Releasing A Gift

Almost 40 years ago a gift was created. The present lay wrapped and waiting to be given. It was taken out of its hiding place and examined from time to time. Was the gift adequate? Were there other touches that could make it more palatable? Would there be a way to present it? Perhaps a different recipient than the one originally planned? Maybe the gift was only an item to be remembered from the past, and not a true present to share.

And then one day, a group heard about the present. “Let us see this gift!” they cried. The gift was polished once again. It was changed to be more acceptable for the group. Indeed they clamored after it, and the gift won a prize. The recipient for the gift seemed to have been found, 15 years after its creation. And then the path was cut off. Suddenly, and without argument, the present was laid to rest again.

More years, and another recipient cried out to receive the gift. More polishing, enhancing the original gift. Intimate carvings into the gift were offered this time. The gift-creators poured themselves even into the giving again.

But Words were hurled back at the giving. Not only did the recipient refuse the gift–it was thrust back with cutting and piercing.

So the creators covered the gift in grave-cloths, laid it to rest. Heart thoughts were clutched inwardly, giving proof to personal accusations long clung to. Perhaps the recipients were right. The gift was naive, incomplete, without substance.

Perhaps the creators were naive, incomplete, without substance.

But the mercy of the High Creator was poured over the creators. His love could not be contained, and the cruel words could not hold final sway.

The truth of HIS love for His own creation had also been attacked. The enemy of that love had tried to hurl cruel words over God’s people. But His mercy made a way for love to be received. His own Son made the way open for His people to see how loved they were and how each one had been created for such a wonderful purpose.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,

    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14 NIV

Finally, the conviction of a love so deep flowed over the creators of the gift. They saw how it had never been theirs to hold onto or to choose who should receive it. The High Creator called them to let go and to release the gift to whoever would receive it.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

John 1:12 NIV

And this is why the story at the beginning of this post is now available. It is a book that my husband wrote and I first illustrated so many years ago. The book was taken out, and revised, and polished many times over the intervening years. Sometimes it was received well, but other times it was rejected and returned. One time it was rejected with personal words that echoed every dark thought we had harbored in the deepest places of our own doubts.

Several weeks ago, something began stirring in my soul, and I heard the Lord asking me to pray about sharing the book as a read-aloud gift for our Grandchildren. It was such a joy for us to offer the book to them. My husband and I sent our love through the air-waves to the ones our hearts longed for.

After we shared the story, the next morning I heard the words, “Release it, set it free.” And I knew that voice. The Great Creator was asking me to open my hands even more. So we shared it with our Facebook and Instagram friends. The views mounted up quickly. I wondered if this was the final release that God had been after all along.

But into the midst of that releasing, I found myself facing my greatest fear. I had made an awkward mistake, and the thumbnail on our You-tube video for children had zoomed in to what appeared to be an inappropriate creation. How could I have allowed that to happen?

My mistakes loomed over me. My weaknesses cried out yet again. In this place of fibro-fog, and autoimmune diseases, I heard the old accusations ramping up.

  • You have no right to be here!
  • You have no place in this community!
  • You should be quiet, you will only make more mistakes!

While the taunts cut sharply, suddenly I felt the Great Creator looking deeply into my eyes, as the voice of HIS own Words echoed more loudly than the words of the accuser. God alone is my righteousness. He has called forth His gifts of beauty, and He will not be stopped. His purposes for His children will prevail.

So our original You-tube video was deleted, and a new one has been posted. It is not about views, or likes, or clicks. It has never been about the recipients that we choose. NO, it is for the recipients that the GREAT CREATOR chooses. He has beauty for each giver, each gift.

Beginning this week, I am hoping to continue this series, with a group of posts containing gifts that the Lord has worked in our hearts over the years. They were intimate gifts, given straight to our hearts, and only shared as God led us to give them. It was His mercy, that led us step-by-step, in every beautiful acceptance, and in every harsh refusal.

Even the refusals caused us to lay our hearts before our Creator, asking Him to uncover what still needed to be transformed in our souls. After all, while we were creating gifts, He was creating our hearts anew.

We are His creation, for His good purposes, being called into fellowship with Him.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22:17 NIV

Is there a gift tucked away deep inside of your heart? Have you wrapped that gift with grave-cloths and left it to lie?

