3 Ways to Become a WIDE Receiver 8

Several of my friends forgot my birthday last week.

And it wasn’t completely their fault.

A couple others had no idea what to get me, or what I’d like to do. Wasn’t their fault either.

Long ago, I adopted an unhealthy stance and many times people adapted to my bad habit. I decided to be the “celebrator” and avoid being the “celebrated.” I went to nearly every birthday gathering or other celebration with something in hand, ready to celebrate and sow. When my turn came, it often felt different. But, I never said a word. Even convinced myself it didn’t matter. That made it easier to hide when depression came knocking. Never identified the ways I’d built walls and how I’d been responsible for much of the distance.

Now that I’m older, folks aren’t cooperating. They expect me to actually receive sometimes! I found myself having to ask for forgiveness several times this birthday season.

One night, I felt God wanted me to call the friend I was headed to meet. I knew she was having trouble deciding what we’d do and I needed to own up to why. Where I was attempting to be “simple” or “easy” in our time together in the past year, what I really did was avoid intimacy. Well, we ended up having a great evening. After our talk, she was free to celebrate me in a way that was fully her and allowed her to learn more about me. It was just perfect.

Maybe you’re like me. If so, let’s do better. Here are 3 suggestions to make your life and relationships richer by learning to receive from others:

1) Give permission to plant seed, especially if your ground is good.

I used to believe that I was helping my friends by not allowing them to give to me. Yet, I was spending a lot of time working on my ground. What if it’s better for them to give, than receive?Your ground may be more beneficial than your gift. Tweet This

2) Prepare a space to produce and cultivate trust.

Allowing your relationships to be fueled by exchange builds a foundation that shows you can be trusted. Reciprocity isn’t about keeping score and matching gift for gift. It’s about matching heart for heart in ways that are best discerned through relationship. Receiving lays a foundation of trust that giving alone cannot produceTweet This

3) Reject the pride that puts up walls to intimacy.

It’s not humility to refuse gifts; it’s actually pride suggesting that you’re self-sufficient. I recently finished Scary Close by Donald Miller where he suggested, ‘If you want intimacy, don’t settle for applause.’ Tweet This Those weren’t his exact words, but that’s what resonated with my poor habits. Being a ‘one-sided giver’ is a form of settling for applause. It takes vulnerability to receive. Pride pretends it has no needs. Tweet This

What are your stories of growth? Do you need to apologize and set yourself or someone else free?

Feel free to share in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “3 Ways to Become a WIDE Receiver

  • Debra Surrett

    Well, my sweet daughter; I am NOT one of those people who forgot your birthday. Sooo glad it was not me; I would be licking my wounded mind of What was I suppose do??? You are really a great writer and I know God has great plans in store for you. Jer 29:11
    I love you sooo much!!

    • Lisa E Williams Post author

      LOL, No you didn’t! And it wasn’t to make anyone feel badly (though it seems I did). My true objective was to make myself accountable to get better about receiving! I love you too. Thank you for helping shape who I am as a woman, a wife and an aspiring cook. 🙂 I am ever grateful.

  • Sandra Thompson

    Lisa this is me through and through, I love giving but have a hard time receiving. I’m better than I was thanks to some strong women in my life who has helped me in this area.

    • Lisa E Williams Post author

      Well, if it helps at all, I was STRUGGLING about our outing. I kept wanting to say, ‘Never mind. October is so busy for everyone, let’s just skip it.’ I remember driving away thinking about what I’d have missed if I had done that! We had SUCH an awesome time and I wouldn’t have traded it or wanted to be anywhere else in that moment. Thank you for persistently loving on me!

  • Alissa Adkins-Relford

    I use to struggle with the ability to even receive a compliment let alone a gift.

    Lisa you have always encouraged me and you have a gift with words. I pray that God continue to provide you with opportunities to share them.

    • Lisa E Williams Post author

      I totally get that! I had to fight myself in my mind: “Lisa, just say THANK YOU!”

      Thanks so much Alissa. I’m so grateful for the people He’s brought in my path here in Florida. You’re so special. NEVER forget it!!!