The last penny

I have always loved presents. As the youngest of four kids and the daughter of a pastor, getting something new—not second-hand, slightly-used, or hand-me-down—delighted me to the core. But as the last of the sibling pack, it was ONLY on my birthday or at Christmas that I didn’t have to fight for what was in front of me.

From the last crumbled cookie, to the broken popsicle that no one else wanted, a sense of lack sat deep in my little-girl-soul. I had this continual feeling that I was going without. That I was somehow deprived. That I had to hold on tightly to what was in my grasp.

Even at a young age, I had become an expert at treasure hunting—continually searching for something to fill the “want.” At age five, I vividly remember my mom telling me that I could keep all the pennies I had found around the house. So, the search began, “97, 98, 99”. . . I would count Lincoln’s face like a money miser. Sometimes I would fall asleep with the last penny I had found—the one that completed my count to 100. I would wake up with a temporary “tattoo” etched in my sweaty palm of Abe himself. I had learned that one hundred pennies equalled a whole dollar and that a dollar equalled a prize and a prize equalled a deposit of joy to my want for something more. But what was I really wanting? Would there ever be a gift that would fill my sense of lack or being taken from? All throughout my childhood I struggled with the Gollum within me. But as I began to relinquish the fear of going without and I started to grab a hold of all that God desired to pour into me—finding true beauty and treasure within—“my precious,” as J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, turned from the penny in my grasp to the woman in the mirror. I was precious. You are precious. Valued. Loved.

Years have passed since my penny hoarding days. Since then, I have found that nothing can fill the spirit of the one rooted in a belief system of lack. If I continually feel robbed or taken from emotionally, if I am quick to take offense, if I am constantly searching to replace that sense of void or injustice, then I can be sure that my root system is still holding firmly to a sense of deficiency, and I will always be in want. But there is hope to fill the longing, and old roots can be replanted in good soil. It was a life-giving season when I recognized that I no longer had to be my own provider and my own guard. I no longer had to defend or hold tightly to the things that were mine. Truth came alive in me as I recognized that living with an open hand to receive the blessings all around me was the beginning of uprooting resentment.

As you invite this season of joy, giving, and gratitude into your home, and the hurriedness—and pouring out of self and emotion—begins to overwhelm your soul, my prayer is that the feeling of being taken from will be replaced by a new root system. That you would experience the wonder of a mindset makeover. That each one of us would be rerooted in the truth that we are continually being given to. ‘Tis the season to open up your hand. To quit holding onto “pennies” and instead receive the joy, the love, and the life that surrounds you each day. There is plenty for you. Contentment awaits.

There is a Psalm that comforts my place of need. It says, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1). Today I am thankful that I have someone watching out for all of my needs—who takes care of me like a shepherd cares for his sheep, and I no longer have to worry or wonder about who will fill my hands with good things. What a joy for my soul to be rerooted in love, in peace, and in plenty. No more searching. No more filling. No more clenched fists that hold tightly to the fear of going without. Only open hands ready to receive the gift of abundant grace found all around me.

Rebekah Metteer is the founder of Loving The Leap Ministries as well as an author, speaker, pastor’s wife, ordained minister, and mother of three. She and her husband Dan serve as the Family Life Pastors at Eastridge Church in Issaquah, Washington. Rebekah delights in seeing people come alive in Christ as they follow His voice with brave obedience. She lives by the motto, “If I relinquish control to Jesus, he will give back to me the adventure of a life time.” Her favorite things to do include finding treasures at second hand stores, upcycling furniture, decorating, and camping with family.

Rebekah Metteer is an ordained minister with the Assembly of God and speaks at retreats, services, camps, and church events. To inquire about inviting Rebekah to speak at your event contact lovingtheleapministries@gmail.com or find her on the Northwest Ministry Network Web page or on Facebook under Loving The Leap Ministries. You can find all of Rebekah Metteer’s books including The Fruit of Where I Dwell, Faith Friendship and Focus, and Pray with Me on Amazon.

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. God speaks so loudly. This is where God brought me today. I grew up wanting. Less than to the core. And I realized this morning my word for this coming year is “abundance.” But it’s not in gaining anything new… it’s in realizing what I already have, in and through Him. Abundant grace (Romans 5). Wow! I am in awe of Him. Thank you.

    Like

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