Jesus has a time and a place for dying, and a time and a place for resurrecting.

He will stir to life what we thought long dead.

Would you pray with me today?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the love and mercy that You have showered upon us. We have a hard time grasping how deep is your love. In fact, we are mostly content to live in the shallows, and clutch the doubts that float on the surface there. Would You forgive us for clutching our own thoughts? We long to know Your love more surely. We look upon the gifts that You have yet granted to us, in spite of our wandering hearts, and we are so humbled. The conviction runs square into our hearts when we realize that our hands have been tightly clutching those gifts alongside our doubts. We hear Your voice calling the words “Release!” and we ask for Your help to open our hands now. Set those gifts free that have stayed locked inside of us. Let them fly with Your love to hearts that are so hungry today. Call us all into Your own heart, into Your own love, into Your own mercy.

In the name of Your son, Jesus, we pray,

Amen.

I am linking with: #TellHisStory. #GraceandTruth

26 thoughts on “Releasing A Gift

    1. Dear Melissa, Thank you so much for your encouragement! It really means a lot to me because of your own precious book that you have shared with so many children! Blessings and hugs dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dearest Bettie, what an amazing story, years long, of Our God making beauty from ashes, bringing to life for many what had been lain in the grave-cloths. Praise His Holy name! The creation is a gift to us as He intends it to be. I look forward to reading more in the posts to come. Love and hugs from PA, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie,
      Amen, our Lord truly does bring beauty from ashes. He leads us through each step, through the times of dying, to bring us alive in HIS purposes. Thank you for your dear support and encouragement on this journey dear sister. Blessings and love to you from WI!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Bettie, I’m so glad you were given the green light to go ahead and release this beautiful gift to your grandchildren and then wider afield. This is such an encouraging story for all who doubt whether they might have anything of worth to share or grow impatient if the timing isn’t to their liking. In this inspiring word you have revealed that there is a time, place and purpose for everything under the sun, especially for our gifts and talents. And your lovely, earnest and heartfelt prayer is one I am holding close to my heart as I seek to surrender my own gift misgivings into our Creator-God’s hands. Thank you for this gift of a post. I look forward to reading more about the gifts you have received from the Lord in future words He calls you to share. Love and grateful hugs! xoxo 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you for the gift of your own words that are always such inspiration to my heart. Our Lord’s timing may not be what we would choose, and yet He knows what is best for each one of us. I long to continue to learn more about trusting Him in these processes. I am so thankful that the Lord is guiding us both to surrender our gift misgivings into His hands. Isn’t it a wonder that He continues to join our hearts to trust Him more? I am so very thankful for you, dear friend. Blessings, love, and hugs to you across the pond, but so near in heart. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very Poetic are the words and I’m just referring to the article alone and not the video work of a combined talent–the dynamic duo. Now for the video Bettie, this is awesome and not just the narration but also the voice effects by your husband. I’ve seen this in your Instagram but it is only now that the significance is known to me. You both have the talent, the heart, and drive to make more of these. Kids and those kids at heart would love to hear more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gersom,
      Oh your words are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing such kind comments here. I am grateful for God’s gift given to us, and now given for others to enjoy also. His love for us really is so much deeper than we can imagine! I pray that each heart who hears and sees this story would listen to God’s Word for them. Blessings and prayers for you tonight, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Bettie, I know we have already shared to and fro about this piece, but I wanted to let you know that God used your words in an even deeper way today. I was weeping at the timing and at His Promise through your words to me that not one single thing is wasted in our journeys.

    It’s almost like we need these painful experiences of rejection to live the Word God has given us to speak alive, isn’t it? It’s like the repeated speaking and then the repeated wounding as we do so, takes that message of the Cross deeper and deeper into our own hearts.

    I agree with Gersom above that there is more God is wanting to do with this gift. May God fling wide the gates to release this beautiful gift in its fullness to a wider audience to bless and heal and awe. And may it wrap around you and Barry like a hug from God. Love you so much. Thanking God anew for you every single day. And give a hug to Barry from me too. One day I am going to get to Wisconsin and give you both that hug in person (and Becky too). Oh may Jesus bring such sweet relief in the pain today. Love you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Anna,

      Oh, yes, I agree so much! He does allow the “repeated speaking and then the repeated wounding as we do so,” to take that message of the Cross deeper into our hearts. Not a drop is wasted. Every step that we have gone through is so valuable in our Lord’s planning. Oh! That I would trust Him more through these days now too. This process of suffering is not one that I would choose, and yet, I long to have that message of the Cross be deeper in my own heart.

