The Not-So-Secret to Living a Fulfilled Life

I love gifts and surprises, but at the same time I dislike them. Will I love it or will it be returned? Is the surprise coming soon or is it still in the works? The excitement, the anticipation, the guessing - it becomes all to much for me. Thus, I am the worst person to have around Christmas time, or any other holiday for that matter. 

As a child, I would tiptoe around the Christmas tree collecting all the gifts labeled for me, take them to my bedroom, open them up and then return them to their respected places, rewrapped perfectly like no one was ever there. Of course my parents knew. And of course I got in trouble. Every. Year.

I didn’t have the obedience or patience to wait for Christmas morning. I just had to know. I needed what was inside that pretty wrapped box.

Why was it that I couldn’t wait to open those boxes and discover the marvelous gifts inside, but when it comes to opening myself up to others, being a gift to them, that I find myself keeping it closed and hidden away?

I found that I keep my beautifully wrapped box of gifts - my heart’s desires, my biggest stories, my worst pain, and my best moments to myself for one reason.

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid of the many potential disappointments, brokenness, rejections, and the “it’s too good to be true” moments. {Click to Tweet}

But, I’m also afraid that once my box is open, it will take me places and have me do things that God and I haven’t quite agreed on. You want me to do what and go where, God? Um, I think we’re going to have to have a longer conversation about this, God.

But you see, God designed us as gifts - seasons and moments - to help those in need, to be his vessel, his hands and feet, an encouragement to those who need a little pick me up.

So why do we keep the gifts God so wonderfully designed within us, the pieces that makes us who we are, to ourselves? Why not share it with those who are excited to open it?

We are not designed to be recluses. We are designed to have relationships, communion, friends, family, and love. We cannot survive without it. We cannot thrive without it. We need people. We need community. Plain and simple. And the only way we can be with people is to give ourselves - open, available, and vulnerable.

Some you have opened your box and used the gifts inside, but because of failure, insecurities, laziness, or just being burned out, you rewrapped your gift and put it to the side for later.

Some of you have looked at that box from time to time, thinking about opening it up again. But some of you haven’t thought about it once since you’ve stuck it back behind the wrapping paper, old pictures, and your winter wardrobe, deeply hidden never to be found again.

We never know how many opportunities we’ve missed or how many lives we could of changed because we haven’t opened up our box. How much life and blessings are we withholding from others who are desperate and craving what God has purposed us to be in this world? 

So I’ll tell you this…

To those who feel that their gift is too small or not flashy enough, sometimes all someone needs is a hug, a word of encouragement, or an ear to listen, communicating to them that you love them.

To those who feel that nobody will enjoy or need their gift or have nothing amazing to offer, remember, your gifts are beautiful and you are made for so much more then you give yourself credit for. You have so many gifts to offer; the good, the amazing, the bad, and the ugly. We need it all. Every single piece of it! 

To those who have no desire to reopen their box, we need you. You may have gotten hurt in the process while giving your gift to others, but God sees you. He can make beautiful things out of loss, dark spaces, disappointments, brokenness, and chaos. People need those stories. 

To those who have been staring at their box contemplating whether or not to open it, you are not alone. It can be scary. Your mind is running with fear, insecurity, and the unknown. Please don’t keep your gifts hidden protecting them from possible failure or rejection. You are perfectly equipped to use your gifts. Trust it. Do you. Be original. In turn, your life will be more fulfilled then you’ve ever imagined.

What are some gifts you may be hiding today?