I remember watching a movie, years ago, on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network). A young wife was in the hospital. Her husband was visiting her, along with their priest, and she was struggling in her relationship with God.
Her parents were emotionally distant and judgmental.
I've forgotten the exact words, but not the message. The priest (writer) said something I've never forgotten: "Don't attribute character traits to God that belong to your parents. God is not hateful or unforgiving."
As an abuse survivor, it's a struggle to remember God loves me.
Yesterday, I landed in the past.
When I was a little girl, my father thought it would be funny to throw a grasshopper in the tub with me. It landed on my belly. I failed to see the humor. I was terrified. It wasn't small; it was large and bright green. I've had grasshoppers attempt to catch a ride on my clothes on other occasions, so I was already afraid. This shot my fear rocketing through the roof. Almost 50 years later, and I'm still afraid of hoppy things, grasshoppers and crickets. That old terror is almost as fresh as the day it happened.
Fast forward to yesterday. I noticed a grasshopper in my shoe. The shoe I was about slide onto my foot. It hopped to the other shoe. I intended to slide the shoe out the door. The stupid critter jumped onto a box by my shoes. I attempted to smack it with my shoe. I don't know if I hit it or not. I only know I didn't see it anymore. I vacuumed, hoping the miserable beastie disappeared into the machine.
No, I don't believe my dad put the grasshopper in my shoe.
Here was the struggle: God could have removed that grasshopper from my shoes without me ever knowing it was there. A part of me felt like God had played the same dirty trick my father had.
I was given a choice: Trust God loves me or not. Believe God isn't mindful of me or He is.
My belief in God and His plan for me has been a saving grace throughout my life.
Was I questioning that belief? Could something so small sway me from my faith? What kind of faith is so easily destroyed? If it's cast aside with such ease, is it true faith?
I still don't know what happened to the grasshopper.
My faith was renewed.
God is mindful of me.
The grasshopper didn't actually jump on me. In fact, it jumped away. However, it had trespassed into my room. It violated a healthy boundary. It refused to go on its own, so I took the only avenue open.
I didn't have to see it squished. Something else I don't like.
God is aware of me.
Life is full of creepy crawlies. It is also full of roses and chocolate. On which am I going to focus my attention?
The grasshopper did not ruin the rest of my day, only the moments when I was endeavoring to rid myself of it.
Isn't life kind of like that?
Unpleasant things happen. We can let them ruin our whole day, or we can face them in the moment and move on to enjoy what comes next.