Forced Humility Defeats Pride
When life gets busy I make a do-or-die list with one or two tasks I absolutely must accomplish by the day’s end. Thursday arrived and the truck remained parked in the casino parking lot. I knew I needed to deal with it so the truck made the list. Somehow, some way I would move that truck. That’s exactly how we began our day.
Moving Trucks Don’t Move Themselves
Red Rose, our dependable wagon, pulled beside the huge moving truck. I clutched the truck keys and told the kids to load up. That moment revealed many things, mainly I wasn’t thinking straight. As quickly as I pulled myself from the wagon’s driver’s seat I sat back down. How would we get back to Red Rose once we dropped the truck off?
Can’t Move it Alone
My husband was in California and I couldn’t do this alone. New state, new town and I knew FEW people. I didn’t want to exacerbate the hospitality of the families on the ranch by asking them to drive into town and out to our property. Two other people remained: Our Realtor and my principal.
His phone rang and rang until voicemail picked up. Disappointed and fatigued on all levels I fought back tears perhaps more for my sake than my kids. Without the support of my husband I could not afford to give way to the tears. Pride and I battled because I didn’t want to call the only other person I had a number for.
I desperately wanted my new principal to view me as level-headed and capable. I felt neither and to top it off I struggled to mother my offspring during this period. Not the professional foundation I wished to begin with, but I didn’t have any other options. Doused in pride I couldn’t manage an actual phone call.
My text read:
“I feel like a schmo asking for help because I know you’re slammed and you will probably never want to hire from out of state again. Would you (or someone you know who might be willing) be able to help me more our Uhaul? We just need a car ride.”
Yup. That’s the glamorous text message I managed to send.
The kids and I stopped at a quaint store we noticed earlier. The ice cream sign stood out and taunted us each time we drove past to the school. Growing up, even parenting, such goodness was intended ONLY for the deserving. None of us deserved ice cream. My kids were untamed and cranky, I was short and snappy, but I aimlessly wandered our car into the parking lot and attempted to sort through the circumstances and my pride. I decided undeserved ice cream is sometimes reassuring.
We ordered our cones and sat on the edge of the store’s cement walkway, the heels of our feet reached into the dusty parking lot. Though I still fought tears we sat and simply enjoyed. When life pushes hard it’s important to find or create spaces of quiet to remind our souls and team we are together. Unsure if and when I’d get a response I gave myself a mental break from the truck and prayed. A text came through!
“Yes, where do I need to meet you? And no, please don’t ever hesitate to ask for help, I would hope someone would assist my wife and kids in the same position.”
Every step of this process God showed up, but every time it required setting aside my pride and waiting. Tears squeezed through despite my best efforts. God didn’t feel near, our sprawled life offered no peace but despite my feelings God proved His presence in our lives.
I quickly called my principal and made plans to meet at the casino parking lot. In real life he towers above me but even with our vehicles Red Rose sat in the shadow of his truck. Windows down he asked through a reassuring smile, “Would you like me to drive the moving truck?”
Pride again reared its head but total rock-bottom fatigue benefits a person. Though I wanted to be a strong woman who could do anything I recognized my limitations and through a genuine and grateful smile accepted his offer.
He followed the kids and I out to the property and situated the truck beside the pasture. We walked around the property a bit, I answered questions and told him some of the plans my husband and I dreamed. As we drove back to the casino his kindness towards my kids and their laughter reminded me of the laughter family and friends share. I didn’t know our families would share many more laughs over the next year.
Endearing Stories: How We Met
Trains constantly come through town but I rarely need to stop for any of them. As we headed back to the casino parking lot that afternoon the train forced us to stop.
You can tell a great deal about people when they share personal accounts. As we waited I asked how he and his wife met. The sweetness and attention to details, the care with which he spoke about the life they built together over nearly two decades and the family they were raising astounded me.
Few people offer honesty first, most people guard what is closest to the heart, but this experience of candor was my first taste of the people living in my community.
The truck task defeated my heart felt lighter but our real estate transactions were falling apart. Even a year later what we experienced and what God carried us through brings mixed tears to my eyes.
What I haven’t shared were the tumultuous details taking place with our real estate transactions.
Christians work angles for God. It’s either “difficult because there’s a plan the Enemy wants to stop” or “God’s giving you an opportunity to grow faith” but when things are going smoothly, believers suggest a person has God’s favor, a blessing on what lies ahead.
Our transactions were smooth until they weren’t and it didn’t matter why.