Thursday, November 16, 2017

Value the gift you've been given!

By Jenny Glazebrook


Do you ever wish for someone else's gift? As writers, we rarely see the result of our work. People quietly read our words in their homes. And reviews? Well, we all know how few of our readers write those! Does this make our gift feel less worthwhile? If we could sing we'd be seen up the front, we'd receive applause or at least see the faces of those we are reaching.
Instant gratification and validation.

Until 9 o'clock last night I had a different post in mind to share with you today. But then God spoke into my heart in a way I couldn't ignore and I just had to share it with you.
I was at the Kapooka Army band concert at the Wagga Wagga Christian College. Gifted students joined the Army band in a showcase of amazing talent. I sat back, soaking up the power of that music as it fed my soul.
Kapooka at the College concert
Caleb Skewes and Micah Glazebrook singing 'Fire and Rain'

During the first interval I searched the sea of faces in the audience and went to talk to one of the few ladies I knew. She told me about a church event she attended a few weeks ago. She wanted me to know that someone there shared their testimony and in it they said God had used me to lead them to Christ.

I was humbled. And blessed. God could not have chosen a better moment in time to let me have a glimpse into eternity and the way He chooses to use us and our gifts.

Why was this moment so perfect?

Because I love music. As a child it moved me like no other thing on earth could. The beauty of music and the emotions it could stir seemed to me to have a power nothing else could match. 
The problem was, I had a younger brother who was a bit of a child prodigy when it came to the piano and a sister everyone said had a natural gift for music. And I? I was so shy, so anxious that I couldn't enjoy performing. During the years I learned piano I was unwell and was diagnosed with diabetes which made my fingers less flexible and playing difficult.
I played tenor horn in the school band, but this was also difficult as I had a cleft lip and palate requiring surgeries. I had to re-learn after each surgery. I could sing on tune, but was too shy to perform.
And so I would watch others perform, and wish I had their gift. I saw the way people appreciated and responded to music - the immediate applause and the praise my siblings would receive.
I saw myself as less valuable.

But God stepped in and showed me my worth in His eyes. I was 13 when I first understood the depth of His love for me and that He made me the way I am for a reason and will use me just the way I am.

Then at 15, I was asked to share my testimony at a youth camp. I was still shy. Still in the middle of surgeries. Still learning who I was in Christ. I was so insecure and nervous that I wrote everything I wanted to say in a note book, and then in front of that camp full of teenagers, I read it out word for word in a shaking voice. I told them my story - what I had been through, and how God had shown me His great love and how real He is. I told them how I'd learned it doesn't matter what people think ... all that matters is what God thinks.
Me as a teenager

I didn't hear about the impact of that testimony until years later. There was no immediate applause, no instant gratification. I was too shy to even look at people as I read out what I had written.

But now, more and more, I hear from people like that lady last night at the concert. There is a minister who shares his testimony around the Riverina. He came to know Christ through what I wrote down and read out at that camp. He tells people what God did through the words of a shy teenager - that teenager being me, who at that age just wished I could sing and perform musically and be more outgoing.

God in his graciousness has given me a son with a musical gift. I enjoy my son's gift of music every day, and last night was blessed as he sang before a crowd of hundreds with the school and Army band backing him up. 

But ironically it was in that very place God chose to remind me of the value of the gift He has given me. Writing lasts. Writing is not a moment of high emotion and then applause. It is a beautiful, valuable gift that can outlast and outlive us.

Our gifts are not for us. They are not for our gratification or momentary fame. They are not to build up our self-esteem. They are to build others up, to lead them to Jesus, to connect them with God and encourage them into eternity in His way, in His time. And sometimes God in His graciousness allows us to see what He is doing with our gifts.

I am currently reading 'God's dangerous book' by Nick Page. It's all about the history of the Bible. And what strikes me time and time again is that most of the people I am reading about are gone, but their words remain. God still uses them.

As I drove home with my son late last night, my heart was filled with gratefulness for the gift of writing and storytelling. And I want to encourage you today: 

Value the gift you have! It is beautiful. It is powerful. And one day, in heaven, you will see the big, full, amazing picture and purpose God has in the words He has given you.


Jenny Glazebrook lives in the country town of Gundagai with her husband, Rob and 4 children along with many pets. She is the published author of 7 novels, 1 traditionally published, and 6 self published. She writes because words burn within her. She is an experienced inspirational speaker and loves to encourage others to walk closer with God and hear His voice each day. She has a Diploma of Theology and is a 4 times CALEB finalist. Jenny’s website is: www.jennyglazebrook.com



28 comments:

  1. Jenny, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your inspiring and powerful story. We love and appreciate your writing gift and your willingness to bless us with your words. :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your heart, Jenny, and for reminding us of the power of our words by providing this glimpse into eternity. God bless you ❤️

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    1. I often think it's only God in His grace that allows us these glimpses. I wish I was trusting enough to not need them ... and yet I so appreciate them!

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  3. Thank you for this reminder to value our gift of writing and for sharing your inspiring testimony. It reminded me of Gideon's story which I read this morning.

