Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Gift

I had a profound experience today... a moment I wasn't expecting, one that has caused me to feel a deep, sweet contentment...

Today at church, Cesar was sharing about the gifts of God (the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of health, financial, and relational blessing, etc.), and he related a story from one Christmas at his house. They had started the season assuming there weren't going to be many presents under the tree, so they didn't put gift tags on them. By Christmas day, there were many presents, and they had to go through the somewhat awkward process of opening random gifts and trying to remember who bought it and for whom. He remarked that part of the joy on Christmas morning isn't just for those who receive, but for those who give as well. We who take time to select thoughtful meaningful gifts bubble with anticipation and expand with joy when our loved ones open their presents.

Then Cesar wondered aloud if we sometimes treat the gifts we receive in our life as if they have lost the gift tag. We attribute the gift, whatever it might be, to some source other than its true Source. All the while God is waiting with anticipation for us to recognize it's really from Him. "We are glad for our gifts," Cesar concluded, "and all the while we say, 'I wish my Dad would have gotten me something.'"

For some reason, that image stopped me. For some reason, I have never quite thought of it exactly that way. For some reason, I think my heart finally reached out and took hold of the reality of the gift of my current season of life.

So often in the past 13 years, I have grappled with the whole "gift of singleness" idea. Usually, my responses to this gift landed in one of two camps: accepting it but only as a coping mechanism for the pain caused by the deferred desire of being truly married, or just diving into being royally honked at whatever well-meaning but emotionally ignorant person who was using it to console me in my singleness. (Seriously, I had a 19-year-old tell me that I just had to stop looking and then the person would show up. She's lucky she left that conversation with all her appendages still attached.)

Today, though, Cesar's words plunged me into cataloging the various aspects of my life, and I saw more fully how beautifully tailored those things are to my heart.

  • I love learning and getting better at what I do. As a single person, I've had the time and money to get my MA and start my National Board Certification.
  • I love my family. As a single person, I've had the time to build foundational relationships with my little people that will be a source of joy and strength in the years to come.
  • I love being active. As a single person, I can just GO to the gym when it fits! Fabulous!
  • I love high schoolers. As a single person, I have the time and space to teach well and lead Young Life.
  • I love blessing others financially. As a single person, I get to set the budget. I'm just starting to see how challenging it is for two adults to have a healthy financial plan together.
Don't get me wrong; I know these things can be done within the context of marriage, but not in the way I get to do them now. I still want to get married, and I'll be a kick-ass wife (once I learn to cook), full of respect and encouragement and playfulness and Marahness. But until then.... wow!!! Thank you, God, for this gift!!!


  1. And to think I almost kept the present illustration for the mens huddle...

  2. Oh such a good thing to hear. Funny....I've come to many of those same realizations in the past month. Fantastic.

  3. As always, thanks for being an open book; you provoke thought to everyone around you and I thank God there is Marah in my life who refuses to be lazy in her pursuit of God. THAT is a gift to ME...(Thanks for hangin around for the return of my blog ;o) )

  4. Thank you so much for sharing. You are one beautiful and amazing young woman. So much like the child I met so many years ago...(and wanted a carbon copy of for my own)...yet now with added wisdom to accompany that ever present child likeness. What JOY you must bring your heavenly father and earthly parents. To know you Is to love you, Marah. We are all so BLESSED to share any moments with you. I pray that my own little "carbon copy" of Lyndsey...will grow to such wisdom and beauty. I love you so very much! :)