Sunday, May 4, 2008

Confessions of a Stupidly Proud Heart....

I was 18 years old at the time and dating a 33 year old man (my future husband). At the time of this specific story, we were already pretty serious in our relationship. Because of that, I would routinely drive him to work so that he could do a few hours of needed calls and paperwork while I was left in charge of his personal car...and his little baby boy.

On one of these days, I decided to drop into the office for a surprise visit. His office was located in the upper level of the local mall (where he was on special assignment as an active duty Air Force recruiter) so parking proved to be a bit of a challenge at times.

Being just 18 years old (and only having my license for maybe 6 months) I hadn't quite mastered all of those tight parking techniques yet, but I had the youthful thought process to think that I could conquer anything and there happened to be an open space in between 2 other government cars. About a thousand times before that moment, I had seen my boyfriend whip around and back his 1985 Pontiac Firebird into a parking space. I figured it couldn't be all that difficult and I ought to be able to do the same.

I turned, positioned, angled, checked my mirrors and then went for it. Ever so softly I heard a scrape/rubbing sound. Shock and doubt filled my mind. Those feelings were followed by a million other thoughts.

- I can't believe I just messed up!
- I just wrecked the car with THE BABY!
- This is his car...his other BABY!
- I scraped a government car....the military can't touch me but they can make life hard for him!
- I have put a huge black mark of shame in his career record!
- I have ruined his life!

With all of those thoughts swirling through my mind, I did what any sensible 18 year old girl would do.......I parked the car in a different spot, grabbed the baby, and went up to the office with a "nope nothing happened today" smile on my face.

To make matters worse, the army recruiter saw me pull away and told the navy recruiter. It was the navy car that I had scuffed. The navy officer marched out there with a tape measure and everything to compare paint scuff marks and bumpers. As sweetly and determined as she was to get the truth out of you know I played the dumbfounded/denial card to the very end?! Yep I lied. I lied profoundly, absolutely, and stupidly. I looked her right in the eyes and said, "Gosh those are interesting clues to your case but it wasn't me." All I could think of were those thoughts swirling around in my head and I was not about to own up to anything.

It was not until just a couple of years ago that I confessed the truth to my husband.
He was shocked and then we had a good laugh about it.


I was out driving yesterday, all the usual errands, when that whole scene jumped back into my mind. (Do you ever find yourself with that memory lane stupidity hitting you smack in the face when you least expect it?) Ugh! It is so embarrassing! I hope that as I have gained years and experience since that time, I am not as prone to such dumb moments. But then again, it is not 100% likely. Sure it is funny to laugh at and it really wasn't a big deal. Nothing ever happened. The scuff buffed right out. But it makes me cringe all the same.


I think because it is a pointed landmark story in my life that illustrates all of the many times that I have so adamantly and without wisdom clung to an empty and futile thought process. Call it haughtiness, arrogance, egoism, narcissism, pride, or self really all means the same thing. I think everyone can testify to at least one deed sort of similar to this in their past. It is, after all, human instinct to be driven by self. We all have done it, are doing it, and will do it in the future. It is why we need a Savior...not only to ensure where we spend our eternity, but also how we live day to day in the now time.

I know that for me, it is only because of Jesus in my life today that I can even attempt to make a more wise decision in my days than what wants to rise up from inside me. As they say, "But for the grace of God, there go I."

Proverbs 3:5-6
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.


  1. haughtiness, arrogance, egoism, narcissism, pride, or self preservation These have all lead me to more then one deed I regret! However, I think that regret lead to the wisdom I have today.

    Beauty from ashes. Joy from regret. "I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you ..." Jeremiah 26 something.

    I am not good at quoting verse, so I try to do better at living it. I don't succeed in that as often as I'd like, either.

  2. It's such a cute story, my own experience says it is always easier and more simple to say the truth. I noticed that when you just say the plain truth things are smoothing by themselves without much effort. Of course, in exchange I have sometimes to admit my own unworthiness!
    This baby must be a big boy by the time being.

  3. I am ashamed to admit that I have a very similar story in my past, but swap in a work mini bus with a very high tow bar, and my landlady's very low window. I denied and denied, then broke down in tears and told her the truth. I was so scared that I would not only be thrown out of my apartment, but would lose my job as well. Luckily neither came about, and since that day I have always tried to tell the truth about things, even when it might get me into trouble. It just scared the living day lights out of me!!

  4. Quilly...How cool that you would bring up that verse. It is a life verse for me and also for our church Jerimiah 29:11. I love that whole passage.
    Yuo are so right about the regret and wisdom going hand in hand.

    Kitem...I too have learned along the way that things are so much more simple if I follow in tellig the truth.
    The baby, gosh that was a long time ago indeed. If he were still alive he would be 19 now. He died at age 15 from a heart birth defect. He led an amazing life though filled with much joy.

    Mimi...That sounds like it would be a story to tell. Oh the oops things that we do.
    Yes, these days telling the truth is so much more simple for everyone around. I actually had a situation last night where I was in tears asking someone for forgiveness over a snappy thing that came out of my mouth.

  5. Jules- I've done stuff like that. Then I'm reminded by the Holy Spirit, to whom do I serve? The fear of man? Or the fear of the Lord? It is this question that I ask myself now and by His grace He enables me to be honest no matter what the consequences...

  6. are so very right. I am so grateful that over the years I have learned about His grace. How many times His grace covers me and picks me up off the floor. He never says, "This is the last time." He simply hugs me and makes it forgiven.


I love to hear from other. Your opinions and viewpoints are always a blessing and encourage other readers as well.