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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Oddly Wrapped Gift

"For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift."

The other day I decided to post about some of my more honest feelings about the difficulty of some of our trials. While it felt good to express that raw emotion, I want to be perfectly clear about a few things.

Yes, dealing with infertility has been painful.
Yes, the wait for adoption can be hard.

But, I would be completely ungrateful if I didn't admit that somehow in the midst of going through these trying times, we have found so much beauty. How is it possible that adversity can be a blessing?

I've started to recognize that the most wonderful of life's blessings have usually come to us in the most oddly wrapped packages. To look at something on the surface, it's easy to be deceived into thinking it represents something awful and unattractive.

Have you ever been to a white elephant party where the beautiful box wrapped in gold paper with the perfect red velvet bow on top is coveted by everyone? That is, until the person who finally ends up with it, and no doubt fought hard for it, finds that its contents are totally undesirable... you know, like an old fruit cake or a half burned candle or something.

While, on the other hand, there is a plainly wrapped gift that everyone does everything they can to get rid of it... only to discover at the end that it contained some very desirable gift... like, a large box of See's chocolate. {can you tell what I'm in the mood for right now?}

So, where was I? Oh yeah, packages. When we first found the "infertility package" on our doorstep, we were in denial. "No, no, it wasn't intended for us... we'll just ignore it there in the corner until it goes away." We didn't even want to go near it... it was not a gift... it was most definitely a curse.

Well after a couple of years, either out of desperation or curiosity, we decided to unwrap it. But, we did it very slowly. Just a little bit at a time. We went at our own pace. Even while in the middle of unwrapping it, we were trying desperately to understand how this could be a blessing. We were still deceived by how it came wrapped. We wanted the pretty, gold wrapped package with the big red bow.

After some time, we finally started to recognize little blessings of having received this "gift." We have found the gift of empathy. The gift of bearing each other's burdens. The gift of knowing that everyone has their quiet struggles. The gift of very faithful, supportive family and friends. The gift of knowing how to let each other mourn in the way that works for each of us. The gift of a strengthened marriage. The gift of patience. The gift of faith. The gift of a learning what it means to pray intently. The gift of seeing past the awful wrapping of infertility, to find that we had been given a very wonderful gift. Adoption.

We're all given different "gifts"... they come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes, and most importantly they all represent different things for each of us. The key is to "receive the gift" and "rejoice in the giver of the gift" even if it appears at first to be something that we think we don't want.

Because, there is a loving Father in Heaven who knows how to bless us, and always blesses us with "good gifts."


Kamie said...

I love this post! I could read it over and over again. I love reading your thoughts on adoption and infertility. Thank you so much for sharing.

I too feel this way, although I could not put it in such wonderful words like you have.

Marc and Megan said...

Kamie, it has been such a blessing to know you... I'm glad we can go through our adoption journeys together! :)

Calamity Jane said...

That is such a beautiful analogy. I am going to look at some of our past and present trials and find the blessings that have come from them. Thankyou