A Unique Opportunity!
So over the last few years, I have actively tried to work on feeling a little less fear and trying to be more open about my thoughts. In a few ways, I have been more successful – I have a few really good friends who I actually feel safe enough to share my thoughts and feelings with. And I have actively pushed myself to try and start conversations with people I do not know. It's probably strange to some of you who know me, but I do feel uncomfortable talking to people I don't know and trust... which is funny because I can totally chat someone's ear off if I feel safe with them. (It's a mark of how the divorce has caused me to close up even more that the phone plan I used to have gave me unlimited minutes and I would use over two thousand a month and I now live comfortably on less than 450 a month.) So I actually try to say 'hi' to people I pass in stores, compliment someone or just say something basic to start an interaction. I have started conversations at church with members that I don't know (sometimes I have started them with people whose names I should know after a decade but I still don't and I am too embarrassed to ask.) And I have worked to try not and shut down conversations as much when unknown people start them with me... I''m working on it and its getting a little easier I think.
So the other night, I was headed home from work and decided that I would do my once weekly 'spontaneous' grocery shopping. Once a week, I head to a few different grocery stores and only look for the 'marked down' basics – fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat, salads, etc... I am never sure what I will find on these trips and sometimes I find nothing or just a few odds and ends. And sometimes, I come home with salad and veggies for days, some meat and fish, yogurt, milk and sour cream... and even maybe some soup or some beat up cans of tomatoes. This trip is a fun trip- an exclusion for me that doesn't cost me much and helps me to have fresher things to eat on my small income. It's also fun to see what I can find and then create different meals to cook and consume the food. Being able to have this opportunity has been such a blessing and really has made it possible for me to eat pretty well on my income. So I left the first store and started driving to the second. I parked, limped in and started the 'rounds'.
“God bless you! I am so glad I ran into you today!”
I finished my shopping and went home with a lot to think about. Even a few weeks later I am still thinking abut it. I am glad I took the risk, thankful that it didn't turn into a really painful experience that would bring my anxiety to the forefront of my mind again. And I feel able to try and do it again. But most of all, I feel like I have started a relationship that over time can turn into friendship and even more. I am so thankful that I have accomplished and earned my medallion and grateful that I found the courage inside of me to talk about it. You just never know when you can testify of Christ... you can share his love anywhere, even next to a counter of cheap fish. :)