I like to write. Playing around with words has always been something that I did. I could write entire movies or plays in my mind as a child, and if given a melody I would create my own song. Words became my secret friends, and I kept them hidden away in my mind in fear. Maybe it was because I was ‘shy’ even ‘introverted’, or it could be that I did not believe I was good enough. But my reason was not that easy to discover, nor was it so easy to overcome. The truth be told it was actually quite simple…I felt overly judged in many other parts of my life. I couldn’t bear having to defend or relinquish this part of me as some untrained or unsympathetic soul maliciously ripped my words apart. So rather than expressing and sharing them, I kept them hidden – selfishly but truly defensively. You see, as simple as it may appear to anyone reading this, the ability to play with and twist words is a gift. But I did not always see it in its true form. I just thought that it was something that I did. It wasn’t something that I trained to do. How could I, when I kept it hidden under a rock on most days? Over three decades, my ignorance concerning what I used as my way of expression slowly transformed into an understanding that it was actually a gift and one to share. [If it had to take me more than thirty years to understand something, I am hoping that by the time you finish reading this, you would have jumped through that lesson, and saved yourself a lot of time and a few hidden grey hairs.]
I never take it lightly when readers directly reach out to me and let me know about the way in which something, that I might have easily written and taken lightly, was able to inspire them or motivate them to move forward on their path. Trust me I do not take this lightly at all, because as I just said, I kept my words hidden for many years; to the point that I no longer needed other people to judge my words. I had learned to doubt and judge my own words enough and didn’t need help. The thing is, not all gifts are wrapped in shiny wrapping paper, with bright bows, placed under a Christmas tree or delivered in a FedEx box [if that is the case, FedEx owes me some packages or I need to plant pine trees in my back yard and call every day Christmas]. And like many of you, I did not recognize that what I and others may have considered to be my quirks, were really aspects of my gifts. I know many people like this, so I know I am not alone. Many of us do not develop…notice…acknowledge…realize that what we tried to hide from others around us in fear of being the odd one, was actually a gift. You see, when you just want to blend in, any messy quirks that keep sticking out from where you try to keep them hidden, aren’t seen as good things in the moment.
But isn’t this what we grew up learning to expect gifts to look like? Shouldn’t Gifts be presented to the person…you know…in a comforting and attractive way? I mean unless the giver has my wrapping skills [trust me, you would just rather me not even try wrapping your gift], shouldn’t you be happy when you receive or learn of a gift? But sometimes there is no joy, no shouts of excitement, no pretty paper and bows to unwrap to receive your gift/favor. And if society has trained us to believe that good things only come easy and adorned in pretty wrapping, would we even recognize our gifts if they were buried under dirt and it took years of hard work to unearth them? Would you unwrap a gift if you knew that by peeling away each layer of wrapping paper, it would result in you being cut open and exposed? Would you keep looking under the gift tree if you knew that others would be able to see you struggle? Could you continue your search for something that you couldn’t see, but knew that if you kept working and looking it would be there? Or would you say, “no it’s not worth it”? Would you shrink under the looks and ridicule of others and select a prettier packaging – even if you knew the value was lower?
But let me save you some of my gray hair and give you a few more years of your life, with these last sentences…… [We all know this may end up being a long paragraph…don’t know why I tried to lie to myself…when I wrote sentences.] The reason why some people may never understand why you are different or why you have your quirks that keep you from fitting in is quite simple…and you need to understand this today and not in a few days, months or years either. They can’t and will never understand why you are who you are, because they are not you and they can’t see what you see. God did not tell Moses to build the Ark – he told Noah. God did not send Sarah to be the Queen and save the Jews – he sent Esther. God knows who he sends and he knows where he is sending them. He knew that he needed to send someone with your way of seeing things into that group of friends, that company, that family, that organization, to shake things up…. Just as he knew Moses was not equipped or had the patience to build the ark and talk to the animals. He also knew that if Sarah was in that castle, that her quick tongue and temper would have caused more problems for the Jews. You have what you have, to do what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it. It doesn’t mean that those around you are not gifted. Their gifts are to be used in different ways and at different times. So don’t worry yourself with what others think and what they say behind your back……focus on the delicate and uneasy unwrapping of your gift and let them focus on theirs. Who knows…maybe they cut their hands on their gifts and ran away! In the end, that is their journey, not yours.
What are your gifts??? and have you unwrapped yours as yet????