If you know me, you know I have a giant dislike for Walmart. The lighting, the crap, the clientele, the chaotic parking lot, the terrible carts, ad infinitum. That landscape never seems to change, but once in a while, cheap and convenient shopping wins so I put up with their scene for 20 minutes
On Thursday morning, I reluctantly entered those Supercenter doors and walked briskly down each needed aisle with a tightness in my chest due to anxiety-overload. I was emotionally drained by disagreements I had been having, schooling decisions that I am wrestling with, and that overall pressure I feel as a wife, mother of six, friend, and mentor. Combine those pressures along with figuring out my boundaries so that I can focus on personal projects and ideas that fill me, and I found myself in a perfect storm of internal stress.You know this feeling, right? The ache to live balanced and well, to love Jesus and others, to somehow find the magical solution where nothing is ever neglected and all blooms beautifully. Sigh.
I grabbed some ingredients to pull together some Pad Thai for dinner and tried to find a check-out line that wouldn’t trap me for yet another 20 minutes. I was drawn to that rare Walmart phenomenon in which the cashier actually seemed to be moving efficiently. She was a warm-natured African-American woman with a bright smile and shiny eyes. As she was scanning my items, another Walmart Worker sidled up to her and began to share a sad story with her about some painful family issues she had been having. (Another reason why Walmart is strange…people overshare their drama in the checkout lines when they are supposed to be working…but I digress…but seriously) My biggest worry at this point was that this conversation would slow down my getting out of there because STRESS and WALMART. My spirit was already feeling teary and fear-filled and clamoring that I just needed to get out of here and go find some quiet already and deal with my issues.
But without skipping a checkout beat, the Joy-Filled Cashier glanced over at her associate, and with a giant smile and without reproach said, “TRUST AND BELIEVE!”
And in that crazy, crappy Walmart Moment, my spirit received that beautiful truth from one of my Must-Be Sisters. A smile slowly spread across my face, and I knew that in what seemed like the Unlikely Spaces, God was speaking to me and offering me faith and grace. I didn’t need a quiet space or a magical solution. I needed Jesus in the form of His Body to speak some Faith right into my spirit.
God meets us in the daily, ordinary and quotidian tasks of life. Over soap suds and in traffic. Check-out lines and laundry baskets. Toddler tantrums and juice spills. His Presence shows up in these spaces that seem utterly chaotic and confusing, and He gently speaks and comforts and lifts and corrects and infuses and calms. Everyday we have the Gift and need eyes to see Him and ears to hear Him. We are not without a Shepherd and not left here as orphan lambs to figure out our days and our lives alone. He offers us Himself which is far greater and more beautiful than a script of answers for life that we so think that we need.
What my anxious heart needs is relationship and abiding and through that, I learn to really live, to trust and to believe.