way. In all honesty, if I stop to think about it, I was so consumed with the humiliation, rejection, and embarrassment of what I perceived as a failure, that I absolutely could not see what fruit would come from the hard work and dedication of doing the right thing every day. This is especially so while at my lowest point.
Now, fifteen years after beginning that long journey, I have much respect for these five, hard earned gifts.
Through the years I have discovered them sprinkled in love throughout my journey. Tightly wrapped in a silver box with a gold bow, these gifts are a result of much pain, heartache, and poor choices. There is barely a day that goes by that I do not recognize and appreciate at least one of these beautiful gifts I have received.
From where I started to who I am today, I wouldn’t return a single one.
- Motherhood: Need I say more? If you are a mom you know all too well the blessings that come from the opportunity to love and be loved by these little ones. A gift that is nearly indescribable. My life is much richer because I am a mom. I hope yours is too.
- Heartache: This was the first gift that began to cultivate within me a spirit of gratitude for both the good and the bad seasons. Heartache, often times, can teach us to appreciate pain. The kind of pain that when leaned into and heard from can produce wisdom so deeply ingrained in us that it seems our hearts may never reach that level of brokenness again.
- Favor: a gift in the word itself, favor has graciously landed on all of our paths in one way or another. You know the feeling of frustration that comes with the uncertainty of direction? Or the worry and anxiety of how you are going to do it all on your own? Over and over again when I have encountered moments in time such as these someone has found favor on me. From family, friends, welfare workers, teachers and employers, I cannot count the many people who have taken me under their wing and opened a door for me.
- Family: This is a hard one for me to put into words. Specifically, because I understand not everyone has been given the gift of a family that is willing or blessed enough to be able to give abundantly. Why was I? I may never know. Yet, families that come together and support one another through hardships is a gift I wish I could share with everyone I know.
- Mercy: I chose mercy as one of the five because it is in my stupidity, in my deliberate negligence in handling my life that I was given over and over again what I did not deserve. An immeasurable amount of mercy. This unbelievably incredible gift has helped me to have empathy and compassion for others. To understand each and every one of us has our own unique journey and to love them in the midst of it. Just where they are.
These five beautiful gifts continue to produce sweet fruit.
As I make my way through life the precious smell and aroma of these gifts are so very present. No, they are not tangible. One could not purchase them online or in a store. They did not come at the expense of someone’s bank account. They are not extravagant in value as the world may measure. Birthed from a place of humility these five gifts are so very precious and priceless.
I know all of our stories are uniquely woven with beautifully wrapped surprises discovered through tough journeys of our own. I love that we all have a gift or more to share.
Have you discovered yours? Would you consider sharing them? I would love to hear.