A friend got me thinking about gifts ... not the kind that are wrapped up and given to people on special occasions, but those that are placed in people that can be a powerful blessing to others.
We all have them. Some people don't think they have gifts, but they do. EVERYONE has gifts present within them. And when they are unwrapped, they bring a whole different kind of gift to the world.
I was very blessed to grow up in a home that encouraged me to be who I was and express myself (with limits, of course - sometimes my creative spirit included clothing styles that the world just wasn't ready for or were honestly inappropriate but I was too naïve to realize [I am remembering my father censoring some shorts that left my "butt hanging out" and I really didn't agree. LOL. But looking back, THANK YOU DAD!]).
Then I experienced a marriage in which many of my gifts were invalidated ... but invisibly. I was doing my best to not be selfish, to follow God, and to yield to my husband. Little did I know that I was experiencing emotional abuse. Thirteen years later, I started learning the truth when some secret things were revealed in my spouse's life. Professionals guided me to resources that I thought would pat me on the head and send me on my way. To my surprise, the local domestic violence organization shared things with me that rocked my world. And as I began to follow the guidance I received, more and more was revealed.
The crisis that arose was far more than the emotional abuse I experienced, and I focused on the next steps for my children to keep their world as solid as I could while I transitioned to the life of a single mother. The challenges were huge. And to this day, 11 years later, I am still dealing with huge challenges with roots in those years of marriage and still focused on my children.
But what about me? Initially, I thought certain gifts would come flooding back as I found myself free from the "emotional version of munchausen by proxy syndrome" that I had lived in for years. But it didn't happen like that. My counselor encouraged me to be patient. Those years of abuse will take at least as long to undo as they did to form ... and maybe longer.
One gift was music. But it felt like it had died within me. I used to write. It was my outlet. I found shortly before the separation with my former husband that it threatened him and he was afraid of losing the spotlight. I was stunned. The spotlight? I had never wanted one. I just wanted my expression to make a difference in the lives of others ... and it did then. I requested that he leave a keyboard for me when he left our family. But I would sit at it dry ... the only thing that would come was tears.
But over a year ago, it started to awaken. Just seeds of songs. And it may be starting to grow now.
So this is where I consider gifts. If this is my gift, I want to set it free. And now? I am afraid. It's as if the invisible bars I had let imprison me are still there. But the gift is getting stronger and my fears are fighting harder. Because of some very unusual circumstances, I am in a position to be able to explore more and have talked much with God about the struggles in setting myself free. His encouragement is always powerful and brings a challenge. I know the key. But now I must do it. I believe the key is in God's Word. And to release that, I need to meditate and speak His word. It will strengthen me on the inside and where I once would struggle and shut down, I can experience strength and confidence and success.
Marking this moment today ... I will take those baby steps I have begun accustomed to taking, just doing what I know to do, and trust Him.
John 6:63 (AMP) It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.
Luke 1:37 (AMP) For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.
Romans 11:29 (AMP) For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]