The gifts have already begun to arrive, although not one of them has been wrapped in silver paper with a big white bow. Not one of the gifts has come with a card addressed to the "Bride and Groom". We are about 6 weeks into planning our daughter's wedding and with each week comes another gift, another treasure.
So that you may have an understanding the depth at which I am feeling overwhelmed, let me share with you the gifts we have received to date:
- A generous donation towards the bridal gown
- Complementary venue at an estate on a hill overlooking the valley where we live
- Professionally arranged flowers at wholesale costs & no charge for the labor
- Day of Wedding Coordinator, complementary
- Professional bartender, complementary
- Wedding Cake!
- All the flatware for the reception
- A price reduction from our D.J.
- And the latest--a couple from our church just graciously offered (and then insisted) on paying for the food for the reception.
I am humbled. And I say this in all sincerity, because the way that this "humbling" feels--is not pleasant. It actually kind of hurts.
Don't get me wrong, I love that so many people want to do what they can to help us give our daughter the kind of wedding that she has been dreaming of, but at the same time, it makes me really want to be on the "giving" side of all this!
I want to be in a place where I can offer something to someone and bless them in a real and tangible way. I want to be able to give to others the way that others have given to us--and I am humbled and saddened because I don't see it coming to fruition in that way. I keep feeling my eyes glaze over in disbelieving tears when I "open" another gift and I long to be able to give that to someone else. I'm finding myself tempted to become angry at me and my husband for the choices that we've made that have not set us in the place to be able to give others these gifts. Receiving is a blessing--but we want to give.
Then I remember that the "wedding gifts" have not actually just been coming over the last 6 weeks. They started coming 25 years ago. Christ took me as His Bride and He began to give me gifts. He gave me the gift of Salvation, and I live knowing that when this body fails me or is broken beyond repair, my sins are forgiven and I will live eternally in a new body. He gave me the gift of His grace and He renews this gift everyday. He sees my selfish ways and chooses to forgive me and love me, despite my failures--every hour. These are the "wedding gifts" he blesses me with as His Bride and I have to remember that accepting these gifts are a part of being in His kingdom.
But, I love Him and adore His ways and I want to give a gift to our Creator that is real and tangible. And, so I search my mind, rip open my heart and beg God to show me:
"What can I give YOU?"
I know He wants me to give my life to Him, but what does that look like? How do I present that to Him? How do I give myself as a Holy sacrifice? How do I use the gifts He has blessed me with to give back to Him?
And, the ironic thing is, I already know that it doesn't matter what gift I find to give Him, he will continually turn it around and use it to be another blessing, another gift in my life from Him.
So, for now, I will not let my pride get in the way when other people, who love us, love our daughter, and love the church decide they want to bless us, because I know that they are so excited to get to give. And I know that while they don't do it for what they will receive, they are blessed.