Gifts Wrapped in Sandpaper

I was recently listening to Lisa Nichols and she talked about gifts she has had in her life that were wrapped in sandpaper. This is definitely something I’ve wrestled with in my life.

Winning a writing contest for my book Ruby Slips and Poker Chips was a gift wrapped in the most amazing, dazzling wrapping paper. It was covered with a gigantic bow. Kind of like those commercials that come out around Christmas where you receive a car parked in the driveway with the big, red bow. It was a blessing. It was an acknowledgment of the work I put into the story. It has been an amazing moment in my life.

But like Lisa, I have had gifts wrapped in sandpaper, but perhaps these are the greatest gifts of all. When you are going through a trial in your life it molds you into who you are to become. I’ve sent my writing to agents in the past and have received rejection letter after rejection letter. Sound familiar? I also had the gift of being able to send my entire manuscript of The Weaver to an agent in New York after she read my query and a chapter from the book. After waiting two months to get a response . . . I got one line back from her!! But I had faith in my writing and kept going.

Right now, my mom is a gift wrapped in sandpaper and I only recently discovered what the gift was that came with my mother’s dementia. For four years I’ve been yelled at, cussed at, told I was no longer her daughter, and had to go through the guilt of putting her in a nursing home a year ago. I’ve been living with that guilt all year. But recently I’ve discovered the gift of giving up control. I can’t make everybody happy. I can’t control my mom’s happiness because she wasn’t happy when she lived with us for three years. It’s the sad part of the disease.

I’ve learned through my gift wrapped in sandpaper that God is in control. If I’m meant to provide different care for my mom, He’ll provide the way.

What have you learned through your gifts wrapped in sandpaper?

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