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    1. One of my favourite stories! I love how God chooses to use the weak so He can be glorified. Thanks for commenting, Rosanne.

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  4. Wow, Jenny! Thanks so much for going with what you felt God wanted you to write for this post and sharing as you have from the heart. I particularly loved that empowering last paragraph you have put in bold type. Amazing, isn't it, how God can use those faltering words we speak, whatever age we are, as well as those words we labour over for hours but often still don't get quite right. All very humbling.

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    1. I agree it's humbling, Jo-Anne. I have 5 minutes to share the Gospel at a Gingerbread evening in a few weeks and kept thinking, 'That's not long enough to say what I want to say.' But God reminded me He can use one sentence (or less if he chooses) to speak into peoples' hearts. I just need to be faithful, prayerful and available. It reminds me too, of your book - 'Becoming Me' and how God used one sentence to tell me that His love and delight spoken of in your book was not just for you, but for me, too.

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  5. What a beautiful post Jenny, and how special to have that God moment last night just when you needed it. It's easy to look for that applause or compare ourselves to others who seem to have more 'success', but God just wants us to be faithful. I think a few of us will get a surprise when we get to heaven. Faithfulness to God will be valued more than any 'success' we might have here on earth. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I agree, Nola. I think there will be many surprises in heaven. When all the jig-saw puzzle pieces come together we'll be in awe of the big picture. Can't wait!

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  6. Loved your post Jenny and it brought tears to my eyes when I heard your story. How wonderful to hear this young man not only gave his life to Jesus, but also went on to become a minister of the gospel. Often what's powerful in the world's eyes is different to what's powerful in God's economy. I remember listening to 4 people sharing their testimony at a baptism. 3 of them were bold and articulate. One was very shy and halting and found it difficult to share. But God used her testimony to touch my heart that day that I went home reflecting on her words and being drawn closer to Jesus. Bless you Jenny for being available to be used by God and for the way you have used your writing to reach hearts and lives. May the gift He has placed on you continue to touch and bless and build. Well done on all your writing. Loved the photo of your family. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

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    1. Thanks Anusha. Yes, I love how God uses our weaknesses. I think part of the reason we connect more with those who are unsure or stumbling, is that we all relate. Every single one of us have our human insecurities and doubts. I know I pay more attention to people who are hesitant than those great orators who deliver smooth, brilliant speeches time after time. When our own skill and strength is 'out of the way' God can take centre stage. It's a very humbling thing!

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  7. Thank you, Jenny, for this beautiful post that touched my soul and brought tears to my eyes. OK, now to get on with those words I have to coax out today ... :) May-Kuan

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    1. May God bless and use every word you write!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your story, Jenny. I loved your post. And I do agree - our gifts are not for us. And how encouraging it is, especially as we(I) get older, to remember that our writing does not disappear when we leave this earth. Thanks, Jenny.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Jeanette. I admit sometimes I panic that I might not get everything written I want to ... and then I remember that every day I have is written in His book. He gives us all the time we need to write the things He wants us to write.

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  9. Thanks, Jenny for sharing your story and for the reminder that while we may not receive immediate applause, that words have power and God blesses our gifts and touches the lives of others in ways that we cannot see. My daughter is a brilliant and talented artist and in many circles most people ask how my daughter is progressing but have zero interest in my endeavours. Her talent is on display and I love seeing her develop and win accolades and also her heart and passion, her concern for others. She is a blessing. But you are right, books are much less immediate than music or art, and it is very easy to become discouraged. Your words help give perspective. Than you.

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    1. It's true, isn't it? As writers, it takes a lot more for people to read our work than to glimpse a piece of art or listen to a 3 minute piece of music. Convincing people the investment of time and energy in reading our work is worth it is not easy. May God encourage you and lead the right people to your work at the right time!

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  10. I'm also one of the beneficiaries of your gift to help a friend walk closer with Jesus. I'm ever grateful for you 💜 Shell

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Shell!

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  11. Thanks for sharing Jenny. Such a good reminder about the power of words.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Linsey. It was good to see you at conference - I wish we'd had more time to catch up. May God bless each word you write and bless many through your gift!

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  12. Excellent posts. I have seen the destruction that happens when believers are not content with their gifts and wish for other people's gifts. Contentment and thankfulness to God for who he has made us, releases us to be joyful as we use his gifts.
    One of my fav. verses is 1 Cor 1 :27-29. God chooses the weak ... so no one can boast before him ...

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    1. One of my favourites verses too, Christine. The ways of God are so different to the world's aren't they! And I love the truth you have expressed here. May we all know the joy of using His gifts!

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  13. Great post, Jenny, thanks for sharing.

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  14. What wonderful thoughts, Jenny. (((HUGS)))

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  15. Dear Jenny, I read this beautiful post last week and meant to comment, but alas time rushed away on me. I simply loved your post for it's honesty and power. Often I second guess myself and forget that God's gifts have given to each of us for a reason. What an amazing gift it is to be able to use words to bring joy to others, and in doing so we receive that same joy.

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