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Archive for March, 2015

Gift-WrappedBlack is not a popular color of gift wrap. The gift aisle in any store often offers an array of pinks, blues, yellows, and greens. Cheerful colors are appropriate for almost every celebration, but besides “over the hill” birthdays, black is simply not a party color. No one wants to wrap festive gifts in depressing paper, and no one brings gifts to a funeral–well, unless food in the South counts.

However, sometimes life’s most precious gifts are wrapped in sorrow. When life is confusing and the future looks bleak, the darkness we feel at the moment often overshadows what is happening just below the surface–a transition to something better. Life-changing moments are rarely recognized when they occur. Often, days or months may pass before the real impact is finally noticed.

Several years ago, I lost a job that I had sacrificed greatly to acquire. The year that followed was one of the darkest I had experienced in a long time. I felt lost, depressed, and inadequate, unsure I could continue a career I had spent years building. My approach to life began to change, one small step at a time. Jobs no longer consumed me. Relationships rose in priority. I returned to my love of teaching and children’s literature. Most importantly, I began to trust God more, knowing he would take care of me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but five years later, I can attribute almost every aspect of where I am today to that year of sorrow.

And, no, I would not change a thing.

Sometimes losing something important opens the door for something greater.”

Daily, I challenge myself to look beyond the emotional wrapping paper.  What is underneath the surface that I don’t see? What is God trying to do in me or show me? I don’t always succeed. On some days, I surrender to the emotion and allow it to control me for awhile.

But occasionally, I catch a glimpse of what might be hidden behind the dark wrapping paper–the real gift underneath, waiting patiently for me to discover its beauty.

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