When you live in a state that gets snow and a lot of it, you are in a season where you have to adjust your thinking when you walk into the house and remove your shoes. There is nothing more annoying than to step in a puddle of water left by the boots of another before you. Somehow, the rug got missed, and you come in unknowingly and find your foot soaking wet. It doesn’t get any better when you remove your socks and then step into another wet place with your bare feet, which are already freezing.
This is where analytical thinking takes over. You have the choice to hop across the room for the paper towels, so you only leave one track versus two to clean up or move faster and have to deal with more of a mess.
If you do not attend to this immediately, you run the risk of this happening for the rest of the day, and words you would not say that many times in a row stream from your mouth as you use multiple pairs of socks and now you have to do laundry because you have gone through all that you own.
Another object that can cause the same havoc is the dog’s water bowl. A pleasant morning can take a turn when you hit that, sending it all over you while trying to put something in the garbage, which then tips over. Within moments of getting out of bed, you wonder what you have done to cause the forces of nature to already be against you.
Adding insult to injury, you go to the fridge, and someone has precariously balanced a can of something on the very edge of the shelf to fit it in because no one has taken the time to declutter and throw unwanted items. It flies out and lands on the foot that went unscathed by the water bowl and splashes all of you. Just go back to bed for the week.
I sat down at a grocery store in a section that had tables and chairs so I could look over my list for a second because there is nothing worse than to make your way through the aisles, get all the way home, and discover you left the one thing that you needed the most.
I was drinking something out of a glass without a lid. After one sip, I knocked it directly into my lap. My workout pants were instantly a sponge sucking up all of the liquid. I jumped up, grabbed anything that would have been in the path of it, and looked to my daughter for help, whose eyes were gigantic.
She, way slower than I would have liked, started to wander, trying to find napkins or anything to assist me. I could not believe how she walked unhurriedly to come to my rescue. Later, she said,
“I was concentrating! Do you want me to panic when I am trying to help?”
Yes! I do.
“It appeared that you did not care when you did not go quicker.”
“I think better when I go slower.”
“While you went slower, the water was soaking into my skin more.”
Seeing my horrible situation, a man sprinted over and handed me a towel. We still don’t know where he got it or where he came from. She threw a bunch of napkins my way to start cleaning up the table.
I froze in place when it happened, but now I had to move.
“I feel like my water broke. I never had this happen in real life. I can cross this off my bucket list now,” I said. “It’s not as glamorous as they make it out to be.”
“I am sorry this happened,” she said. I looked over at her again with a highly wet napkin in my hand as I tried to mop up the damage. That’s when she burst out laughing so loud she couldn’t contain herself. Just when you think they are sincere.
“No, really, I am sorry…” and she couldn’t finish what she was saying because she kept getting hit with laughter. Which then made me laugh.
“Where did that guy come from?” she asked, trying to catch her breath.
“I don’t know, but he moved faster than you did.”
Now I had a decision to make. Do I leave and come back later with dry clothes on? Or do I bite the bullet and walk around with water seeping into places I would rather not have it be? Every time I moved, it made itself at home even more than seconds before.
With every wince, she tried to be sympathetic, she really did, but she couldn’t help her giggles that kept surfacing.
“I feel like I have to walk like I just got off a horse. If I do that, it’s bearable.”
“Let me see how bad it looks,” she said.
I turned all the way around so she could see me from all angles. The front of my legs had dark spots where I had been flooded.
“It’s not that noticeable. I can hardly see anything.” That’s what they all say.
“That’s because the worst of its in a place that cannot be seen with the human eye right now.”
“Put your coat on. That will cover up most of it.”
It was true. I was in good shape until I started to walk, and a draft began.
“You would not believe how cold I am right now,” I said. When we got to the freezer section, the temperature dropped significantly from my waist down.
By the time I was at the checkout, I didn’t notice it as much. I had on moisture-wicking pants, so they had gone to work, giving me a false sense of security. I exited, and a brutal wind chill cut across my lower half, reminding me that I wasn’t home free yet. Running to the car to speed up my departure wasn’t the most exciting either.
“Are you really getting into the car ahead of me?” I asked as she jumped into the passenger side.
“I am COLD!” She said as her hair whipped her across the face.
I could either argue my point or get the cart back. Another sprint wasn’t going to kill me. Sitting down on my cold car seat would.
“I wish I could drive standing up,” I said, with my entire body pushed away as far from a seated position. My head was on the roof as I dangled my keys in my right hand, putting off the unpleasantness that was about to come.
I slowly slid down to face the inevitable. Breathing always helps just when it doesn’t.
“I am going to have icicles where I do not want them,” I said in between clenched teeth.
When I got back home, I became so involved with putting everything away, and my other daughter started telling me about her day, I completely forgot all about the incident.
About an hour later, my daughter said,
“Are you still wearing the same pants you had on in the store?”
I looked down and realized I had forgotten all about it.
“Oh, my gosh! Yes! They have totally dried!”
This sent her into another wave of laughter.
We have secrets that we think are so big that we cannot divulge them to another person. But, God wants us to walk in freedom, so a trusted person will come across your path at some point that you can tell everything to. You will know when you find yourself suddenly talking about something you would have never imagined expressing.
If you haven’t had this happen, pray for it. A person will be sent so you can unburden this weight that so heavily keeps you in a place that feels like torture. And, the one who is supplied to help you won’t ridicule you, they will make you see the truth of a situation that probably isn’t as bad as you think it is and will lead you into breathing easy again.
God is so kind that I have been given more than one who will all say the same things to me in response without anyone knowing except for me. That’s always an indication that God is at work when you hear the same message that brings comfort.
Just like when I unexpectedly gave myself a shower in the middle of a store, revealing this hidden part of yourself will feel uncomfortable at first, but then you will forget all about it. When you let another person or two bring you the support you need, you see the feelings of fear begin to lift as they bring you up higher.
In Ephesians 4:25, we are given a warning against not letting others know true, deep things and how this, in the long run, creates problems,
Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other, and when we lie to each other, we are hurting ourselves.(TLB)
Whatever you see on the outside reflects what is happening on the inside of you. If you want to associate with like-minded, caring people, then you will have to change your ways. You can swim in the deep end or wade in the shallow, safe parts of the pool.
In Ephesians 4:15, it is explained how this will work out to your advantage,
God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth, and tell it in love. (Message)
If you insist on hiding, you will, and it’s miserable, stunting your spiritual growth. But, if you allow yourself to be vulnerable and trust that others can help, a whole new world will open up before you. You will see the good in people, and it will prove to you that you are not alone or crazy. Hold yourself back, restrain your authentic self, and live in a minimal way. Or let it spill.