As I seek to find the lessons through this season of grief, I am learning two more things… the true meaning of the word, incredible; and that there is also a blessing in receiving.
Let’s talk about incredible first: the Google definition says 1. impossible to believe; 2. difficult to believe, extraordinary.
It is incredible that since March 23 of this year, four people in or near our family circle have passed from this earth. As I write this, Daddy Bruss is on his way to see his mother, who may also be reaching the point where she needs end of life care. Incredible.
Also incredible is this calling I am answering from God to provide support to one of these families through their time of grief. I am not at liberty to share the details. What I can tell you: we serve a LIVING GOD. The pain they feel: Incredible. The little miracles that are happening, the daily answers to prayer – there is no other explanation other than the supernatural is in play here. Incredible.
The other lesson that I am learning is that although the Bible tells us that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), it is also a blessing to receive with grace.
So much in our U.S. culture is rooted in independent, do-it-yourself resourcefulness. We pride ourselves on being “self-made”, on “pulling ourselves up from our bootstraps”, “dusting ourselves off”, and “starting all over again”.
When we teach classes on postpartum, we talk about the importance of accepting help after the baby is born. It requires us, as adults, to do what we have been indoctrinated against in our churches and in our culture…actually say YES and RECEIVE when someone offers to help us.
As we have experienced incredible grief, and watch others around us experience grief, it becomes apparent that postpartum is not the only time that we need to say YES to help that is offered. If people are blessed by giving to us, then we are acting in grace to receive the gifts with an open and humble heart. Although maybe we are more comfortable giving, grief is another season that grows us in the art of receiving.
As we are in our season of change, I need to be gracious and accept the offers of help from all the students that we have had the honor of helping through the years. As hard as it is for me to accept help, I am saying YES.
The image that rested on my heart as we entered this season was a story about Moses. One of the Old Testament stories relates a time when his father-in-law tells him that the job of shepherding the tribes of Israel is more than one person can handle alone. He proposes a system of governance so that Moses can find helpers and also remain in his role of service to the people. I am so grateful that these words are in my heart, and for these stories that serve as an example.
Those that know me well know how much I love to give, and how much joy, I receive from being a “giver”. Beyond that, I wonder if even some of my self-worth is tied up in being in a position of giving. I can see now that this lesson is timely and that it is one I needed to learn. Mark off another notch on the growth chart…I am growing again.
As I apply this lesson to the season of change we are in, I can see that grief is big. Changing homes and saying goodbye to what we thought was our forever home is big. And handling these things at the same time – even bigger. So I am learning to say YES. I am not in a season of blessed giving…I am in a season of graceful receiving.
Tell me your story – how have you been blessed by receiving?