Messy Moments

By Linda Mooney

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I recently arrived at the office ready to tackle my long task list. Within two hours I received three phone calls and an email from companies I do business with, only to find out that some of the things I thought were finished were not. In all three cases mistakes made by others created more work for me. I spent most of my day fixing problems and never got to my well organized list.

After leaving work, I drove my teenage daughter to the alteration shop to pick up her prom dress. Even though we showed up at the scheduled time the dress had not been touched and was still on the hanger where we dropped it off two weeks earlier. With less than 48 hours before prom, the seamstress admitted she had forgotten to do it.

Heading home with my frustrated daughter, I grumbled that the shop was overpriced. I said that I was not going to pay the full amount and I couldn’t help but think how my well-planned day had been derailed by the mistakes of others. In my frustration I was reminded of an event from five years earlier.

After being rushed to the Emergency Room and diagnosed with kidney stones, my doctor requested a follow-up CAT Scan to check my remaining kidney stones. I was amazed at how much difficulty I had scheduling the scan. The person who was supposed to call me back didn’t. Some of my contact information was lost. Then I was told I should try and schedule with someone else.

Although the doctor requested the scan in December, I finally arrived at the clinic in March. My information from the doctor’s office was incorrect and that delayed the scan another 30 minutes. Some CAT scans require an IV for more detail and others do not. Kidney stones do not require an IV, but since my information was entered incorrectly in the system they did the more detailed scan.

Later in the day, I learned that my kidney stones looked fine but the CAT Scan showed my appendix was in bad shape and they were concerned it would burst. What I thought was stomach flu a few weeks earlier was actually appendicitis.

They needed to take my appendix out right away. Without the more detailed scan they probably would not have found it. Within a few days my appendix was out and after a few weeks I was good as new. I was so grateful for the mistakes made along the way.

It was important for me to learn that frustrating mistakes can be opportunities for good things to happen in the Lord. It helps us to rely on the Lord and experience his victory even in those messy moments. We turn to him in prayer and he helps us put things in perspective. In those moments, I am reminded of the many mistakes I make and how merciful the Lord and others are to me. I am called on to show that same mercy to others.

Four hours after we left the alteration shop, my daughter and I returned. The dress had been altered beautifully and I expressed my appreciation to the weary seamstress for staying until 8:30 pm. I complimented her work and paid her full price. I was grateful for this moment and opportunity to teach my daughter how to trust the Lord and be kind to others when they make mistakes.

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