Something a little out of the ordinary happened yesterday that I wanted to share with you all. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it had a big impact on me.
It was 8:20 and I was still in bed. The kids slept in and I had no reason to get up, other than to try to make it to my 9:30 moms Bible study, whiiiich let’s just say I wasn’t really wanting to do. I had actually told myself the night before that I wasn’t going to go, simply because I was tired right at that moment. I mean, I had just watched 5 straight hours of Downton Abbey and it was late, yo. Totally valid excuse! I’m sure you’ve all had those times when you know you should get out of bed and start getting ready for that ‘thing’, but the bed! It’s just so warm! And I’m just too tired! And I’ll never make it on time because I’m late already so why even try! And the lame excuses! Just! Keep! Coming! It was TOTALLY one of those mornings. Whether it’s work/church/appointments/school… I’ve always been this way. Procrastinator to the core. I know very well I’m going to get up and get ready for ‘the thing’ and I will only make it harder on myself the longer I stay in bed, but IT’S JUST SO DANG COZY ONE MORE MINUTE WON’T HURT I MEAN 10 MORE MINUTES WON’T HURT, RIGHT?
I got out of bed. The kids woke up and we all were fed, dressed and out the door in record time. This never happens. I did my usual “I’m late, but there’s still time for Starbuuuucks!” run because obviously I have priorities.
Some of you might remember my road rage post from last year. Well, the Starbucks over by my house attracts the most interesting people and never fails to provide unique and memorable experiences (or, weird and slightly terrifying experiences). Yesterday was no different. I was in the drive-thru, and if you can imagine this, there’s no physical barrier for the line. It’s surrounded by painted parking spots and people push their way into the line ALL the time. It drives me nuts! They will flat out cut in front of you and act like nothing’s strange or rude about it at all.
Yesterday, that happened. I was about to scoot up and a woman sped in front of me with the foulest expression on her face. Out of habit, my arm flew up in a “HELLOOO??!” gesture, but I stopped mid-flail and realized something. I didn’t feel angry. The arm came down. You guys know I’m almost always raging about something, but not this time. In fact, in that moment of clarity, I realized that she had been sitting in line when I drove up, and though she was not in the ‘correct’ line, she had still been there before me.
So this is the weird part. I said to my kids, “I’ll be right back, everything’s okay!” and I stepped out of my car. I calmly walked up to this scowling woman’s car and tapped on her window. (WUT. Do I have a death wish?!) She opened her door and harshly said, “Can I help you with something?”
I responded, “Oh no… I just wanted to apologize for cutting you off back there. I didn’t realize you were waiting in line before me and didn’t want you to think I was trying to jump in front of you on purpose.”
Her reaction? Tears in her eyes. She completely softened and that scowl on her face just melted away. Her face didn’t melt away… I might’ve explained that wrong, but you get what I’m saying. She said, “Thank you for saying that. I really thought you were trying to go in front of me.”
I said, “I just wanted to make it right with you before you drove away. Have a good day!” And she said, “You too.”
Now this is the part where I get a little deep and tell you what that meant for me. Some people would call me crazy for leaving my kids in the car and walking up to a complete stranger who was VERY angry with me, but I can’t say I regret it. Would I do it again? Well, if I had time to think things through, I would have probably come up with one of my famous excuses not have done a thing. Like, “She was the wrong one…You were in the real line… you don’t owe her anything but your middle finger” or “Don’t leave your kids in a car alone in a parking lot” (to be honest, they were only 10 feet away from me, but still… I wouldn’t have done any of this under normal circumstances). The woman would have driven out of that parking lot hating me for life and I would have probably been angry with her for quite a while as well.
I went on to my moms group. Our leader didn’t actually have any scripture for our lesson, she just talked about some things that were on her heart. One of the things she said went along perfectly with my Starbucks experience, like how we should not being so quick to judge others when we don’t have the full story or know what hardships they may be going through in their own lives. THAT. I ALWAYS do that. I struggle with feeling proud and entitled and angry when someone thinks I’m in the wrong, but I don’t often stop and think about where they’re coming from. So I was about to go off on this lady and — you all know I’m a Christian by now, so I feel completely comfortable saying this — God totally intervened. Those tears could have been anything — embarrassment, the wind in her eyes, relief… it’s not for me to say — I am just glad things were made right with her. One of those non-resolutions I’ve been working on is my anger and entitlement, so I view that crazy, out of character thing I did yesterday as a total victory. That wasn’t me. There’s no way I would have done that on my own. Shoot, I didn’t even want to get out of bed that morning because I’m lazy and entitled and imperfect in every way!
I’m being worked on. Changed for the better. I’m so excited about that.