      Thank you for all of your encouragement and support. Your prayers and words have been such blessings to me, as we share together in the writing and the ways that God is working in our hearts. I can’t express how much you have been a blessing to me over these many months. I long for that day when we can hug and see each other in person too! Blessings, love and hugs to you and your dear family too. xoxo

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  5. Amen! So encouraging Bettie. Our mistakes grow us, never define us even though it feels like we are judged solely on them (the way media does for many high-influencing people). We can never forget to live in God’s grace. I’m so glad you are releasing your projects. There influence will go beyond what you will ever know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Yes, you are so right! We do feel that the mistakes are what defines us, especially as the world clings to that way of seeing. But our Lord sees things so differently! His grace covers us so deeply. Thank you so much for all of your encouragment, dear friend! Blessings and prayers for you this week.

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  6. Oh Bettie, I am so happy God is giving you the grace to release this gift and others in spite of harsh refusals. It’s so true that “it is for the recipients that the GREAT CREATOR chooses. He has beauty for each giver, each gift.” And when a gift gives God the glory, the devil fights extra hard and pummels our hearts with negative words. The words of your prayer, too, resonate deeply in my heart. Yes, Lord! “Set those gifts free that have stayed locked inside of us. Let them fly with Your love to hearts that are so hungry today. Call us all into Your own heart, into Your own love, into Your own mercy.” Amen! Thank you, my dear friend, for offering us the gifts God places in your hearts! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Thank you for all of your sweet encouragment and prayers, sweet friend. I appreciate so much the way that God has woven our lives together through these digital airwaves. It astounds me, really, the ways that He has led us to share and walk in similar pathways. It is in the surrender to His will that He fights our battles with the devil for us, and then allows us to share in HIS own dear victory! I count you such a precious friend on this journey. And I am so thankful for God’s gifts that He gives us to share together. Blessings, love, and hugs to you my dear friend. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am thrilled for both of you – and so excited to watch your video. Thank you for sharing something so dear to your heart. A real gift indeed! I pray God will bless this gift…and you for following His encouragement to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comments. It truly has been a part of our hearts for so long, and it is a joy to release it for the Lord to share with others now too. May the Lord bring you great encouragement and blessing tonight also!

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  8. I watched the first video with my daughter! The story line is beautiful.
    Sometimes we doubt, we fumble, we fear and hold back that which clearly is a gift that needs to be released.
    God help us to trust Him with every thing including that part that thinks we aren’t good enough. …. may be but we trust and know God is more than enough for us.
    Thank you for your obedience.
    Hugs Bettie and regards to Barry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Ifeoma,
      Thank you for your kind encouragement! He really does help us to give those gifts back to Him, and obey Him in the releasing. I am so grateful that He meets us right there in that doubting and fearing. Thank you dear friend for all of the ways that you have supported and inspired me! Love and hugs to you too!

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  9. We’ve all admitted (sometimes reluctantly!) that God’s timing is not our own, and only sometimes do we get to see how things play out. You’ve received a long-awaited peek into God’s plan with the sharing of this beautiful gift. I’m reminded (and encouraged) this morning that some of the works God started—and then seemed to pause—may still be moving forward . . . in His time!

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    1. Dear Susan, Thank you for your visit here, and your sweet comments today. Oh, yes, I pray that God will give you peace as you trust Him in the timing and the fulfillment of His works in your life. He truly does bring such gifts of grace and mercy to us!

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  10. I love this and how your husband read it. He did such a wonderful job and the inflection in his voice is great for reading for children. I don’t know why the book was rejected by people before but I’m glad you kept plugging away on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Thank you for your sweet comments! They mean a lot to me, as I know you read a lot of books aloud to your children (and write books yourself, of course, too!) Yes, I don’t understand all of the timing and the rejections, and yet I know that God was still teaching us so much during those years too. I pray that He will help us all to keep listening to His prompting when He asks us to release the gift. Blessings and prayers for you tonight.

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