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never again

never again

{I recently wrote this for our church women’s newsletter}

The following is a true story. The facts have not been altered in any way.

The date is February 10, 2009, one full of activities as we had a child’s birthday to celebrate. At a point that morning I finally decided all was calm enough to quickly finish getting ready. I separated my crew and my then 10 and 3 year-olds were in the basement playing, the 6 year-old birthday girl in my room. Yes. Naively I slipped behind the double doors of our bedroom for just a few minutes alone, every mother of little-ones-at-home dream come true. All of a sudden, my 10-yr old daughter comes in yelling at the top of her lungs…."MOM, the POLICE are here!!" My first thought was of my husband in an accident.

"What!? At our door?"

"YES! Oh Mom, are we in trouble!? Did you get a ticket or something!? WHY are they here!?" Like I knew that. So I ask her to open the door while trying to pull myself together. What in the world could the police want with me? Running downstairs, I find two officers questioning my daughter.

‘So, you don’t have school today?’

‘Oh, I’m homeschooled.’ At that point I wanted to yell…Oh no, she’s not!! because I knew what they had to be thinking. But I stayed silent since shock had settled in. Just in perfect timing, my 3-yr old son—the culprit who accidentally called 911 in the first place—came around the corner waving a piece of bread on a stick and asked the policemen if they wanted to play campfire and did they happen to have any marshmallows?

Again, I had nothing to say. Imagine the headlines now: “Mute Woman Attempts to Homeschool Children, Investigation Pending”. I did wonder where the bread had come from…wasn’t he supposed to be in the basement?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAOne officer began cancelling the fire department & ambulance on their way as well. I finally spoke up when asked for my name, date of birth, etc. and as they left, I apologized profusely. Mortification doesn’t even begin to describe what I was experiencing, let me tell you.

Closing the door behind me, my mind began racing with a resolute vow…

I will never, ever again

I will never again. Ever uttered those words as a response? Ever felt the need to shelter and shield yourself from further or repeated pain? To never again want to experience anything that would even come close to representing what you’ve been through? John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart, comments in his book that we often make vows from our place of ‘woundedness’. From the place of hurt, embarrassment, anger or any other hosts of deep emotion emerges a resolve to never, ever…well, fill in the blank. I’m sure we all can.

Yes, my run-in with the law was a tad humiliating and by no means a real wound so to speak. But it reminded me then and now of how I’ve so quickly done the hard work of building a wall of ‘never again’ protection only to realize that this same wall was keeping me captive. Keeping out the unwanted maybe, but also blocking the good trying to flow into my life.

It’s hard. Some of the experiences we’ve been through have left us raw and yes, wounded. I’m not trying to advocate a simple 1-2-3 ‘get over it’ plan that means little. I wouldn’t do that; life has dished out a few situations of my own to demonstrate how trite this would be. However, very delicately, I will suggest another alternative.

Let God take the never again. Gather up every one of those resolves, those vows made in the midst of pain and hurl them at His feet. Cast them off, shed them like the dirty laundry they are spiritually and stand there bare before Him. They’re too weighty to carry anyway, am I right? Do it again and again if need be. Then allow Him to robe you in His clothing of peace to your soul and a heart willing to try again, live again, BE again. He desires this for you…will you let Him?

As for me, I’ve decided that age 15 is when my children can finally be trusted to be alone; so by 2025 I can hopefully enjoy those few minutes by myself!


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  • AnonymousApril 12, 2010 - 8:05 am

    I found a way to comment, under Anonymous. Some day I will re sign up but this works for now 🙂

  • TraceyApril 13, 2010 - 9:26 pm

    Sounds like this day was anything but ordinary.ReplyCancel

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Daniele Evans