I love a good story and Tracie Collier is a woman that can tell a good story. I’m so honored to serve on staff with Tracie at Willowbrook but also to journey alongside her on her own writing journey. I know you’ll enjoy reading Tracie’s account from her childhood. To read more from Tracie, you can check out her blog, here.
I was 12 years old when I scored that beautiful pair of Reeboks.
I thought I was queen of all middle school! Or at least closer to being some sort of popular.
(If I had only had a Member’s Only jacket, I could have ruled the world…or at least been able to sit within 30 feet of the “cool” table in the lunch room.)
Those shoes ended up teaching me a lesson I have never forgotten.
From the time I was seven years old, it was just me and Mom. Dad had made a decision to leave us for a different life. That decision had serious consequences for the lives of those he left behind.
Among those consequences, Mom went back to work and I became a “latch-key kid.”
So, I was trusted with the house keys and the ability to get myself back and forth to school at a pretty young age.
We lived close enough to the school that I could walk each day, rain or shine.
Over time, my beautiful shoes began to wear out from walking so much. The trim started coming off and rain easily found its way in through the holes that had formed. They were falling apart.
I really needed new shoes.
But, I had convinced myself that I shouldn’t ask for them because money was so tight. I was afraid that if I asked for new shoes and Mom couldn’t afford to buy them for me, it would hurt her feelings. And her feelings were already hurt enough, in my opinion.
So, I did what I thought was best and I hid my shoes from my mom. Every day when I came home from school, I would hide those awful looking shoes under my bed. This was brilliant! She never had to see them because they were my “school” shoes, so I guess I figured I could just keep wearing them forever.
That all worked out just fine until the day my grandma came to visit.
I was surprised to find her already at the apartment when I got home from school. As she called out “hello” to me from my bedroom, I quickly hid my shoes under the living room sofa. This was also brilliant…I thought.
Later that night, as we sat in the living room after supper, my grandma spied what must have been the tiniest part of a shoelace under the sofa. She reached down and pulled out my secret.
I think time stood still as she lifted the shoes up in the air, looked them over and then completely appalled, said, “Catherine! Why are you letting your daughter wear shoes that look like this?!”
Her mouth hanging open, Mom looked at the shoes and then slowly turned to look at me. It was not a good look.
I explained why I had hidden the shoes from her and then off we went…straight to the shoe store.
It turns out Mom could afford to buy what I needed. I had made an assumption that she couldn’t.
Sometimes I do that with God, too.
I’ll hide the parts of my life that are messy and falling apart under the sofa or bed of my heart, thinking God cannot possibly see there.
Worse than that, I hide those things as if He cannot afford to give me what I really need. And what do I really need?
I need so many, many things that only God can supply. The God of the Universe…the One who made us and longs for us to know Him…He wants to give us everything we need.
In reference to our giving God, Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
That generous God of ours…He gave us His Son. Why? We needed Him. We are lost without Him.
The same God who gave His Son is ready and able to give us anything we need. Pay close attention here: not everything we want…everything we need.
So, won’t you join me in gathering up your hidden “treasures?” Let’s pull them out and display them for God to deal with. He is so kind and generous. Let’s not be afraid.
There is not one thing we need that He cannot afford to give us.
Question: Do you ever find yourself hiding things from God? Take some time right now to talk to Him about that. He loves you so.