Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
- TITLE: Shopping for Holes
By Joanney Uthe
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“I thought you said you weren’t going to buy any more new clothes until you paid down your credit cards.” Becky backed away at the look I gave before adding, “Just holding you accountable, like you asked.”
“But after the day I’ve had, I deserve a new outfit.” I knew my friend was right. “Besides, I need it for work.”
“Need or want?” Becky gently took the dress from my hand. “You have plenty of dresses. Buying a new one every time something goes wrong will not solve your problems. Especially since you buy and wear very bright colors only when you are upset.”
“That’s not true!”
“Yes it is. And you’ve been buying a lot of them lately, which is why you asked me to hold you accountable. Let’s go to Latte Lion and talk about what is really going on.”
Becky bought me a chai latte and herself a turtle mocha and sat quietly, a look of eager concern on her face.
“So, are we still on for game night this weekend?” Becky’s raised eyebrows told me I wasn’t going to get away with small talk. How do I explain to my best friend how I am feeling when I don’t really know myself? My life is exactly what I always thought I wanted: a good job doing something I love, wonderful friends, a wide range of interests and hobbies, even a great guy. So why wasn’t I happy? What was missing?
“Gen, what hole are you trying to fill?”
“What do you mean? I ain’t trying to fill any holes.”
“You admitted yourself that your spending is out of control. You have a closet full of clothes that you don’t wear, and yet you continue to shop for more. What are you avoiding?”
“Umm,,,I honestly don’t know, Becks.” I doubt that my cup hid the tears from my voice or my face. “I just don’t know what's missing.”
“Well, it isn’t your wardrobe.” Becky always seems to know when sarcasm would and would not ease my tension. “Remember back in high school when we shared our life’s goals with each other? You always knew you wanted to be an accountant. Do you enjoy your job as much as you thought you would?”
“Even more! I love what I do, except when the computers crash for half the day.”
“And things are going well with Evan?”
“Great! He told me to keep Wednesday night open. I think he's planning something for our one-year anniversary. Look, Becks, I appreciate what you are trying to do, but I’ve already tried to figure it out. I just don’t know why I feel...whatever I'm feeling.”
“Discontent?” Somedays I think Becky should have been a psychologist instead of a teacher.
“Yeah. That’s it. Discontent. But I still don’t know why. Hey, is that Doreen over there?”
“Doreen? You mean our discussion leader from youth group way back when? Yeah, I think it is. Remember how she used to encourage us to pray about every decision no matter how small? I never was any good about that.” Becky hung her head as if she had just revealed her deepest, darkest secret.
“I was back then. That’s how I knew for sure that I was going to be an accountant. I prayed a lot in high school. And was much better about reading my Bible on a daily basis. I kinda got out of the habit in college and haven’t picked up my Bible at all since tax season started, except to carry it into church. Evan often shares with me what he is learning in his personal time. I just comment on what he says or pull something off the top of my head if he asks about mine. Guess I haven’t been very honest with him, or myself, about my spiritual life.”
“I struggle with reading my Bible daily as well. Sometimes, all I find time to read is the Verse of the Day emails that I get from a few different places.”
“And Doreen would have told us we had the time, we just had to take it.” I fiddled with my empty chai cup. “Thanks, Becky. I think I just found the hole I was trying to fill. And I know what will fill it much better than brightly colored dresses.”
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