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The Gift

November 5, 2012

I had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday this past week. The day did not start off well. I woke with vertigo and that made for a change in plans for my birthday run. I decided to go to spin class instead. Leaving early seemed to be the best option, as my vertigo decided to keep me company all day! As that was disappointing, I brushed it off because I was headed out to lunch with a few friends. As we sat down and went to order, my cell phone rang and it was my daughter’s school. She had fallen in a mud puddle and needed a change of clothes. There goes the lunch!

The day seemed to go downhill from there. A conversation with a friend went sour and I landed in a mud puddle of my own on my way home ~ not exactly the highlight of my day. In the midst of feeling sorry for myself, a friend, who desperately tried to track me down all day, showed up to give me flowers, a gift and a big hug. Oh, how I needed that hug!

I went home to change my shoes before picking up my children from school and sat down to open the gift. When I opened it, I cried. I let the disappointment from the day pour out of me and let the tears flow. As I opened that gift, I realized that my good friend really knew me. She cared enough to find just the right gift for me – nothing over the top, nothing frivolous or indulgent. She got me something I needed and something that would make me smile. My friend got me a long sleeve running shirt. It was just the right weight, just the right size and just the right color. She remembered me borrowing one for a race and knew I needed one.

My tears weren’t because the gift was extravagant. My tears fell because I realized in that moment that I was loved. I was cared for and remembered. I was sought out and I was given just what I needed. I also realized it wasn’t just my friend who cared. Jesus loves me and He gives me what I need, at just the right times in my life. He seeks me out and waits for me to respond. He is there at all times. I just need to open my eyes to see Him. Jesus knows me better than anyone else, even the number of hairs on my head. His outstretched arms are always there to enfold me, not just on my birthday. Isaiah 43:4 reminds me of this “… you are precious and honored in my sight, and… I love you.”

In that moment, I knew that I had allowed my vision to be blurred. I was so hyper focused on what was missing in my day, I couldn’t appreciate the bigger picture. I was distracted by a few wrong things and I missed out on seeing many right things. My friend’s gift was a gift of love. It reminded me of the love of Christ that makes me whole. I have been given a gift that is undeserving. So, in that dark place, I decided not to lie in the dark but to turn towards the Light and His truth. Can’t we all remember to see the big picture? We tend to focus so much on the little things that make us stumble and we turn towards ourselves. What if we rather place ourselves in the shadow of the Cross and turn towards the Light instead? Our vision would be much clearer.

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (NIV)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Edie Tye permalink
    November 5, 2012 5:03 PM

    Dear April,
    Sorry to miss your birthday. Glad to hear you found the essence of love on your day. How precious to realize that the expression of friendship can mean so much–even though the giver might not be aware of how meaningful the gift is. Thanks for your honesty and your sharing.

    • November 8, 2012 9:53 AM

      It was an “aha moment” and a much needed reminder that day. What a better gift that we have the opportunity to unwrap each and every day.

  2. Maary Lee permalink
    November 8, 2012 9:43 AM

    Sending belated birthday “hugs”. You told a beautiful story and a good reminder that God loves us most of all.

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