Thursday, March 17, 2016

APB: Abandoned Walmart Cart

    This is a draft from December 2015 that I just decided to post.

 A word of warning....Do not leave your shopping cart unattended for 3 minutes in Walmart.  I am so guilty of this in just about every store I shop.  Why do I do this?  Well, I leave the cart "unattended" in order to make better time because navigating isle traffic with a shopping cart slows me down.  As a result, I often park it at the end of the isle and jaunt down and back to get what I need.  It WAS a good system.  Until...

     One Saturday last month,  I was on a mission to shop for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes  as well as some personal items.  Needless to say, I was  literally shopping in EVERY department.  About an HOUR into the journey and just as I was about to cross the finish line, I stopped to look for some Christmas pajamas for Silas.  I "parked" the shopping cart in a good spot and ventured around the area for about three minutes.  I confess I did cross over the big isle that separates the boys from the infant clothing, but it was just for a "second."

     When I was ready to proceed to the check out line, "it" was gone.  I thought for a moment that I was truly having a senior moment.  Seriously, I thought I knew where she was parked but after wandering around and searching and not finding, I decided to ask a human.  I was pointed in the direction to speak to a lady that had an ear set on and she politely inquired at the customer service desk as to the whereabouts of the missing buggy.  Sure enough, it had been mistaken as "abandoned" and promptly wheeled to customer service to be unpacked. I was supposed to WAIT next to the food section with her as "customer service" was supposedly gathering up my dispersed merchandise and allegedly bringing the restocked cart to me (honestly, that sounded too good to be true.  And it was.).  After a few minutes, I asked the nice employee lady if I shouldn't just go on over to customer service myself and see how it was going.  She agreed. I immediately saw that most of the carefully hand selected merch was strewn about and scattered in the return bins behind the service desk.  The staff was kind enough to let me go "back there" and search through them.  I did find a few of my items but was quickly becoming furious at the thought of having to shop all over again in Walmart ON A SATURDAY.  Plus one of the employees had already returned ALL of the food items I had selected.  I was so not up for a do-over.  But she sensed my distress and said she'd remembered most of my food items and would gladly go and retrieve them while I worked on re-gathering the other items.  I remember saying multiple times in my head, 'but this is for the Operation Christmas Child boxes."  Be careful what you say in your head....out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaketh!  And it did. In the scheme of things, I knew in my heart this wasn't a real problem.  But my head said otherwise.  Clearly I was in a spiritual battle.

      Long story, long, I pulled it together and check out. As I was leaving, one of the employees came up to me and said, "we found another one of your items."  But I literally said to her, "No thanks, Im over it."  Inwardly, I was furious....not mad at Walmart, but mad at myself for over-reacting and letting the situation control me.  I drove home knowing I wanted to throw something.

      Why on earth did this trial get to me like it did?  When I got home, I DROPPED the shopping bags in front of Mike.  Exasperated,  I ran to my "prayer closet."  I cried out to Jesus and He was there for me.  I confessed my anger and frustration as sin and asked for healing and forgiveness.

     I know God uses situations like these to expose strongholds in our heart that need healing.  I believe God was exposing the fact that I let my emotions control me through situations of distrust and by bringing them to the light, I can see my issue more clearly.  What exactly did He want to do that day?  Reveal a stronghold of control (as if I'm really in control. LOL).  God can and will use Walmart to expose the fact that I don't trust Him.  Control freaks like myself need to grow in trusting Him.  He is trustworthy and is teaching me in a seemingly unorthodox way that He truly is in control.  IN GOD WE TRUST!

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