Christmas Gifts or Spiritual Gifts? You Pick!
A True Story of Why Spiritual Gifts Are Better!
Christmas Gifts or Spiritual Gifts, You Pick!
A True Story of Why Spiritual Gifts Are Better!
Four years ago right at the beginning of the holiday season my first husband left me for someone else. It was a time in my life that I will never forget but I know now that there were lessons in my life that needed to be learned by that experience. Truth is when he left after us being together almost twenty years, fourteen and a half of them married I didn’t know what to do when he left but I trusted that God had a plan for my life and that one day God would get the glory from my experience. So here I am today sharing with you this story and praying that it will have a positive impact on your Christmas and your life and for years to come.
After my ex left he soon filed separation papers and it was then determined by his lawyer that I wasn’t able to afford the home we were living in so after some matters were settled with him and his attorney I was then made to move out of our home that we had lived in for seven years. I was so depressed during that time that the first week he left I lost seventeen pounds and had a stressed induced heart attack. I couldn’t even eat during that time and if I brushed my teeth I would throw up. I survived on sports drinks and sheer determination during that time. This went on for almost an entire month and even four years later I don’t dare brush my teeth unless I’ve ate or the consequences are not appealing by any means. By the time I moved out of our home three months later I had lost almost thirty five pounds. I had also quit medical school but landed a great job working for the largest chiropractor in the state without any medical background. I was definitely proud of my accomplishments during this time. It was very sad though that people would come up and tell me how great I looked from losing all that weight whenever I did nothing but go thru total life hell to get that way. As you can imagine I did a lot of praying, reading in my bible, screaming and crying during that time.
You see though my story doesn’t end there and like I said earlier moving day came and it was time for me to more or less leave my nest. It was a day I will never forget it was so sad and sickening. What was even sadder was watching my kids pack up their stuff and move. My youngest at the time was only eleven and that home was really the only home he had known growing up. I couldn’t image what was going thru my children’s minds knowing we were leaving our home while at the same time their father and his affair were off celebrating by taking a cruise. Yes, sad to say it but it is the truth.
So later that evening we move into our new home exhausted but half way satisfied. By the grace of God I managed to move us into a home that was twice the square footage of our old home and almost double the payment. God only knows how that all took place, it’s just another one of those stories that’s a story of its own and only God’s grace and provisions can answer how we managed to wind up in that particular place.
A few days later my children’s grandparents decided they wanted to get the children for a few days to spend some time with them and give me a break. Just what I didn’t really need as needless to say trying to stay strong for the kids was one of the main things that kept me going at that time and helped keep me sane with my head attached to my shoulders. In truth once again there is a whole other story in the middle of this story. I am not going to apologize by taking so long to get into the meat of this story as I feel like leaving out this background information would be a disservice to you the reader and as well to God’s glory. You have to totally appreciate and relate to where a person is coming from sometimes before you can truly understand why they write the way that they do. But without any further background to the story it is the reason why I choose spiritual gifts over Christmas gifts.
So now the kids are gone and I am left alone to unpack and sort our items in the new house. How much pain this caused my heart. My ex was gone, I am in a new house all alone, I just made it somehow thru the Christmas season and well those two are off still on their merry little cruise while I am there trying to unpack while wearing a orthopedic boot due to the fact that two days after we moved I tore my Achilles tendon and ruptured my calf muscle. Happiness and joy for me, my oh my is this going to be fun or what?
I begin to unpack the kitchen and tears start rolling down my eyes in sadness. My life has been filled with so much loss, so much pain and now to make matters worse I have to unpack the dishes. Not just your everyday dishes, but THE dishes. The ones that you spent all day shopping for so you could add to your bridal registry dishes, yes THOSE dishes. I took the paper off one of them and started examining it. I held it close to my body, this special item that was irreplaceable and remembered the day my soon to be ex mother in law and I went shopping for them. We had shopped for hours whenever I found them sitting on the shelf of a very nice department store. At almost twenty dollars a plate they were beautiful and well priceless in their own way. I remembered thinking about that whole shopping experience how nothing seemed to be just right until I put the first plate in my hand. They were eggshell in color, trimmed out in pink with beautiful small flowers in yellows, blues, pinks and green petals all around. More tears fell as I remembered the day I received almost the full set from various different people during my bridal shower. I remembered the pink dress that I wore that day and how excited I was that I was finally getting to marry the man that I wanted to be with forever. Which of course bought more tears to my eyes as that same man well he was on a cruise with his affair and well I was unpacking our dishes. Dishes we never used together. We never used them together in fear that they would break and we wouldn’t be able to afford to replace them. I wanted to throw that dish, no ALL of those dishes but I couldn’t. I couldn’t destroy those precious gifts. I cried even harder, it didn’t matter; NOBODY was there to hear me. I didn’t care if I cried my heart out, what did it matter life to me was over anyway. Seriously the worst thing that could happen was I could have another heart attack, heck maybe I’d get lucky, maybe God would take me out of my misery and take me home to heaven and I could just forget about all of this and live in peace with God for eternity.
But then in the middle of my tears in the middle of my busted heart I heard from God. I wasn’t as alone as what I thought I was. No, not at all God had been listening to me the whole time. I took a deep breath and tried to settle down. I remembered all the other heartache I had been thru up till that point and I started thinking that I somehow got thru all of that. How did I do it though, how did I stay sane, how was I still here breathing after all of this. It was then I remembered that God had carried me thru all of that. When I was alone at church sitting next to everyone that had their significant other next to them God reminded me I was sitting on His lap. He reminded me that while all these earthly relationships are temporary His relationship with me was eternal. I had to calm myself down and remember where I had survived from already. It was then God reminded me something very important. Spiritual Gifts.
Spiritual Gifts? Really right here in the middle of me crying my heart out in mourning you are going to remind me God that I have spiritual gifts? You have to be kidding me! But wait a minute you carrying me God was how I made it here so far. It was time to listen. I shut up and put what God had to say first.
As I set there with one of the dishes still clutched to my chest I got to thinking about things that were more important in my life then a man that didn’t love me anymore. I started thinking about a God who would never leave me or forsake. It didn’t matter what I looked like, or how imperfect I am my God loves me ALL of the time! So now God I am listening, what can I do for you?
I almost felt Him saying, “You can remember a lot of different things. You can remember that relationship was never going to last forever, but ours does. You can remember that you never took those plates down and used them because you were fearful that you would break them. You can remember that I gave you gifts to use to.”
Wow, what do you say to that? I couldn’t believe I had been so stupid! All those years I wasted never using those dishes because I was afraid we would break them and now my ex wasn’t even there for us to use them together! We had wasted the gifts we were given together because of fear. Speaking of fear wasn’t that one of the things that was being used against me in my own mind to stop me from using the spiritual gifts God gave me? I had to ask myself what was going to happen if one day I went to use those gifts and they were gone? What if one of my gifts was writing and I didn’t write because I was too afraid of being rejected and not being published? What if one day I finally got up the nerve to go for it and my fingers were riddled with arthritis or something else? I could never forgive myself if I squandered my spiritual gifts. Those types of gifts can be eternal. What I write today well there’s a good chance it will still be out here affecting someone’s life hopefully for the good long after I am gone. So yes, plates don’t last forever but what we do with our gifts from God can and will go on in one way or another for generations to come. I guess it is true when they say our life is a gift from God what we do with that gift is our gift to God.
Just so you know I’ve enjoyed writing this and you know what else that night there in the kitchen well guess what I did? I used those dishes and even used them for many nights after that as a reminder that we are not promised tomorrow so we need to do everything we can today by giving it our all and doing our best with what God has already given us.