The Giving Tree

This is a guest post from my daughter, Kathleen Fretwell. She resides in Bilbao, Spain, and as a “millennial,” has some first-hand insight into the generation, culture, travel, and the Christian faith. I am grateful for her input and willingness to have her articles posted here, but, should you feel inclined, you can always follow her other writings or get more information at her blog, Just Trying to Blend

By Kathleen Fretwell

I had an awesome friend say to me once, “You know what?  You’re really nice. I hope later in life you get what you deserve, because you are always giving.”

Even though I am ashamed of most decisions made during the previous years of my life, and not everyone who knew me could whole-heartedly describe me as “the nice girl,” one thing is for certain … I have always given unto others.

But, I can’t help to get bogged down sometimes.

Oh, no. In no way, shape, or form am I claiming to be Mother Teresa; however, when people are in need and I can be of assistance, I do all in my power to help.  I feel a pang of guilt when I know I cannot help “better” the situation. I can not help, but to help. I give things I do not have, and I will more than likely never have enough money to be considerably rich for the sole reason being that I am constantly paying for people, with of course, money I do not have to spend.

I can’t help but to get upset when people are unlike me.  I get a harsh, hard-to-swallow feeling in my chest and something that feels like a sucker-punch to the heart—not when my efforts go unnoticed—but when they go unequaled.  I give, give, and give, but my efforts are not correspondent, and the sad reality of the world is that not all people are like me—but [more clearly] mostly not all people are like God.

I fail my emotions in thinking people are as like-minded as I am. I am disappointing only myself when I come to realize that they are not.

When I feel this way, rather than get deeply saddened and possibly turn to anger to sort out my depressive emotions, I remember these words:

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

I have to remember that people were made in the image of God, but it is when I give people “God-like-qualities” that I find myself becoming most disappointed. I need to remember what lies ahead for me, and trust that good people really will, someday, be rewarded.

I thank my friend Isabelle that day, for not only giving me a compliment I will never forget, but for also setting my heart down the right path. She helps me move forward—into the right direction when I am feeling down.

People, please continue to give, even when you feel your efforts are not equivalent. Give, because there are people like me who notice your efforts, and there is a God who promises to reward our selflessness, in due time.

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