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Selling My Soul for Shoes

Jennifer Napier

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My eyes glittered with excitement. I placed the shoes reverently on the counter. I was at a local thrift store and had found a pair of perfect shoes. Crosstrainers. They fit like a dream. I practiced dancing in them. Yep, they worked. Perfect.

You see I’m a huge fan of Zumba. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in my favorite cardio activity at the YMCA. So, recently while at the Y I happened to arrive at just the right time. The class had just started. In my enthusiasm I decided to just jump in.

I forgot one thing. The shoes I was wearing were running shoes. And trust me when I say it’s not good to do Zumba in running shoes. When your dancing and sliding all over the wooden floor your feet can’t keep up. They get stuck. So I hurt myself. I pulled my ankle and the tendon. I had to stop after 20 minutes.

I’m not a huge “shoe girl.” I mean I like shoes. But I don’t adore them. At least not the way my sister did or some of my other friends who are shoe happy.

But I needed cross-trainer shoes; of which I used to have a pair but managed to misplace one of them. So there I was at the counter nearly giddy with excitement. Our items were on the counter. A few books and other odds and ends.

The lady said, “Are these your shoes?”

“No, I’d like to purchase them.” She frowned while looking at the bottom of the shoe.

There was no price. She picked up the other shoe. No price.

“Sorry, I can’t sell these to you.”

“What?! Can I go get another pair of athletic shoes to price them.”

“No, they have to be priced by our team.”

“Can I put them on hold?”

“No, sorry.”

I was devastated. Seriously, a pair of thrift store shoes threw me out of whack. I wanted to cry. I could barely bite my lip to suppress the tears.

I paid for the other items and walked out the door without looking back. I think I was quite rude. I was so angry.

“Aaagh. If I just wasn’t honest. I’m so sick of doing the right thing, the honest thing. I’m tired of doing good. If I had lied to her I could have walked out with those shoes!”

I know we don’t have money to just go get cross-trainer shoes… I was so excited at finding what I needed at a fraction of the normal cost. Didn’t God care?! I needed THOSE shoes!!!!

My husband Mike did his best to console me.

As I was harumphing and throwing a tantrum on our way to the car I felt God’s voice speak to me. “Wow, hon. You’ve placed a lot of importance in those shoes, huh?”

I was startled. He was right. I had gotten myself so quickly attached to a pair of shoes. I didn’t want to give up what I wanted. I wanted my way!

I thought it was my right to have those shoes. I was angry because those shoes were withheld from me. My heart was bent out of shape over some shoes. And they weren’t even new shoes. I was practically willing to sell my soul for a pair of used shoes!

Mike later told me he imagined that I probably wiped off the wax while practicing my dance moves. At first the thought frustrated me and later it made me laugh. As I had practiced my zumba moves I probably did just that. Oh the irony!

The next day the shoes were still weren’t priced. I checked the day after. They were gone. For some reason though it didn’t hurt as bad as it did the first time. I was able to breathe and let it go. For whatever reason God didn’t want me to have those shoes.

I’m still praying for some shoes so I can do Zumba but I hope my response would be a willingness to let it go if it’s not what He wants for me.

Do you find yourself getting bound up with your things — something you want or something you already have? Isn’t it funny how things become so important to us?! Have you ever put a thing over a person?

Do you ever find yourself tired of doing the right thing?

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

I’m trying to not give up. I don’t want to grow weary of doing good. I’m asking God to sustain me. But I can’t do good. Only He can do good. It is only His spirit in me that enables me to do any good. And so I’m resting in His goodness today.

I look forward to telling you how God provides shoes for me. I’m praying for them. God has been teaching me how to pray for my needs. So, yeah, even with shoes … I’m asking God.

Jennifer Napier is a new resident of Norfolk, VA where she and her husband are part of growing a new church. Her recent decision to throw all caution to the wind and jump into home schooling all five of her precocious but precious children has left many alternately applauding her bravery and questioning her sanity. She is an avid reader and writer and enjoys long soaks in the tub and sweet iced tea. She can often be found with her children at the zoo, a thrift store or in a doctors office as she manages the special needs of her kids. Though a Christian since she was five Jennifer has continued to grow in a deeper understanding of God’s grace and love. She continues to proclaim God’s faithfulness in the midst of many years of trial, suffering, loss and grief. Her primary goal in life is to know God and make Him known. You can follow her adventures and thoughts on God, life, and motherhood at her blog, Musings by Jennifer

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Selling My Soul for Shoes

by Jennifer Napier time to read: 3 min