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.
Karen blogs at www.glimpsesoffaithandstruggles.com. You can find Karen online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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That was overwhelming. We all have that in some way I believe like keeping our guard up.
Yes, it is a very common happening! We put our walls up and our masks on. However, to truly know how to love others, we have to learn how to be loved! Matthew 10:8b says, “Freely you have received; freely give.” So Rebecca, don’t be afraid to take your mask off and learn to be truly loved by God and by others!
Dear Karen, “bold to receive”, what a paradigm shift! Who among us hasn’t needed the tangible help of others along the way? Being self-sufficient not only denies us of that help, it denies the giver the blessing of giving. Thanks and blessings for sharing this wonderful word!
It is a paradigm shift! Yes, it definitely denies others of being a blessing! I think this is the reason why we hear so many ladies saying they don’t feel connected. When I hear that phrase, it automatically raises my awareness that receiving might be an issue. My experience is if you don’t know how to receive from others, then you probably don’t know how to receive from God either. Learning to receive is so important!
I really enjoyed your blog and have stomped on roses many times throughout the last 4 years of my life especially with the losses I have had. But I’m encouraged to be bold in receiving from your inspirational post. I’m your neighbor from Coffee for Your Heart.
So glad you have been encouraged! I’m praying that you would be able to let God love you in the middle of losses and that you will allow others into your pain. We can only heal what we choose to feel, reveal with safe people, and receive care for that pain. So let others into your pain, my friend! You will be surprised at the healing that comes when you do!
Karen, thank you for sharing. It is hard for those of us who think we should be “super mom, wife, friend, etc” to receive from others. It is also joyful to receive the support and love from others.
You are correct. Some of us wear the super mom cape often. I even have a wonder woman jacket I wear on occasion! Ha! However, I want others to be able to receive my love gifts when I give them and I am blessed when I give! So it is only right that I learn to receive from others. That was hard and still hard some days. I’m a work in progress. I think it was even harder for me to learn to fully receive from God. Once again, I dig my heels in at times still. But learning to allow Him to love me is what He desires to give me.
Thank you for your insight to being bold enough. I too have stomped on many roses in the past. I have learned to accept all gifts graciously. I want the person who gave me the gift to know that I really appreciate it. Since my faith journey started I am less stressed, my mind is clearer and I worry less.