As an adult, I realized that I was truly saddened by my lack of gifts and talents. I couldn’t sing, dance, sew, bake, draw, or anything. No athletic or artistic abilities at all, and that stressed me out. I shared this with two friends and they said they believed that I had a talent for being thoughtful and caring for others. Is that really even a gift?

I love buying cards and gifts for others. I’m that person that remembers special occasions, and in every friend circle I’m a part of, I’m the one who encourages the get togethers. I’m the planner, and the one who sends cards randomly and I absolutely love it. I’m the giver in that way, but what happens when I need to be on the receiving end?

For the last three birthdays, I planned my own birthday celebrations because I didn’t want to be disappointed when no one else mentioned anything. I took control over the situation because I just knew that no one would plan anything because typically, that’s MY role. But, when I finished my Master’s program for graduate school, I really, really, really wanted to celebrate and I didn’t want to be the one to initiate it.

Although I had decided not to participate in the commencement ceremony, I was hoping that someone would send a card or plan a party or something. I really thought that someone in my family or one of my close friends would plan something, or send me a graduation gift (let me just keep it real). That didn’t happen and as I was busy making baskets and gift packages for other people, which I LOVE to do, I was still hurt because I just knew…no one was going to do that for me, and I really wanted them to.

I literally cried out to God and thanked him for the way I’m wired…to be thoughtful and caring towards others. That’s pretty effortless for me, and just maybe, that is my gift and talent. But again, what happens when I need to be the recipient? I told God how I really felt and I was honest. It just hurts to always be the one to do for others, but when you give in that way, ironically, it’s kinda rare that you receive in the same way.

But once again, God beautifully surprised me. At the Real Women Mastering the Balancing Act Boot Camp during the same week I had cried out to God about no one celebrating my graduation, Trenace called me up to the front and publically celebrated me. It was such a special moment and it’s one that I’ll never forget.

As I sit here this evening, my heart is so full. Once again, God heard me and let me know that I’m not forgotten. And how awesome is it to be a part of a sister community where we celebrate each other so lovingly and unselfishly? When people hugged me with tears in their eyes, and said “Congratulations”, I could literally feel that they we rejoicing with me. As someone who’s learning more and more every day about self- care and self -acceptance, that’s huge for me.

 We all have gifts and talents, and it’s okay for us to tell others what we need. We don’t have to hide behind the mask of pretending to be okay when our needs or wants aren’t met. And above all else…God always knows what we need and He always provides in the most surprising and profound ways.

 ~Keah Mason

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