The Pain of Receiving

People have been incredible. People have been so incredibly generous to our family. From various doctors who have served us at a discount or even for free to local business owners that want to give us their products at discount prices. I could go on and on about how generous individuals have been but the reality is that most of those people would probably be very angry at me for doing so…which again shows how great these people are: they want to give while also remaining anonymous! People really have been incredible and they all deserve a huge and sustained ‘thank you’. This is not enough, but thank you so much all of you who have cared for our family in amazing ways. We love you all so much. But…it might be awkward to throw a ‘but’ in here…but, all your generosity is kind of driving me crazy! Wait, wait, wait, don’t judge me yet. Let me explain.

Driven Crazy

Like I said, I’ve got to be honest and say that at times people’s generosity drives me crazy. No, I haven’t become an ungrateful and jaded person. What I want to say here doesn’t fall under the whining and complaining category (at least I don’t think it should). The reason that at times I’m driven crazy by your generosity is that I’m terrified that I’m going to become that person. You know who I’m talking about–that guy who thinks he is entitled, who says ‘thank you’ only insomuch as it warrants him a second dose of generosity. You know that guy. I’m terrified that I’ll stop being grateful, that I’ll start assuming people are going to give me a discount or even something for free. I’m terrified that I’ll stop trying to pay for my half of the bill when we go out, that I’ll start assuming that you’ll buy. It freaks me out to think that this could happen…and so I want to pay! I want to buy your coffee when we go out sometimes. I don’t want you to give me a discount because I don’t want to train myself to think that you’re always going to give it.

Another reason why I’m driven crazy by your amazing generosity is that I want you to know that what you’re giving me for free or at a discount is of incredible value. What you’re giving me for free is incredibly valuable. Whether it is a shirt, a cup of coffee, or a service, what you’re offering is something that deserves to be paid for. I want you to know that I seriously value what you do/make/sell. It’s worth spending money on. It’s worth spending my money on. I appreciate that you’re being so incredibly generous, but you must know that sometimes I want to give to you too! Sometimes I want to buy your coffee ’cause I like you and want to bless you. I want to buy your soap ’cause I think you make a really great product and I want to support your business. I want to pay for your service ’cause your a great technician and I want you to know how much I value your time and what you do. You are amazing and I want to throw my money at you!*

So I’ve said it. I’ve exposed myself to the world and given everyone reason to hate me. You’ve seen my ungrateful side and you might walk away from this blog thinking that I’m not appreciative. But I hope that you don’t. I also hope that you do not walk away from this blog thinking that I don’t want your generosity. That’s not what I’m saying either (shoot, it’s because of many people’s generosity that we’re even able to make it financially). No, more than anything what this blog is attempting to capture is that virtually everything has another side to it; virtually everything has a messiness to it; virtually everything comes at a price–even if it’s a very small one. What I’m attempting to do here is to invite you into our experiences as fully as is possible. The pain of receiving may not be much but it does exist…right?…or am I off in this?

What costs have you had to pay when giving or receiving?


*  Let me say one more time that we feel incredibly indebted to you all. There is no way we can ever say thank you enough to the cloud of people who have cared for us and given to our family. We don’t ever want anyone who has cared for us to feel like we don’t value their gifts. The reality is that we are so overwhelmed by people’s incredible generosity that we often don’t know what to do. You all are beautiful and wonderful people and we wish we were better at saying thank you and showing you our gratitude. Thank you for your love, for your creativity in how to love us, for your testimony to our two children of what love looks like, and for your clear sacrifice in giving to our family. Thank you for who you are and for how you care. Thank you thank you thank you.

2 thoughts on “The Pain of Receiving

  1. Ryan, I can totally relate. Last year, my husband was out of a job for 9 months. Since I was homeschooling, I was not working at the time. I got a job that helped us along, but suffice it to say, we lived off of other people's generosity. It was that $100 here and there, it was treating us to dinner, agreeing to have game nights with popcorn so we could socialize without spending money. It was those that took my children places because I was in such a depression that I could not move some days. I look back and want to pay every single one of them back two-fold! What is humbling is those that have given a lot financially that say, they have forgotten the debt. I think that the ability to let others give to you is one of the hardest things to accept. I too felt like "one of those people" But oh, I am so grateful. Especially to the people at our mortgage company who worked with us for over a year to get our payment lower and help us save our house. I praise God and can't wait to give to others in the way I was given to.

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