My Toilet Paper Moment

Heather D. Nelson | 8/14/2013, 2:21 p.m.
I wrote in my last column about learning to pray and let go. The constant dance, and struggle, to balance ...
Original Artwork by Jonathan House

Heather D. Nelson

Heather D. Nelson

Let me caveate this particular column as a slight diversion from my usual style. I’m going a bit deep here into my faith but if you will just hang with me, I promsie it’s good!

My day on July 11th, 2013 began like any other. Hit the ground running with a morning bootcamp style workout for my sanity, then back home for a quick shower and then it was the usual breakfast rush. And when I say rush, I mean RUSH. No matter how much they eat the night before, my kids wake up RAVENOUS hungry – Angry hungry. HANGRY! And it’s a bit like feeding time at the zoo where you just try to shove the food into the lion’s cage while keeping a safe distance. But I digress. THIS day was no different and after I got hubby out the door to work I packed up my crew and off to my church we went for a bible study I had signed up to attend. In truth, I was going cause my husband made me. “you need to get out of the house” he said. “you need to talk to other women and get away from the kids” He said. So fine, I said I would go and I did. And in truth, it was NICE to get out and let the kids play with other kids while I got some grown up conversation. But boy…HOWDY…I did not see the lightening bolt coming that was about to nail me between the eyes.

The Bible study was called Beloved by Beth Moore. And that day in particular she was talking about the righteous anger of Jesus in the temple. I swear, it was as if she was crawling out of the TV and grabbing me by my shirt collar and talking to me! I was so convicted about the frustration and anger I had been harboring and I really truly knew, to the core of my being, that I was supposed to do something. I was SO FIRED UP that I filled out the bible study pages and written in every margin, and cried thru the whole thing. I just knew the whole room was watching me as this epiphany overcame me and my ability to keep a cool head melted into the kleenex wadded up in my hands. When the video was done and the group filed out of the room, I hung behind and the facilitator of our group and one of my friends stayed with me. I was so emotional and ranting because I was supposed to DO something. I DIDN’T KNOW what it was. I was crying and emotional and excited and terrified and just KNEW I had to do something! SOMETHING! I didn’t know what it was, but it was important and urgent and big. As I left there, I tried to call my husband but he was at work. I tried to call my mother-in-law but she was unavailable. I tried to call my own mother, my aunt, ANYONE that I could talk to about this moment in my life that I was both TERRIFIED of and EXCITED about and completely clueless over. Looking back now….i was an IDIOT! Who gets that worked up over “something”. But don’t worry, this crazy train has a point so allow me to get back on track. I went home and was unloaded my kids. They had their lunch. I skyped briefly with my husband inbetween all the lunch rush stuff and was trying, FRANTICALLY to explain to him how significant my bible study was that day. I was typing as fast as I could (as if he could READ the intensity of my speed over the number of typo’s I was creating in my haste). I even used all caps, and lots of exclamation points. Surely if I typed HARD ENOUGH he would get it right?! Ahahaha. I began typing to him intermittently in the middle of the day at 12:20pm. I can go back now and review some of the things I said to him. I was urgently pulled to find my bible. He told me to just use the app on my phone. I kept telling him, “NO! I need to find MY bible.” He knew better than to question me and just laughed that I needed to just BE STILL and wait on the Lord. Pfft….as if God would make me the way I am, get me all shook up, and then make me sit still?! NO WAY! I shifted back into mommy mode and got the kids situated for their afternoon nap. In the meantime I ended up on the phone with that same friend of mine from earlier. I was talking with her, about the day, when I began rummaging thru boxes. I told her of my urgency to find, “My Bible.” I kept looking while we chatted. I found The Message version of the bible. But that wasn’t what I was looking for. I found one of my husband’s bible’s that had his name monogrammed in gold on the front. Nope…that wasn’t the one I was looking for either. The whole time while on the phone with my friend , I just keep digging around in boxes. Suddenly, in the downstairs guestroom closet was an open box and sitting smack on top of it was – you guessed it – MY BIBLE! Small enough to fit in my hand, brown soft-leather cover, my name and a small dove in gold lettering on the front. It was my most perfect bible just for me. A good 6 or more years prior to this I spent an hour trying to select just the right bible to be mine. I didn’t know what I was looking for but THIS little brown cover bible was the winner then. I loved the translation, the way it felt in my hand, hard to explain I guess but I knew it was mine. Knew it so much that when we moved from Idaho to TN, it got shoved into a box and then never saw daylight AGAIN until this weighty moment. Nice huh. Spend forever searching for the perfect bible and then move and never let it see the light of day! As I chatted more with my friend on the phone, I lifted my bible out of the box it was sitting in and exclaimed to my friend , “There it is!” I notice that shoved back in between pages was a piece of toilet paper sticking out. I cracked a joke – as is my style – to my friend that God clearly wanted me to remember to put new toilet paper in the guest bathroom. I think I even smirked that the bible had a book about HAGGUS in it. It was the book of Haggai. I had never heard of this book of the bible before much less did I remember shoving toilet paper in it. Then I looked at the page it was on…and the verse….and the words….and the lightening struck and my heart skipped a beat. Haggai 2:18,19 Think about the eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid. Think carefully. I’m giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you. – New Living Translation