Nope. I’m not kidding. I got myself all the way down to the gym, opened my gym bag, and realized it. I forgot my sneakers!
And my sports bra.
And my headphones.
And I had gone out of my way in the morning to make sure I remembered a change of clothes and a pair of socks ready for the gym.
I couldn’t believe myself.
But I couldn’t leave! The front desk had seen me come in, and they know my face; they know my schedule. So which would be more embarrassing–leaving right after I came in? Or working out in what I had?
I decided the lesser of the two evils was just to work out in what I had.
I was sure that everyone was looking at me and inwardly laughing. But I kept trying to tell myself that I don’t really pay attention to what everyone else is wearing, so maybe I would be lucky and no one would notice…that I was wearing my socks with my flats. Yep. Socks and flats.
I have to say, it’s not very easy to take a walk in flats. Thankfully I didn’t have much time to work with anyway, so I just took a 15-minute walk. I quickly changed into my flip flops before leaving the building so no one else could see what I worked out in.
This awkward situation reminded me of how unprepared for life we often are.
When I was pregnant with Rapunzel, I had planned to give her up for adoption. I was 19, unmarried, and was no longer in a relationship with her father (long story). I was in college and working in retail; I knew I couldn’t provide for her like I wanted, and, having been a child of divorced parents, I wanted her to be a child of a two-parent home.
But everything changed in the hospital after her birth. Her father arrived for delivery and, the following day, announced that he would not sign the paperwork for her adoption. My options were slim: I could sign away my rights to the new family I had chosen with the chance her father would fight it and win; then he would raise her (and if you knew his history, you wouldn’t want that either). Not only that, but then the family would be heart-broken anyway and my daughter would have to try to bond with someone else during a time when she had already developed an attachment to another. So I made the only choice I felt I had: the adoption was off.
And I cried.
Here I was, 19 years old, without my four-year degree, working in retail, living at home, and single. With a new baby. This was not the life I had planned for my daughter. Or myself for that matter. I had no crib. No car seat. No diapers. No clothes. Nothing. I was so afraid. And unprepared.
But God gave me the gifts I needed for that time in my life in order to survive.
Friends, family, church members–they came out of the woodwork to support me. My stepmom picked up a car seat, the family I babysat for gave me a crib and a mattress, and my friends and church sent diapers, wipes, blankets, and clothes–more than I could have ever asked for.
And their support was tremendous. The first time I took her to church, everyone wanted to hold her. During her first year, they fed her, rocked her, held her, and loved her. And they loved me for me–a young, single mother.
WIth their help, and with my own instinct, the Word, and the help of Kevin Leman and Dr. James Dobson, I survived. And with the help of friends and family, I worked hard to earn my associates degree and provide for my daughter.
God provided what I needed to get me through that difficult time. And in time, he provided what I wanted the most for my daughter–a father.
That first year, I felt like I did at the gym: in my socks and flats, unprepared, clueless. But nobody judged me for my preparedness, I worked with what I had, and we got through it.
Are you feeling unprepared today? How have you been able to work with what you have to get by?