30 days ago I had fear in my heart….fear and dread. It was not the best prelude to the season when we emulate the life and teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. I remember pouring out my heart to my Heavenly Father, wondering how it would all happen for us.
I received a beautiful feeling of peace….that everything had been taken care of. I just needed to let it all unfold.
What unfolded was one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned. I have come to realize that Heavenly Father rarely blesses us without teaching us deep lessons in the process. For that I am truly grateful, because therein I see that He loves me enough to help me grow.
There is a famous quote that states, “It is better to give then receive.”
In a lot of ways I truly agree with this. My heart loves to give. It is something incredible when we are able to offer a portion of ourselves, our time, our means and our love to someone who truly needs it. On many occasions the opportunity to give has blessed my life with a much needed portion of joy.
Yet, what about receiving what has been offered? Does this make us less than when we are given something we truly need?
I know now that receiving what is offered can bring the same amount of fulfillment, joy and peace as we would feel when we give. The key is allowing our hearts to be receptive to the gift that is offered.
In the beginning of this journey we have been on, I did not want to receive any help. I felt that I should be able to do it all, take care of everything and fix what I thought was broken. I wanted to be ‘self-sufficient’. When that didn’t happen, time and time again, my heart broke. I began to think that I had done something wrong, that I had made a mistake that rendered me unworthy of the blessings I sought for. I felt alone and abandoned, because I didn’t get what I wanted.
What truly was happening was Heavenly Father patiently teaching me that He is the one that gives me everything I have and everything I need. He is the one that brings the miracles right on time. He is the one that fixes the broken things. He is the one that delivers us from our storms. He gives us everything…and sometimes He uses those around us to deliver the gifts.
As I took a step back to see His hand in our lives, I saw all of the ways that we have been blessed to receive of His goodness through the kindness and generosity of those who love us, those who may not even know us and those who genuinely want to help us on our way. They have been family members who listened when the Spirit spoke to their hearts, they have been friends who felt a need to reach out, they have been strangers who understood the look in our eyes without even saying a word….they have been angels.
Receiving has been a miracle in my life. I have learned that my heart determines how the gift enters into my life. Through countless prayers and time spent studying His word, the Savior has blessed my heart to soften. There is no room for receiving when there is hardness surrounding our hearts.
I truly believe now that in order to give with the right heart, we need to be able to receive with that same heart. That is my Christmas miracle.