I’m a gifter. I have always loved giving gifts. If I need to thank someone, or if I’ve royally screwed up and need to apologize for something, Christmas, birthdays… I live for that stuff. Even just little things like a favorite candy bar or an unexpected favorite coffee drink.
But until recently I’ve really had the hardest time receiving gifts. I always felt awkward and uncomfortable and quite frankly undeserving. Even if someone just offered to buy my coffee, I just had a really hard time with it (and coffee is seriously like my second love language – I love it). But a leader in my church’s college ministry was meeting me for coffee a while back and beat me there to try and buy my coffee. I showed up and protested, but she made me let her buy my coffee.
When we sat down, I light-heartedly mouthed off something like “you didn’t have to do that you know?” And she looked at me, fully serious and said “I know, Abby. But sometimes you have to let other people do things for you the way you like to do things for them. You love giving people things, but you can’t expect them to receive what you won’t receive yourself.”
She may or may not have known the weight of her words, but my perspective in that area of my life changed entirely. And honestly, that was the end of it. It’s not that exciting of a story, and honestly I had pretty much forgotten about it until recently.
That memory just kind of popped back up in my head and I wasn’t totally sure why. But God gave me a word when I was preparing to speak to a local anti-expoloitation ministry.
Abby, in your ministry and when you write your blogs, you are speaking to people and expecting them to receive me and who I say they are, but have you fully received who I say you are?
It was one of those things that hit me like a ton of bricks.
Particularly in the anti-trafficking ministry, we go and try to be the hands and feet of Jesus in these dark, unimaginable places and we hope and pray that these women receive who God says they are and their worth in him, but how can we expect them to receive that if we aren’t totally sure of it for ourselves.
A mentor once told me that we can only truly minister from a place of abundance. We can’t truly preach worth if we don’t know ours.
So search your heart. What does God want you to receive now? I pray that you confidently allow him to enter in and reveal to you exactly what you need to be able to pour into others.
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