Personal

Giving that Hurts

There’s an old saying that goes:

Hurt people, hurt people.

It’s quite true. When we’re in a sea of pain, we inevitably inflict it on the things and people around us. My journey has taught me that I’m no use to my loved ones when I’m drowning in sorrow.

On the flip side of the emptiness that pain creates is Wholeness. Healing brings about Wholeness and Healed people, heal people. Could it be true? Well, I believe so. Consider therapists and doctors. Because of their emotional and physical wellness coupled with their gifts and training, they’re able to be effective in the lives of others.

Ask yourself: How effective am I in the lives of others?

As I consider this question, I can only hope that the ashes I’ve experienced are producing beauty that I can give back to the Earth. Sometimes giving simply hurts. When I’m sick, it’s hard to smile or encourage others, but my healing is connected to what I’m able to offer others. Healing is a process. Wholeness is a journey. We don’t simply arrive, but we are called to constantly strive.

Being blessed to give what I need most is one of the ways God shows me His healing power. Giving isn’t always fun or happy. Yes, God Loves a cheerful giver and we should all give willingly, but Giving is sacrificial. Most sacrifices sting. That’s just the reality of it, but as I am reminded every time I accidentally cut myself while cooking or when I sprang a joint or bump my knee that the first step toward healing is pain/the sting. The hardest part of recovery is often the first day. We have a hard time accepting that we’ve been injured which is why we some times reject the process of healing. Physically we may try to continue everyday activity. Mentally and emotionally, we may carry on proclaiming and believing that we are “okay” when in reality we’re broken.

Hey, it’s okay to be broken! Broken is the first step toward fixed! To be made new, a thing must first become old. To be reborn, one must die. To be put back together, one must fall apart. That’s just how it goes.

Here’s the good part: Nothing we give will ever be withheld from us. There’s a story in the book of Genesis where the Spirit of God calls Abraham to take the son He waited decades to have and sacrifice Him. God did not literally want Abe to kill His son, but He needed Abe to be willing to. We must be willing to hurt in order to see the wonder of healing. Abe was willing to sacrifice the one thing he prayed hardest and longest for. Why? Because He understood that God would never ask for something He didn’t have plans to replace. God made way for Issac. Abe understood that if God did it once, He could do it twice.

We can’t beat God at Giving!

That said, as we give our time, energy and joy even in the midst of our own brokenness, we can be encouraged. God is not asking us to give anything that He has not already given us.

Last week, I gave a sweet gift to someone who was once a really good “friend” to me but as of lately they’ve been everything but a friend. The gift was purely impulsive. I thought about every reason I shouldn’t have given the gift, but only after I had given it. Before I gave the gift, I understood the risk, but I felt compelled to give anyway.

I have no clue why my heart wanted to give to that particular person. To be honest, if I could take the gift back, I would probably try. Being abandoned by that person hurt me. Being let down by that friendship hurt me. The sting is still very real, so why did I give the gift?

I’m convinced that in that moment, the recipient needed the sweet gesture more than my pride needed to be appeased. Maybe it made their day. Maybe it taught them something. Maybe it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. Maybe I just need to be willing to give even when I don’t understand or want to.

In the moment, I truly wanted to. I really did. I was excited and smiling when I delivered the gift. It wasn’t until afterward that I felt some type of way. Was I secretly expecting something in return? Did I give to prove my worth to them? Am I trying to win back the relationship?

Honestly, No.

I know why the relationship failed. I also don’t need anything from the person. I know I was good to them and that I’m still a good person with a good heart. I think I proved that to myself when I gave. Maybe that was the point! It has everything to do with my ability to give beyond my level of comfort and understanding and nothing to do with how the person feels about the gift.

I wasn’t giving to the person after all. I was simply giving God the same sweetness He has given me. I was displaying Mercy and I didn’t realize it. I chose to show Grace to someone who has intentionally rejected and harmed me. I don’t need a medal. I don’t want accolades. I got what I needed, Healing. I believe that I am now fully healed from the effects of that relationship ending.

I’ve shed the old skin and old way of thinking. I don’t need someone to be friendly towards me for me to show kindness to them. Some people are just unkind. Some people are just distant. Some people are far more hurt than I am and they don’t have the relationship with Jesus that affords them the healing they need. This is why I give. I give because I believe that God manifests Himself in my gift.

I lack no thing. I can afford to give.

Side-note: Although I agree that I can be kind and friendly to unfriendly people, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you guys to set healthy boundaries. Don’t be misused or taken for granted if you can help it, but also don’t be stingy. Love doesn’t have to be up close and personal. Effective Love is some time also Love at a distance. Remember, your first priority is to Love God & Yourself. Loving others is a byproduct of Loving God and yourself. Desperation creates false love. Be kind, but be careful.

I digress. Ultimately, I don’t regret the gift. This wasn’t the first time I was nice to someone who wasn’t nice to me and it won’t be the last BUT this is the first time I have recognized the benefit Giving brings my way. It’s not about what I gave up or what I have lost. Nope. That matters not because what I have gained in wisdom and understanding is more valuable.

Give, with Greatness!

I am Eryka

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