Wednesday, January 4, 2017

intentionality 2017: tote bags and childhood vows


What a week. Literally, what. a. week.

I've told the story like 50x already, so I will abbreviate for times sake...

Here we go...

My car was vandalized.
aka, my window was smashed into a million pieces...

My new purse was stolen. #lame
In it was my planner... gasp

Someone had a great time at the mall.
That someone was not me.

I started this steps challenge.
It's 27 degrees outside.
Now I'm sick.

I decided not to watch tv for a month.
Grimm starts on Friday and I'm missing the Bachelor.

I decided to start getting up at 6am.
But there is coffee, so that's cool.

I'm not using my phone after 9pm.
Buzzfeed was my bedtime story... not anymore...

The garage door broke this afternoon.
I'm parking outside.
Did I mention it's 27 degrees? woof...

Please rowdy neighborhood hooligans..... be kind to my car....

I mentioned in a previous blog post that my biggest fear when I was in my early twenties was that someone would get ahold of my Whole Foods hot bar receipts, steal my identity and ruin my non-existent credit score.

Oh the irony.

Here I am... Being a responsible adult with insurance, an emergency fund, a good credit score, a PLANNER, etc...

And you know what?

None of that mattered.

Being "prepared" didn't stop my car from being vandalized. Being responsible didn't get my things back.

Did it soften the blow? Make things a little easier?

Sure. Absolutely.

But it didn't stop it from happening...

When my dad died, I made a vow to myself.

I made a vow that I would do my best to be absolutely perfect.

Never messing up. Never doing anything wrong. Always being prepared.

That way, if something bad happened, I could say with all certainty that it wasn't my fault.
And maybe, just maybe it wouldn't hurt so bad when it did.

But you know what? That's crap...

On Friday evening, I'll admit, my attitude was alright. I wasn't pissy, or bitter, or angry.

I truly wanted to be compassionate and forgiving towards the person who stole from me.

I was also taking comfort in the fact that I had renter's insurance that I thought would cover my stolen items.

But guess what? It didn't.... Something about a deductible.... #lame

And then I cried. On the phone. With the Allstate agent.

I shuddered. He didn't know what to say.

It was basically the most beautiful moment you've ever seen.


You see, I had done everything right. I was prepared. I was responsible. And it didn't make the disappointment any less disappointing.

I think it's time I let go of that vow. And it's going to be hard.

I had a whole list of things I have to be thankful for instead of dwelling on my dang purse, but I think I want to camp out here for just a minute more....

We all make vows. Vows that can extend back to our earliest childhood memories.

Especially if any of our memories are traumatic. Then you really got yourself some vows.

At the heart of my vow to avoid pain via perfectionism was this...

Feeling my pain wasn't safe. Not only was it not safe, but feeling it was wrong.

In my Bible study this week, I was studying Psalm 139. And I had the hardest time with the verses where David asked God to kill his enemies. Holy smokes David.... calm down.

But really? I was jealous of him. AM jealous of him. He tells the Lord to avenge him ALL THE TIME...

I'm probably not going to ask the Lord to avenge me of my stolen tote bag, because it's just a bag.

Easily replaced. Not the end of the world.

However, I think it might be interesting to dive into what I would've asked the Lord for in my times of deep pain and disappointment had I not made that vow....

And maybe I won't even go that far back.

But I want to be really intentional about allowing the Lord to heal me and help me release myself from these vows.

If my stolen stuff brought me to this, then it's like that verse that says "all things work together for good to them who love God."

My car getting smashed wasn't good.

But my healing process getting a jump start?



1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth-so sorry that happened. I have had a year's trail of difficult things happening, and I do understand how we can make vows or have ideals that stem from difficult childhoods. You cannot be perfect except in some type of things. I pay tithing- perfectly; but what is my intent? I need a higher intent for paying it, just like the higher intents of the Sermon on the Mount. I love you and pray for you cousin. I have been through more than you can imaging in my 76 years, and I have learned to trust Him in all things, although I have to constantly remind myself when I am having a bad day. Your cousin- Sue