The brilliant almost neon storefront stared me down. Happy teddy bears, grinning stuffed rabbits and plush dogs with roller skates seemed to lock eyes with me as we stopped in front of the build-your-own-stuffed-animal Mecca.
“Pleeeease, can we get one?” My eight-year-old whined.
No. Instantly remembering that including clothes, sunglasses and ahem, roller skates, each bear can cost upwards of $50.
More begging. And then the necessary parental speech about you-don’t-know-how-good-you-have-it-in-the-U.S.
She’s getting older and smarter and her negotiation skills are increasing.
“What if I brought my OWN money? Then can I come back?” She asked. “I have at least $30 in my piggy bank.”
Hope’s piggy bank had not seen a withdrawl since her birth. It was heavy with coins and crumpled twenty-dollar bills safely horded from Christmases and birthdays in the past.
“If you can find the money, then yes, we will come back in a few weeks.”
A couple hours after we got home from the mall an abnormal, empty silence permeated the upstairs.
I discovered that Hope had spilled the entire contents of her piggy bank on her bedroom floor and separated it into two piles of bills and coins. She stood in the doorway.
“I’m giving Naomi thirty of my own dollars so we all can go together, Mama.”
She’d divided her money neatly in half in order to expedite the trip to the store. Yes, she was being beautifully generous to her little sister, but she also wanted her
Very, very badly.
How badly did she want it? Enough to provide the venture capital so that her sister could accompany.
Sometimes getting what you want requires drastic measures.
Because of my story, I often talk to women about their own marriages and struggles. Sometimes we email, sometimes we talk on the phone. But with many women it comes back to the same question:
How badly do you want it?
How badly do you want your marriage to be healed? How badly do you want your family to be intact? If the motivation is strong enough, the goal beautiful enough, you will do whatever it takes to be whole.
How badly do you want to be free of food addiction? Pornography? Gossip? Alcoholism? Spending too much money? Do you want to be free enough to make drastic changes in your life?
When my husband counsels men regarding pornography addiction he says, “Dude, you might need to get rid of your computer.”
“But, but I use it for Facebook/email/work…!!”
One of his friends recently put a bullet in his iPhone and another through his computer for that very reason.
Again, how badly do you want to be free?
Any type of lifestyle or habit change takes discipline, intention and sometimes acting a little crazy. Drastic change might take drastic action.
Maybe you need to cut up the credit card? Cancel your gym membership? Delete your Facebook account? Get rid your cell phone? Pour out your wine? Get rid of cable? Confess to someone who cares about you?
You might simply need to begin praying again.
I don’t know what it takes for YOU to be FREE in your particular situation. For my eight-year-old it took sacrificing the money she’d saved for the past five years. But ask yourself how badly you want to be free from whatever is weighing you down and keeping you in prison.
It will take courage. It will take time. it might even take heartache. But if you want wholeness and healing badly enough you’ll do what it takes.
How badly do you want it?