Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Gifts God Gave Me

So I have been thinking a lot about what my next blog is going to be about.  I have a few ideas but one keeps coming to mind, but it is kinda scary.  It is about love.  AHA!  Do not get too excited.  I'm not going to talk about THAT kind of love.  Nope.  Not ready for that discussion yet.  But rather love in the way God has gifted me with the capacity to love.  And here is why it is scary.  It is difficult for me to talk about myself..... wait for it....in a vulnerable state.  But, really.  Let's be honest.  We all feel that way.  But this is the reason I started writing again.  To share with others and hopefully inspire them to be okay with who they are in Christ.  Especially in the scary ways.  So here we go. 
Love.  Such a overused, misunderstood word.  We have all heard about falling in love in books and movies or even experienced it ourselves.  We love our families, friends, pets, etc.  And heard our preacher talk about agape love. ;)  All of these are good things.  Wonderful things.  I hope you feel loved.  You are.  If by no one else, God. Which is enough. But that is not what I am writing about today.  I think I am just stalling.  So awkward and frightening to talk about myself in this way.  I guess I will just jump into it.
I believe that God has gifted me with an exceptional ability to love.  And I have discovered that this gift has the power to be a blessing to others.  But unfortunately, me being the flawed lady I am, I have often let it be an incredibly painful gift for me to endure.  I have often said (to God and friends) that I wish I was not made this way.  I would much rather  be able to blow people off or not care when someone else is hurting.  Too bad, so sad for me.  I have yet to be able to change this aspect about me.  If you know me, even just a little bit, a word that most often comes to mind when describing me is PASSIONATE.  Great thing to be.  But it comes with baggage.  Let me explain.
 I remember a dear friend once said to me that I am an "all or nothing" kind of girl.  Oh, so true.  If I love something, I LOVE it.  If not, could not care less.  No middle ground for us passionate folks.  But because I feel so deeply about things, it hurts when my expectations do not happen.  Whether it be about job, friends, relationships, food, whatever.  And that hurts. Hurts like..... well, you know. A lot.  And I have tried to stifle it.  I was ashamed I feel things so deeply.  But to no avail.  It is still there, raring to go.
As mentioned so many times before.  This last year has been a rough one.  My heart has been broken in more ways and in areas than I thought possible.  This is all because of my love for others, and them not seeing it, appreciating it, caring about it, reciprocating it or believing it.  I have had to learn to trust that God sees it and knows.  And I do believe that.  But I am still human.  When friendships I have trusted in disintegrate in front of my eyes, when I am in desperate need of a friend but none can be there, it kills. When I give all I can to someone to minister and encourage, yet they do not care, I am devastated.  When I pour my heart into my job and just get discouragement back, I crumble.  All of these things, plus more, have happened just in the last few months. Crazy part, I still love.  But I can't make anyone else show love back to me.  But that is not part of the gift of love.  And this is not being written so I get sympathy or for me to whine.  Just wait. 
Another gift that I possess (see isn't this arrogant? I hope you will forgive me) that I believe goes along with loving so deeply is the gift of discernment.  Which is a fancy way of saying I see people for who they really are.  It blows my mind that others do not see the things I do, but it is just the way it is.  For example, on the outside someone may look like a lazy, good for nothing bum, but I see the potential and amazing, loving heart.  While on the other hand, a person may be educated, nice to those they need to be and seem like a friendly person, but on the inside just do things to get ahead/attention or are not sincere.  I can see that in people almost instantly.  Which also hurts, to see people like that.  Either not reaching their potential, or those who are fake and mean in their core.  But I still love them.  Both.  Ugh,  sucks right???  Not going to lie.  Some days, it does.
I feel like I have all this love to give and no one to take it.  And when I do try to give it, I give so much that I get hurt and/or drained with nothing in return.  So.  Right now I am not giving a lesson (although they are there) but more sharing a struggle I am going through.  I am talking to God a lot, and trying to figure out what to do with this love of mine.  Since I see people so clearly for who they are, and can love them for who they are, what do I do with that???   I do not know.  I have tried several different ideas, none have panned out so far.  But I am done feeling sorry for myself (AHA!!!  There is the lesson!).  Yes.  I am single for the moment.  But that does not mean I can't use my gifts God has given me.  To the contrary.  I am scared (which is wrong) that I will not be loved back and just hurt more.  Nope.  Not an excuse to stop trying.  I can not let this go to waste.  I see people for who they truly are.  I need to use this great love God has given me.  I do not know how yet, but since I am now deciding to embrace my passionate side instead of trying to hide it like I have for so long, I need to learn to use it for God. 
If God has given you a gift, there is no reason to not use it.  Even if it is so very painful sometimes.  If it furthers His kingdom.  It must be used.  No Excuses.