Thursday, April 3, 2014

Confession and Asking for Forgiveness

I need to make a confession and ask for forgiveness.

I have a VERY difficult time asking anyone for help of any kind.

Tuesday evening, while talking to my prayer ministers this was brought up. I realized I can’t remember as a child ever asking my parents for anything, but then again, I don’t remember much about my childhood.

Yesterday afternoon I was listening to a sermon on the radio on Matthew 7:7-11. I wasn’t really paying attention to what the pastor was saying.

Then this morning, I opened up my In Touch Devotional. And guess what scripture reference was for today! You got it! Matthew 7:7-11!

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

So I began meditating on what God might be trying to tell me. I realized I not only have hard time asking others for things or help, but I also have difficulty asking God. I thought over the last few years when I have asked others for help. There are only a few (very few) that I can think of.

1.      When I had the flu a few years ago, I asked a girlfriend to bring me some soup. I felt guilty for being sick and ‘needing’ something.

2.      Several years ago I needed help reattaching my bumper to my car and called a guy friend. I hated being a ‘girl’ and not being able to fix it myself.

3.      When Terry left there was so much to do around the house. It was all I could do to ask neighbors, family and friends to help me. I felt like such a failure and so weak.

None of these friends wanted me to feel guilty or like failure. They each were glad and very happy to help me.

And it isn’t just asking for help, it is also accepting spontaneous gifts or blessings.

1.      Several years ago a friend blessed me with a KitchenAid mixer since I was teaching her daughter to cook. I hated taking it from her—it made me feel like she thought I expected something in return for helping her daughter.

2.      A while back when on a Ladies Day in McKinney a friend bought lunch and a bottle of wine for the lunch. I felt like I had complained so much recently about my finances that she must feel sorry for me.

3.      My sweet daughter Cathy offered to pay for a fee. It made me feel like I was asking for a hand out, like she thought I couldn’t take care me my finances.

4.      When I got a speeding ticket I had an offer to pay for half, since the person deemed it was partly their fault. I couldn’t accept it, again made me feel like they thought I couldn’t pay my own way.

None of these friends or family members were thinking what I was thinking. They each wanted to bless me, give me a gift and not because I asked for help. Just because they LOVE me, they each offered a gift and just a gift. Not to be returned or so they might gain something in return.

They all offered a gift, just as Christ has offered a gift of salvation, grace, redemption and love to me. All He wants in return is a relationship with me. That is all these friends and family members are wanting from me, just a relationship.

So why do I hold everyone at a distance? Why am I so afraid to accept unconditional love and grace and blessings from others and from God?

Because they will see that sometimes I am weak, and in need, and scared of being unable to make the funds stretch. I want them to see a STRONG independent woman that needs no one but me. But I do need these friends and family members in my life, to show me grace and love. I need to know and truly understand they LOVE me, just for being me! And they would never put on me what I am putting on myself in regards to guilt for accepting blessings from them.

All of this to say, if I have turned down a blessing or been very hesitant about receiving a gift you have offered, I am asking for your forgiveness. I am truly sorry that I may not have allowed you the pleasure to give a blessing. In the future I am going to work hard at accepting gifts or blessings when offered.

Thank you to each of you mentioned above, you know who you are, for being in my life. Your friendship, love and grace are so very dear to me.