It had been a long season of caring for other people. On a rare day of nothing to do, I headed out for a little retail therapy. For me that usually means I have 30% off at Kohl’s and the energy to hunt the clearance racks. Raising 5 kids on one income has given me a master’s degree in the art of clearance rack treasure hunting, and today was my day.
I decided I would set out to get something I wanted, something that would make my heart happy. It’s so funny. On the days I set out to shop for myself, I can’t find a thing. When I only have the time and money for a specific item, it seems like the whole store is crying out to come home with me. Well, this was one those nothing-really-caught-my-eye kind of days…. except for this beautifully smelling jar candle. It was a pretty coral color with a fresh scent. Honestly, it wasn’t something I would usually buy for myself; it was a little more than I normally pay for a candle and it didn’t smell like one of my favorite baked goods. But hey, I was living dangerously that day! I bought the candle. I left Kohl’s a little disappointed I didn’t find the outfit of my dreams, but oddly excited to go home and light my candle. But before I could even get it in the house, I dropped it! I was so upset! Like ridiculously, over-the-top, unwarranted anger! I knew it was silly and I shouldn’t feel this much anger over a broken candle, but I still couldn’t shake feeling sorry for myself. I was having a serious pity party for one. I walked into my room to collect myself and not lash out at whoever may dare to cross my path.
As I sat there, I clearly heard the Lord say, “Kimmy, if I told you that candle was going to burn down your house, would you be ok with it breaking today?” And there in that moment it occurred to me just how ridiculous I was being. Of course if He told me that I would be super grateful it was broken. I would have smashed it myself. As trivial as that broken candle may seem, the Lord began to teach me a bigger lesson. Sometimes disappointments in life ARE straight from the Father! And I have a choice to pitch a fit, (which I did) or to accept it, adjust and move on.
I started to think about all the events in my life that left me disappointed and confused. How at the moments of deepest sadness, I couldn’t see how God would turn it around for good or could have been protecting me. Yet, as time went on, it always revealed His protection, guidance and love for me. As I stared at the broken candle, I couldn’t help but wonder how much peace I have missed out on over my life because when disappointment came, I raged against reality and partied with self-pity instead of accepting, adjusting and walking in the peace faith promises to give me.
I had to ask myself: where is my faith and who or what am I putting it in? Romans 8:28 says, "…in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose." Unfortunately, if I am honest, sometimes I just want MY version of good and forget that the disappointment or course change before me is for HIS purpose. It is in these moments of life I must cling to His promises and be honest about where my hope and peace comes from. If it is coming from the acceptance of man, having the perfect kids, the perfect marriage or even a trivial pretty candle, then I will always come up disappointed. I can make all the plans in the world, but if I am firmly planted in the faith and promises of God, then I will willingly and peacefully take the steps He directs instead of throwing a fit about things not turning out the way I think they should.
I kept the broken the candle. I keep it displayed on a shelf in my kitchen as a reminder that my daddy in heaven is protecting me. Broken candles don’t burn down houses.
About Kim Baughman
Kim has been married to her high school sweetheart for 24 years. They have 5 kids, 1 daughter-in-love and a grandbaby on the way. Growing up in a home full alcoholism and addictions, she learned early in life the depth of her need for Jesus and the hope He gives. She is passionate about helping women overcome the lies and wounds that hold them back so they can walk in the fullness of their purpose.