Good Gifts

Posted by Katie Wood, Contributing Writer, on Dec 21, 2021

Good Gifts

My kids are teenagers, yet they still get great joy from writing out their Christmas wish lists each year. They decorate their lists with different colored inks and put stars and underline the items they really want. The lists hang on the refrigerator as a constant reminder of what they are wishing for this year.

I walk past their wish lists and, as their parent, I want to grant all their hearts’ desires– even the live animals that almost always appear on my youngest daughter's list. I want my children to be happy. My joy comes from giving them gifts that make them happy.

The desire of mine to give my kids good gifts reminds me of this verse:

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11)

I have certainly spent a good deal of time over these last two years asking for good gifts. As a single mom raising two daughters in a small apartment, my biggest wish has been for the chance to buy a home for my kids to live in as they complete their high school years.

I searched nearly a year for a house: ideally, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home with a fenced-in backyard that could give us a feeling of stability. I put in offers on multiple homes, only to be outbid each time. The one time my offer was accepted, an inspection revealed major problems with the house so I had to withdraw my offer.

This thing that I was asking God for just wasn't panning out. The answer kept coming up “no.” Eventually, in the summer of 2020, I gave up the search for a house. I surrendered to what I had and where I was at the moment. I accepted that maybe the time wasn't right for me to buy a home.

Two months later my life suddenly took on a whole new reality when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at 41 years old. I had always been perfectly healthy with no family history of any type of cancer. Sometimes, I still can't believe it happened.

However, during this nightmare, I was given so many good gifts from my Heavenly Father.

Gifts showed up in the form of His people: a close friend organized a prayer meeting before my treatment began. I couldn't believe how many people arrived at a moment's notice to pray over me.

I was given financial gifts in the form of a fundraiser that covered my out-of-pocket medical expenses for treatment.

I was given the gift of food showing up on my doorstep to feed my children.

A friend from out of state gifted me a professional house cleaning.

I was given the gift of a mentor who had gone through this journey before, and she walked with me every step, cheering me on and driving me to all my chemotherapy appointments. And I can’t leave off mention of the gifts of doctors, science and medicine that gave me hope for recovery. I heard nothing but positive affirmations from God through my friends’ words to me: "You're not going to like this, but you're going to be okay." "You are worthy." "You are loved." "We will get you through this." "Don't be afraid."

Perhaps the greatest gift to date is the gift of perspective. Before my diagnosis, I was just surviving life. I was rushing through the motions of working full-time, raising kids, and keeping up. I was flying under the radar - which is where I like to hang out as a natural introvert. I had no idea how many people cared about me. The community that showed up for me blew me away. It seemed like people came out of the woodwork–people from my past and my childhood. What a gift to know you are loved.

The past couple of years have been tough for a lot of us. Years of loss. A time of fear and canceled plans. But no matter what we have faced recently, we know we have a good, loving Father that Jesus describes for us in Matthew 7:11. We may not get everything we put on our Christmas list….but we can trust that God will give us just what we need.

Back to those Christmas wish lists; my daughters didn’t get that pony they wanted. I didn’t get the house I was looking for. God said “no” to my biggest wish knowing before I did what was ahead of me. He met me in my darkest moment, with exactly what I needed, when I needed it. No matter what we have all faced recently, we can trust that we have a good, loving Father with our best interests in His heart. He wants to give us good gifts. We may not get everything on our wish lists, but God has taught me that I can trust Him to provide for my needs at just the right time.

Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

3 Ways To Keep Learning About Black History

Feb 25, 2024

Black History Month celebrates the heritage and achievements of black Americans, past and present. But why and how can we keep learning, once February is over?

Remembering the Dream: Honoring MLK, Jr.

Feb 23, 2024

Several Chase Oakers share their reflections on the impact and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

Five Things You Can Do For Lent This Year

Feb 11, 2024

What's the history of Lent? How is it observed? It's not just a way to pass time before Easter. It's a great opportunity to take some steps toward personal transformation.

Creative Ways that Everyone Can Celebrate Love

Feb 09, 2024

Valentine’s Day: love it, hate it, skip it? Whatever your view, love is for everyone at any age or life stage. We’ve got some fresh ideas for how everyone can celebrate love this week and beyond.

Where To Celebrate Lunar New Year 2024 in DFW

Feb 05, 2024

Happy Lunar New Year 2024! We've listed just a few of the many places you can celebrate the Year of the Dragon in DFW.

Four Reasons Why We Should Celebrate Black History Month

Jan 30, 2024

Black History Month is a celebration of the lives and achievements of African Americans who have made a difference in our world.

The Local Good Pantry: Nourishing Communities, Creating Hope

Jan 26, 2024

The newly opened Local Good Pantry offers hope to the surrounding community by addressing hunger and food insecurity with dignity.

12 Bible Verses for When You're Feeling Anxious

Jan 21, 2024

Feeling anxious? You're not alone. Be encouraged by these 12 Bible verses and the reassuring perspective they provide.

Finding Freedom and Forgiveness After Abuse: Rowena's Story (Part 2)

Jan 11, 2024

In confronting the cycle of abuse in her life, one woman found hope, healing, and something else: the freeing power of forgiveness.

Finding Freedom and Forgiveness After Abuse: Rowena's Story (Part 1)

Jan 10, 2024

Seeking to end years of domestic abuse, one woman found healing from an unexpected source.