In the past few weeks, I have had much to celebrate. It’s almost like I’m on a winning streak. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not… I also might go buy a lottery ticket today. haha! Honestly, I don’t think I have had a bunch of luck or anything… I am just now seeing fruits from the work I have already been doing.

Maybe it all started with a new haircut…

A few weeks back, I got a new hair cut and it’s nothing like I’ve ever had before. I really like it and it’s been really easy to maintain and involves little skill to get t to look good. haha, which I need.

This is the place where many of us try to start changing our lives. We think… man, If I had a new haircut or a new outfit, then I would be motivated or feel good enough about myself to change. That’s the equivalent of taking my car to the car wash because it has an oil leak. The oil is still going to leak out and kill the engine, but at least it will look clean on the side of the road, right? That’s ridiculous, right? The truth is, you take the car to a mechanic and get the leak fixed, you don’t think messing with the outside of the car will fix the inside of the car, do you? Yet this is the way most of us operate within the constructs of our lives. We buy new things for the outside when it’s our insides that are broken or in need to fixing. Moving on…

In the past few weeks, I have had much to celebrate. It’s almost like I’m on a winning streak. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not… I also might go buy a lottery ticket today. haha! Honestly, I don’t think I have had a bunch of luck or anything… I am just now seeing fruits from the work I have already been doing.

Over the last few weeks, I have gotten my first rope climb, crossed over the 60LBS loss marker, graduated from Seminary, I have received news that I’m changing churches and going to be preaching every week (Of course that one is both awesome and sad because I have to leave a place I love), and I even graduated with Honors. It’s a bright time in my life right now and I love it. #winning

In the midst of all the wins, I become strangely aware of an issue that I have been fighting my whole life. Ever since I can remember I have dealt with the problem. This problem originates directly from how I view myself.

I struggle with receiving compliments and extraordinary gifts. This really came to my attention one summer when I was serving at a mission camp as a program director. Part of my responsibilities was to connect with people in the area and learn about how we can serve them better. One summer, after getting to know a widow lady and spending a lot of time with her to make sure she was taken care of, she gave me a quilt that she had made on the first sewing machine she had ever used. It was an extravagant gift that was wrapped up in time, love, and sacrifice. This lady hardly had anything worldly, but she had some quilts she made from scraps she would find. We had spent a lot of time talking about quilts and the stories behind each one. Toward the end of the summer, she gave me a quilt. I was floored and overwhelmed with love. I didn’t know how to respond and couldn’t think of the appropriate words to say. I knew the magnitude of this gift and understood that this was a big deal and It completely overwhelmed me.

I feel helpless because I understand the magnitude of an extraordinary gift. I feel like my words and actions should match that gift but instead, I get so overwhelmed by the moment that I don’t know what to do… I freeze and try to say something of appreciation.

Here are the root problems:

  1. I don’t feel like I deserve the gift… whatever it is, I just don’t feel like I deserve something extravagant.  Why? In short, because I’m so critical of myself, I never feel like I do the best at anything. I always think of ways I could have worked harder or pushed harder and done better. I beat myself up so much that I don’t feel worthy.
  2. I’m terrible at receiving. I don’t know what to do or how to react. Why? Because I am so uncomfortable being the center of attention outside of my control. I hate it. You’ve read about this in the past on this site, but I instinctively want to hide and not be noticed. I love being in front of people and doing whatever if I’m in control. It’s completely opposite for me to be the center of attention and not know what’s happening or to be put on the spot. It’s all my personal insecurities that I’m still working on and need to be pushed, but It’s so tough for me.

It goes to show, that even in the midst of winning, we can learn and work on our personal failures or shortcomings. This weekend I was given many extravagant gifts. I mean mind-blowing, overwhelming, loving, and incredible gifts. I was floored and I’m sure that I failed at my reaction. Inside of me, I will think about those gifts and those people for the rest of my life. I will remember the difference they made and make in my life and the impact that they have had on me and hope that I did something for them along the way. Just like that quilt, it’s things like that which are imprinted on my heart, that I will treasure for my life. How do you put that into words to tell gift givers? I don’t know. I hope that I’m getting better as I feel better about myself. I hope that I get better because I’m working on my insides and not just trying to cover up how insecure I really am. I hope that I am able to love people as well as they love me. It’s something that I will continue to work on and hope that the people in my life have enough grace to love me despite my shortcomings. I’m so thankful for the people who know me and still love me, warts and all.

Keep Going!

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