My year of realizing I deserve to receive. By Oliver Tusiime

I know of many amazing Christian girls who love wholeheartedly, who give without asking, who try to stand for truth and justice, who will run your errands – if they have no monies to give, and who will always kindly smile as they reject other people’s kindness!

I started 2020 on a sad note, my values – respect, loyalty was challenged. I badly needed advice from a fellow human being, thank God for the true-loyal friends he brings in our lives!

For the first time, I was in a position of doubting my actions, not my intention! doubting what I had given all along. I had literally wetted my pillow that night, and I wanted to know why?

Three months down the road, we are on lockdown, work is stuck, transport is cut off, and I urgently needed to step out, to access a service that would enable me work from home, smoothly. I contemplated what to do, created all excuses in my head. After a whole week of procrastination whether I had to ask my neighbor for a ride, whether I could really disrupt my neighbors comfort, and ask for a ride! Jeez!! I made a decision: I had to ask for a ride!

I had no other way out. And the only question I got from my kind neighbor was, when? When do you need a ride? You must be joking, I whispered in a brief smile!

For years, I had allowed myself to give but not to receive. I would throw as many encouragements on the way, but never stopped to listen to the uplifting messages being returned to me! I would go before my heavenly father, prayer after prayer, and certain that if God answered my prayers, I will have something to give, but when others met me with kindness, I would go like, I GOT IT! I was giving because I had read, understood and believed God’s love for me, I had embraced his goodness, promises, faithfulness, graciousness and kindness, and I saw him bless me, and with what he gave me, I definitely knew I had to give!

Giving had never been a responsibility for me, but for some reason, when others wanted to give me – I wondered if it were a responsibility for them, and I would make a decision of freeing them from it, without understanding the drive behind their ACT. I would be like, “thank you, and I add, oh no I have done nothing” – rushing out the door, yet on my way I was throwing out thank yousss to everyone. I was in a rush to wait, that I really never thought about the value of receiving from a fellow human being! but that wasn’t the only thing I was limiting others from, it was so much more!

I was enjoying the blessing of giving but not allowing others to enjoy it, specifically in my life. Wasn’t I being selfish? that it was ok for me to give, but not allow others to give me. Wasn’t I being selfish to myself not to embrace the blessing of God-his goodness that is beautiful manifested in the people he has created! Why was I thinking that only me had what to give, was good enough to give! Fear had grasped me, that even when I needed help I could hardly ask for it. And I would assure myself, I will pray about this and that, even when I knew the person who could help me was standing right in front me! Not that praying is bad! Not at All!

On that morning as my kind neighbor gave me a ride. I made it a point to ask…. ‘ahhhh how much are you charging me?’. ‘Nothing, you are my neighbor’, he responded. For some reason I was forgetting the “love your neighbor as yourself”, and I was viewing people through the narrow world lenses, no free lunch – every man for himself and God for us all,

So, I found myself laughing at his response “no, no, does that really happen, in this part of the world?” On our way we chatted a few, and on coming back, I reached into my purse, I will at least pay for his fuel I said., and then my hand got stuck in my Purse! Why are you doing this???

It was my year to receive from my neighbor, or, to learn to! My year for me to be kind to others-so they would enjoy the feeling that comes with giving, a year for me to learn more of the grace of God, and in that moment- it meant knowing that it’s ok to be shown kindness by others, that I deserved a long ride-without contributing to the fuel bill! That I didn’t have to wet my pillow, because the people I had invested so much in, had turned a blind eye to all that, but, I had to look at those who God was using to bless me, now! They didn’t have to be my friends, they didn’t have to be people I knew and had coffee with. They just had to be people who had received kindness, and were more than ready to give it back! They had to be people who knew that much they had received, and in their hearts flew fulfillment……They had to be those, people who treasured generosity, and knew well that the Grace of God was in giving and receiving.

Have you found yourself in the same place as I, that you give and give, that you have forgotten to pause and receive – receive from those around you. Before you refuse that kind gesture, you want to ask yourself? Am I hindering my neighbor from bearing fruit? Am I hindering the growth that comes with showing others kindness? The grace of knowing that true satisfaction is a balance of giving and receiving! (Read 2 cor 9:6-8, luke 6:30).

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