Friday, November 19, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part six: Personal Failure

Hi! I have a story for you:

 Once upon a time, when I was young and dewy fresh, I married Bob. The Bobster. Bobikins. We went to Wyoming on our honeymoon. In the winter. "Wyoming in the Winter." That's the name of my new book coming to a Target near you in March, 2055. Don't miss it!

One day, in Wyoming in the Winter, on our honeymoon, Bob ate scrambled eggs. And then he spent the next 12 hours ridding himself of all of his innards including every drop of liquid that existed in his body at that time. In other words~Food Poisoning! He then spent the next 12 hours in the Wyoming in the Winter Emergency Department for Honeymooners who Eat Infected Scrambled Eggs. He then spent the next 12 hours sleeping in the hotel room, completely unaware that he was married or that he was in Wyoming or that it was, in fact, winter.
The Bobster was dead to the world. If I had invited this buffalo into our room to keep me company, Bob would not have known. And while I'm on the subject of buffalo, if I could have, I would have invited all the nice little buffaloes into our room just to keep them warm. They all have icicles hanging from their noses in Wyoming in the Winter. It's not easy for them, you know. My book, "Wyoming in the Winter" will actually be dedicated to all the dear little buffaloes who sacrificed their modesty and privacy so that I could take pictures of them and laugh at their icicles.

Okay, back to my story. It's really important.
All was not lost! No, no. For you see, it was Loretta Young's birthday, and the TV in the hotel room was playing her movies back to back all day. Thanks, Loretta, for making all those great movies so I wouldn't be bored out of my mind in Wyoming in the Winter. Later that night, I decided to live on the wild side and order room service for dinner! The smell of this wonderful food roused Bob, who was unsure of how the aroma was affecting his ailing stomach. I quickly reassured him that it was all a bad dream and to go back to sleep so I could chow down in peace. 

And now we come to the crux of this exciting tale. Hungry for some stimulating conversation, I wandered downstairs and began a lively discourse with the 60-something hotel owner. I was witty, funny, intelligent, and charming. I laughed. I smiled. I pretty much cheered up his whole life! 

Feeling really great about things, I went up to my room and got ready for bed. And that's when I discovered the horrible truth: I was sporting a large piece of broccoli between my two front teeth the size of...a large piece of broccoli. I replayed the whole scene into the mirror, talking and smiling and laughing, and decided that the hotel owner had definitely seen the broccoli. There was just no getting around it. The broccoli might as well have been honking a loud horn. I looked like a clown! My first thought was a common reaction: "Why didn't he tell me?"

At times like these we want our flaws pointed out to us so we can immediately floss. But there are other times when we really don't  want to be reminded  of what we already know. None of us are perfect. We have all failed many times. And if you are like me, you have played your failures over in your head like a bad movie. And if Satan is as mean to you as he is to me, then he has tried to get you to believe lies about yourself based on all your failures.


I will share with you one of my weak spots. It's an area of vulnerability that has developed over time. I have struggled with low confidence in my abilities, or lack thereof, to be a good friend. My love for my friends does not always translate well, and I have often unknowingly hurt or offended the people I love the most. I have been really hard on myself about this. I have poo-pooed myself and called myself bad names like "terrible friend" or "loser." This is not good. This is not true. This is not what God says about me, and He is helping me heal in this area. Later, I will tell you about my secret weapon for overcoming these kinds of feelings.

But don't you know, Satan loves to kick us when we are down. A couple of years ago, I was grieving the loss of my dad and also struggling with one of the broken relationships I wrote about in my last post. I was feeling like a failure.
One day, I received a strange letter in the mail. I thought it looked odd that my name and address had been typed on a paper, torn off, and taped onto the envelope with no return address. The letter itself was also typed and anonymous. The writer informed me that I was a terrible friend and not a good person, among other things. My first reaction was to feel creeped out by the creepiness of an anonymous letter. This was my first one! That night, I felt like the person who wrote it was watching me through the windows. I am assuming the person who wrote it is female, so let's go ahead and name her. I will call her Shadow, because she is a mystery to me. 

My biggest reaction, however, was sadness. I felt so sorry that I had done whatever it was I did to make Shadow say the things she did. I felt so bad for Shadow and wished I could talk to her and tell her I was sorry for hurting her. I prayed for Shadow. And I convinced myself more than ever that I was a no-good friend. 

Just in case you are wondering, my Nancy Drew skills helped me to deduce that the letter definitely did not come from my broken relationship person. I have one more Disappointment post before I will move on to Overcoming and share all the good ways the Lord has helped me. But for now, I have wanted to do this for a long time. So, just in case she is reading this:

Dear Shadow,
I love you. I want you to know my heart wishes to make things right with you. So, if you ever decide you want to make yourself known to me, I am ready. I hold nothing against you. I am sorry for hurting you. I still pray for you sometimes when I think of you. I hope that you know how much Jesus loves you.

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