​Man, I felt like an idiot......


....as I stood there, staring at the massive pile of popcorn on the floor. Overwhelmed with anxiety, and flustered because the movie was about to start, the look on that lady's face told me what I already knew: I WAS A FAILURE. She didn't have to say anything because the voices in my head were loud enough...."Geesh Johnna, pay attention to where you're going. And you shouldn't have brought that purse--you know it gets in the way. You cause a scene everywhere you go--can't you just fly under the radar for once? You are irresponsible, and your life is so disorganized and out of control that you can't get ANYWHERE on time!"

Just moments earlier, our family had decided I was in charge of getting the snacks while the others grabbed seats. The previews had started by the time I walked into the theater, and you know what that's like when everything goes black and you need night vision goggles to see your hand in front of your face. So I decided to step back and wait a second. In doing so, I backed right up into the man behind me, dumping his freshly buttered popcorn onto the floor. I turned around to apologize and offer to buy him more, only to run into the young boy that had snuck up behind me. Turning to apologize to him, my big 'ol purse swung around and nearly knocked the extra large tub of goodness out of his mom's hand. Had she not wrapped her arms completely around it, as if hugging a pillow during childbirth, hers would have been a goner as well. Initially, my first thought I wanted to scream was...."WHY IS EVERYONE STANDING SO CLOSE TO ME?!? EVER HEARD OF PERSONAL SPACE?!?!" But, I refrained and tried to keep my cool. That's when the look came. That's when her eyes told me that I was a hot.mess. I tried to compose myself, returned to the concessions to get a fresh batch of popcorn for the gracious man, and then returned to see my husband frantically waving me down in the packed theater. Of course he was in the middle of the row, and I would have to climb over people--yet creating ANOTHER scene--to get to the one open seat....riiiiiiight next to the lady who just killed me with her eyes.

It sounds so silly looking back, but there was such a great amount of shame and guilt washing over me in a short amount of time, that I couldn't help but cry. I began to retreat into myself, hoping I'd just become invisible. My mind was like a train quickly running off the tracks, and there was left a disaster that could easily rival any BP oil spill.​ My youngest daughter witnessed the chaos, and she felt my pain. She offered me her blankie and held tight to my hand.

Doesn't shame do that to us? Doesn't it make us question our character, based on our actions? When I've made a mistake, shame tells me that I AM a mistake. When I screw up, shame tells me that I AM a screw-up. When I create a scene in a movie theater, shame tells me that I AM an obnoxious scene. It took me a good 15 minutes of the movie to wrestle with what was really going on in my head. I had to get to the root of my tears and recognize that the lady next to me would not have power over me, and that I'm no less lovable because of what happened. I'm not worthless because I can't get somewhere on time, and I'm not irresponsible because I happen to run into people.

Psalm 71:1 says, "In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame." 

You may be thinking that my story is stretching it a little far for a life lesson--but each of us has a "popcorn incident" that has made us doubt what kind of spouse/parent/employee/friend we are. Don't let shame define you. Take refuge in the Lord, and know your true value comes from Him.

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