Last week I was in Walmart. I was rolling my cart around the store like a woman with purpose, because the only way to “do” a store like Walmart is to roll in and roll out without looking back. I rolled around to the dairy section and a nicely dressed, middle-aged man quickly rolled in from the other direction. I clearly had the right of way. He stopped. He didn’t look up. He didn’t say excuse me. He just planted himself and stopped. At first, I thought he must have needed something in the shelves ahead of me. I waited a few seconds and then went around.
After I moved passed him, he kept moving and never stopped for milk. I quickly realized that he had intentionally or unintentionally moved in front of me and waited for me to go around him. At first, I was shocked that I had played right into it without him ever having to say a word.
The longer I rolled my cart around the store, the angrier I became. I was frustrated with myself for moving out of his way without addressing him. I was furious that he didn’t even have the manners to say something to me. I felt bullied and it just infuriated me!
In the OLD DAYS OF SUSAN, I absolutely would have found him in the store and done the same thing to him, making my point that you can’t bully me. I have dealt with bullies all my life and I am not always graceful in these moments of confrontation. God protected him that day.
By the time I left the store, I had already rehashed many of the details from past experiences with people who made me feel “less than.” I have to admit; this rehashing session wasn’t doing anything for my attitude or my disposition.
I was sitting in my car and realized how I had allowed my mind to take me down a trail I had no business going down. I had allowed this one incident to bring up feelings that had no purpose in my heart other than to cause resentment and bitterness. Time and time again, the enemy of my soul works overtime to cause me to resent people I am called to love. Yes, this man was ignorant to all the feelings his actions caused me, but it was my choice to rehash my baggage from my past.
We all have areas of brokenness in our past. The emphasis in that statement is the word past. The enemy loves nothing more than to use these areas as playing fields to keep us bound to bitterness and unforgiveness. Abuse, heartache, divorce, betrayal, division, death, and disappointments have a way of creating an open door for the enemy to speak lies to us and cause us great pain.
The Lord has healed me from my past. That doesn’t mean that certain situations don’t cause me to experience familiar feelings. It means that when those feelings rise up in me, I have to remind myself that I have been set free from the torment of my past. I am free.
So, after I pulled myself together in the parking lot of Walmart, I was able to pray for the man that 15 minutes earlier I was ready to ram my cart into. I prayed for the Lord to open his eyes if he was unknowingly being unkind. I also prayed for the Lord to heal his bitterness if he was knowingly being unkind. Then I left all that baggage in the parking lot and went home to my family full of men that I love completely.
Saturday night, we took our tribe over to Cold Stone. The eating area was packed, but there were two empty tables without any chairs. Jennifer got her ice cream first and was standing by the table. The man at the table next to her got out of his chair and gave it to her. He didn't have to, but I was very thankful that he did.
Today, I was back for another Walmart run. This is what mom's of four do for fun. We go to Walmart to replace the food the minions managed to eat in three days! I was far removed from the incident last week and hadn’t even thought about the man blocking my path. I was trying to get a case of water and the bag broke. A gentleman from the other end of the aisle came over and asked me if I needed help. I was thankful that he had eyes to see that I could do it…but it would be a kind gesture for him to do it for me. He didn't have to, but I was very thankful that he did.
We live in a culture today where women are taught that we need to fend for ourselves and to be preferred and cared for is the same as someone saying we are week. This is not the case. I am not a weak woman. I have had to be strong in many situations, but I don’t always want to be. I am secure enough in who I am that I am not insulted by someone opening my door or saying thank you or asking me if I need assistance. Because I am strong, I am able to take assistance when offered and not feel diminished in my worth. The men in my life don't have to, but I am very thankful that they do.
Living Completely Undone
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.