Have you ever been in a situation where something little felt really big? Like a look from someone that suddenly makes you feel they don’t like you at all. Or when someone doesn’t return your phone call and you feel like it’s an indication that you’re not important.
Usually these things aren’t true.
The look was just a look with no hidden meaning.
The missed phone call was just a slip on their to do list.
But, if we’re not careful, those misguided feelings can create issues that distract us, discourage us, and trigger past pain to start taunting us.
It happened to me last Friday. My sister, Angee, and I got up at 3am and were in line at a certain retail establishment at 3:30 am. I know. I agree. That’s crazy.
But like a hunter stalking his prey, I was after something. You see, I’ve been having this little issue with my washing machine where my just washed clothes come out still dirty. That’s sightly problematic when your people are teenagers that like to wash their clothes after EVERY wearing.
It’s not so problematic for me.
I’m the queen of rewearing stuff. Doesn’t bother me a bit.
But not my children. They are a little over the top about their definition of clean. My sister has this same overactive cleaning situation going on. My mom calls it her “AC/ DC.” Um, no, Mom, that’s a rock band. It’s called OCD. Anyhow.
At the 3:30 am hour, there we stood. I was after the buy one get one free washer and dryer. Angee was after a half price computer. When the store doors opened at 5am we both scored. Happiness abounded.
Then we left to get some breakfast. This is the part of the story where the happiness faded.
In the drive-thru, my credit card was “not approved.”
Let me get this straight. It WAS approved at the store just 5 minutes ago where I made a major purchase. But now for a little $2 bundle of egg, cheese, Canadian bacon and English muffin- suddenly I’m NOT approved?
My sister wasn’t phased by the situation a bit. She whipped out cash, paid for my breakfast and headed to the next store on our list.
But those words, “not approved” hung like a black cloud over my head. It bothered the stink out of me. I knew it was just some sort of clerical glitch but that’s not what it felt like.
When that girl leaned out of the drive-thru and in a hushed tone said, “I’m sorry ma’am but your card keeps coming up as not approved,” it felt personal. Really personal.
Suddenly, my past pain started running its mouth. “You’re nothing but a loser. You are unwanted. You are unloved. You are so disorganized. You are poor. You are not acceptable. You are not approved.”
Do you see how those small things can suddenly feel so big. Do you see the subtle shift happening? It went from my credit card being not approved to ME being ‘not approved.’ And had I left my heart to wallow in that mess, it could have- probably would have- wrecked my whole outlook that day.
Praise God, I have enough truth stored up inside of me, that I recognized what was happening. I realized my past pain was talking and needed to be brought back under the authority of Truth. Those old feelings have no business running rampant in my mind and my heart.
“We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
“Whatever is true… think on such things,” (Philippians 4:8).
“Set your hearts on things above, set your minds on things above,” (Colossians 3:1-2).
My feelings were indicating my soul was a little hungry for some truth. So, I feed it truth. And I starved it of the lies begging to get down deep inside and mess me up.
After a quick call to the credit card company and an assurance from us that we were actually the ones buying a washer and dryer at 5am- all was well.
After the company was assured of the truth, my credit card was once again approved.
But even better, after being assured with THE TRUTH, so was I.