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Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Yesterday was proof “adulting” never ends. Absentmindedly, I backed out of my driveway and hit the gas meter. My attention jerked back to the present as I heard the crunch of my fender, followed by a loud hiss of gas spewing into the neighborhood. Opening the car door, I choked on the fumes in the air.

What a dope. Now the neighborhood’s going to explode!

I rushed into the house, my heart pounding. Who do I call? Where’s the number for the gas company? Help me, Jesus!

I texted my husband. Roamed the house. Left a voice message. No response. He was in a meeting so could offer no assistance. In desperation, I called 911. The dispatcher calmly took my name, address, and phone number. Help was on the way.

I finally located the gas company number just as the flash of fire engine lights turned into the alley. I explained my stupidity. First to the fireman, then to the policeman. Lastly, to the gas company repairman.

“Don’t beat yourself up,” the fireman said, “Accidents happen.”

How did he know that I needed to hear that?

And of course, due to pandemic restrictions, the repairman couldn’t enter my home and ignite the pilot light on the water heater. But later that too got resolved though the wrecked fender remains. I’ll face that one tomorrow.

So, “adulting” continues. I have lived almost six decades, and well, learning never stops. Facing inevitable mistakes—like breaking my gas meter—reminds me of my infallibility and need for divine aid. Thankfully, my God always answers “generously and without reprimand” (James 1:5). Tackling the next crisis with grace and humility helps me reach my goal of becoming “a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature” (Ephesians 4:13).

I look back on my panic-inducing foible and identify several lessons: Pay attention while backing up. Call 911 in an emergency. Know your electric company phone number. Be brave. Do grown up stuff. And don’t beat yourself up. God certainly doesn’t.

What new lessons in “adulting” are you experiencing? How has God helped you generously and without reprimand?

My Heavenly Father, thank you for your assistance given in a moment of panic. Thank you for not finding fault with me. Continuing to grow and face my blunders indicates maturity so help me to persevere in “adulting.”

Eva has been teaching and mentoring women for over thirty-five years. Her experience as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea, cross-cultural worker in Indonesia, women’s ministry director, and Bible College adjunct professor adds a global dimension to her study of Scripture and the stories she tells. Through her blog, Pondered Treasures, and her book, Favored Blessed Pierced: A Fresh Look at Mary of Nazareth, Eva invites readers to slow down, reflect, and practically apply God’s word to life.

Currently she and her husband live in Richardson, Texas and promote the well-being of global workers in a church planting mission agency. A graduate of Baylor University, she also has a Master of Christian Education from Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C. Crafting (specifically macramé) and spending time with her two sons and a daughter-in-law rejuvenates her soul.

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