Drum Roll…The winner of Cindi McMenamin’s book 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband…is… Nate!

Congratulations, Nate. I’ll pass your information along to Cindi and she will be pleased to correspond with you. Now I want to share about something that happened this past weekend.

God showed me how my past was affecting my present.

My husband, Larry, needed to know the password for an online service I had used ordering food. He was reading an article saying that the service charged a yearly fee but didn’t make the charge obvious when a person signed up. He was concerned and asked me to check it out. But as I was looking for my little book with all my passwords, he began to try to get on the site.

“Kathy, what email address did you use? Kathy, what password did you use?” I felt like I was being interrogated by the retired cop husband. Where was the flashlight to shine in my eyes?

I began to feel tense inside and tried to calm myself knowing his insistence can sometimes seem like a demand for an instant answer to his pressing need. But for once, I stayed calm and found my password book and gave him the information.

As it turned out, we hadn’t been charged extra fees and that was great, but I still wondered,

“Why do I begin to feel tense when Larry asks me urgent questions? Lord, what’s going on in my heart and mind?”

Then the Lord reminded me of a childhood incident that I’d explored before.

When I was a little girl, I rode with my grandmother late one evening. I have a vague memory of being in the backseat of a big Plymouth where I could barely see over the front seat’s high back.

It must have been around the 1950’s when I was seven or eight. The car was stopped at the intersection and my grandmother suddenly asked me, “Is there a divided highway here?”

I had no idea what a divided highway was, but I’d learned I always had to answer a question. That was respecting my elders. So I guessed and said, “no.” Wrong answer. My grandmother drove forward and drove right into the curb dividing the highway. I still don’t know why she asked me or why she couldn’t see it, but I immediately thought, “I’m so stupid. I should have known the right answer.”

The panicky feeling I felt that night of needing to give the right answer was the same feeling I felt as Larry asked me for the password information. His urgent tone seemed ominous. I was back being that little girl with the wrong answer.

My heart seemed to think, “I’ve got to give the right answer. I’ve got to provide the information right now.” And what I couldn’t initially get in touch with was, “and if I don’t, something bad will happen.”

Once I thought of that, my heart calmed. When I was a little girl and gave the wrong answer, I didn’t know Jesus was with me. But now in spite of the feelings, I knew Jesus was with me. And even if I gave a wrong answer, Jesus could help me deal with anything bad that might happen.

What a difference.

Once I knew what had happened, I shared my thinking with Larry and he looked sad. “Oh, honey, thank you for telling me. I was trying to spare you from doing the research yourself. I thought I was helping you. Now I understand why you were so tense. I didn’t know. I’m sorry.”

The next time you experience something and are tempted to react without trusting God, examine your heart. Sometimes feelings point to difficult things and wrong ideas from childhood. You didn’t know how to turn to Jesus then, but you can turn to Him now for the truth.

(These ideas are explored more in my books Never Ever Be the Same (co-written with Larry) and Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory.)