So often when we’re struggling and feel vulnerable, we want to be self-sufficient. It’s hard to accept help from other people. #BeBoldGirl Karen Smith shares her story of how she had to be bold and become dependent on God and those he brought to help her during a painful season.
Are you bold enough to take roses that someone has given you, throw them on the ground and stomp on them?
I mean really; that requires a bold person to do that! Unfortunately, I was one of those ladies who was bold in a not so good way! No, they weren’t real roses. They were offers to come alongside and give practical help and pour compassion into me. They were love gifts from others. Yet, I was bold enough to take their love gifts and stomp on them. Wow. Not the best way to become famous for being bold. Thankfully, God had plans to exchange my boldness of self-sufficiency into being a bold receiver of His love and compassion, as well as, love and compassion from others!
Be Bold In Receiving During Overwhelming Times
A couple of years ago, I found myself in a very overwhelmed season of life.
My husband was going through a week-long chemo session away from home. I was away from my three children. Struggling with a stress-induced eating disorder; I was never hungry! Stress robbed my appetite. After a very stress-filled week of chemo, I returned home with a very sick husband, not one but three kids with head lice, and a son with 104 fever. Can I say overwhelmed?
However, it was in this season of my life, that God taught me to be bold in receiving.
First, I had to be bold in receiving love gifts from others. There was nothing comfortable about ladies coming in my home and spending hours upon hours picking lice out of two long-haired girls’ heads. Nothing comfortable about my pastor seeing me sob uncontrollably because I was physically and emotionally spent. There was nothing comfortable about sharing the responsibility of taking care of my husband with others. There was nothing comfortable about walking into a doctor’s office with a shower cap on my head and a mask around my face with my teenage son with a 104 fever. It was an overwhelming, nearly overtaking season of life.
The love gifts looked like words of encouragement, hugs, random acts of kindness, unexpected blessings, spoken prayers, cards in the mail, and service from others. Love gifts abounded everywhere, and God just had to teach me to receive.
Be Bold in Intimacy with the Father
I also had to be bold in my authenticity and intimacy with my heavenly Father. No longer did I come to Him with a put together life. I was a mess. I could no longer pretend life was okay. It wasn’t. It was time to be real with God. Thankfulness abounded that in my mess, God still valued an intimate relationship with me. He didn’t want me to put up walls of protection around my heart or a mask to hide the pain. God wanted me to climb in His lap and let Him love and comfort me. It was so hard for me to be bold in receiving love from God.
God took me on a journey of learning to say yes to acts of service and feeling grateful, not guilty. God taught me what it looked like to melt into someone’s arms of comfort when I was undone and be released with a new lightness in my heart. I learned to let encouraging words radiate through my mind and heart and change my emotions and actions, instead of going in one ear and out the other. An authentic, intimate relationship with Jesus ensued instead of one that was based on doing.
Gifts of love and compassion are much like roses. They are gifts that are given and received. Self-sufficiency tells me I’m weak to receive. God tells me receiving is His way of loving me. I want to be a bold receiver of love and compassion and not a rose stomping girl!
Whenever you find yourself in overwhelming seasons, I challenge you to remember that rose stomping is not God-honoring! God desires for us to be bold in our receiving in the middle of painful seasons.
Karen lives in Madison, Alabama with her husband and three children. Karen graduated in 1996 from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. She has been involved in women’s ministry for many years leading small groups, making hospital visits, organizing retreats, and encouraging the hearts of women. Karen now blogs at Glimpses of Faith and Struggles. What started out as a way to communicate medical facts, has become a place where Karen uses life experiences to encourage others in their life journey. When she’s not busy caring for her family or writing, you might find her cooking or crafting.