Have you ever been sad about something and then realized it happened for the better? I love those moments. It's those moments that make the totally annoying, borderline trite expression 'everything happens for a reason' worth hearing one more time.
When I found my way back to God, the church gave me a new Bible. I loved all over that book...I wrote in it, stuck notes inside - you would have thought that thing was a trapper-keeper. Remember those?
Heck yes, me too. I had a blue/gray one. It was pretty plain - not a cool Lisa Frank one like some of my friends had.
Thanks for the image, MC.
But I digress.
I don't live in a bad part of the city. The neighborhood is nice, relatively quiet and super kid-populated. One night, a while back, I left my car door unlocked overnight.
It was accidental - I'm not *that* trusting, anymore.
When I first opened the door and saw stuff all over the place, I did what every red-blooded, married-woman would do.
I blamed my husband. Duh.
As I was cursing his messiness under my breath, I remembered that my husband is pretty OCD.
It was definitely a creepy moment when I realized a stranger had ransacked my car. The strangest part, though, was when I realized they hadn't taken anything. There wasn't much to take - but I had tons of change and some dollar bills in there.
It wasn't until I went to church that Sunday that I realized what had been stolen. My husband and I both kept our Bibles in the car the week before.
Dude stole our BIBLES. For real?!
My first thought was...'who the heck would want our Bibles?'
My second thought...'guess he needed them more than we do right now'.
When my third thought came, it was a bit heartbreaking.
I had written so much in that Bible...so much of my life had changed because of the words I read as I thumbed through the pages. The post-it notes stuck to the pages held revelations, prayers, pain and resolutions.
My first baby-steps toward Christ were written in that Bible. My first life-changing Christian experiences, too.
Anyone who's ever lost something of emotional value, knows the pang of sadness I'm talking about. I think it would be like losing Elijah's baby book. I kept hoping I was wrong, and that the Bibles would magically appear somewhere.
But alas, no. Gone for good.
I bought a new Bible shortly after, but I was still mourning my old one. The old one had been a standard, red bound, gold leafed version. When I chose my new one, I chose the complete opposite style. Light blue, silver leafed...swirly ivy through the cover.
It's no Lisa Frank, but it's halfway there.
Even though I thought it was pretty, I still couldn't get my mind off my old Bible.
Until, of course, God threw a brick at me.
I opened up my shiny new Bible, looked down, and saw Ephesians 4:22-24.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
I literally felt like I had been smacked upside the head. Losing that book had been a blessing.
God knows what I will remember and what I will forget. There was so much pain and confusion written in those pages that, to this day, I am glad I cannot remember all of it.
He made me a new person - why would I spend my time reading the pains of my past among the pages of my former self? Who needs that?
I certainly don't!
I still remember the breakthroughs...the goosebumps...the good that came from the bad...but I don't have to read the blow-by-blows, you know?
So thank you, Mr. thief-man, for stealing my trapper-keeper Bible. Although I know you may have just thrown it away, I hope you learned a little something from my pain and prayer.
Or at least 'thou shall not steal', right?