Friday, September 16, 2011

Prayer and Target

This morning I couldn't find a container for Spaghettio's that would fit in Rachel's lunch box. When I finally found something, the floor of my kitchen looked like a Rubbermaid factory exploded (but only with containers…no lids.) After dumping the can of Spaghettio's into the container and nuking it for a minute in the microwave, I promptly burned my hand on the molten lava tomato-y goodness that Rachel insisted she had to have for lunch that day. I snapped at my kids on our way out of the door to go to school. I know, it wasn't very Proverbs 31 or WWJD of me. They just banked it for some other time when they did something they didn't mean to do.

It was not a great start to the day.

Later that morning, as I was cleaning out my inbox on my computer, I ran across an old email that reminded me of a painful experience from a long time ago. It's amazing how just when you think you've moved on, a reminder of a difficult time just punches you in the face and suddenly I'm weighed down with that old feeling of not being good enough.

I busied myself with errands, trying to be productive and get some things done that I had been putting off. After taking one look at the line for vehicle registration to get my tags renewed and deciding we'd live on the edge for a few more days, I drove to the other side of town to a store where I had ordered something they didn't have in stock. They informed me that it wouldn't be in until tomorrow and wanted the name of the employee who gave me the wrong information. I insisted I heard her wrong and it was my fault. They rolled their eyes and said to come back tomorrow.

After striking out with two of my three errands, I found myself in my favorite happy place. Target. I only needed a sprayer for the hose in my backyard, but it still makes me glad to walk into that place. I have no idea what it is…packaging, maybe? The smell of freshly popped popcorn? The dollar section? The color red? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

So there I am, in the farthest corner of Target, still feeling kind of bummed because I haven't yet gotten a clue that the past does not define me, when I got a text message on my phone. It was from my friend, Sarah, who lives in South Carolina saying that she had prayed for me that day. For whatever reason, God had laid me on her heart and she obeyed by interceding for me.

I thought, "Well that was nice of her." It was nice to be prayed for.

But then something happened on the inside of me. Deep down in my guts. There in the lawn and garden section of Target- where a woman was speaking so loudly on her phone about Kaitlin's Girl Scout troop and what time she needed to be at the birthday party and that Addison loves Barbie so she would just pick one up and put it in a gift bag because that would be easier and save time- I just had a moment of clarity.

God had set all this up. I felt unworthy. Not unworthy…worthless. And as if on cue, my friend who is so in love and in tune with her Heavenly Father, was told to pray for me all the way in Texas and did so.

To be honest- and you're going to be shocked and I know you'd never think this- I thought, "Wouldn't it have been kind of cool if something REALLY serious was going on in my life? Like a fatal disease or a job loss or car accident?"

It would've made a much better story. But it was just a simple illustration of God at work in my life on an otherwise ordinary day. I was having a little bit of a low moment and God used my friend to say, "You're on my mind. Snap out of it."

What did I glean from this extraordinary moment?

Number one, that my self-esteem is not defined by an incident, or what a person thinks or said about me from the past. Duh. "Indeed the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:7.

I know that. But it's good to be reminded sometimes, and it's even better when it's from a friend you know you can count on for some pretty great spiritual mojo.

And number B, how's MY spiritual mojo? Am I spending enough time with God to hear Him when He tells me to do something? Am I missing opportunities to pray for a friend just because God told me to?

The very simple truth is, Sarah and I were both blessed, brought closer together despite our miles apart, and God…our unfailing Father…was glorified.

It doesn't take the parting of the Red Sea to have a moment of sheer amazement at God's presence in our lives.

1 comment:

Knox McCoy said...

Good stuff, Carrie. Further proof that Target is from God. And also that sometimes the simple moments are the most powerful.