Today I went grocery shopping. This was one of those long expeditions due to depleted stock at home. Wending my way through the store I happened on a mom with a beautiful baby girl. With our youngest daughter expecting her first beautiful baby girl in June, I smiled with delight, complimented them and continued on my way. Turning my cart down the next aisle, that smile stayed on my lips as anticipatory thoughts of our first precious grandchild flitted through my mind. Passing other shoppers, I was surprised to see them smile back, a little tentatively, and catch my eye. Hmmmm, I thought, I guess it is true that a simple smile is contagious.
Back track approximately 26 years when I was climbing out of a deep depression (made even darker by severe anxiety) ever so slowly following the birth of our second child. A depression so all encompassing I stopped being able to function. As I gradually regained some emotional stability (how that happened will be the subject of other posts), I started taking on the every day chores of managing a home….which included grocery shopping. Gritting my teeth, I would head to the store determined to make it work. Imagine my horror and confusion as I began making my way from aisle to aisle when, for some unknown reason, in my mind’s eye every stock boy and man I saw seemed to radiate sexual vibrations, wave after wave, until I felt sexually assaulted and extremely terrified. (Having blocked out most memories of the first eight years of my life, I did not remember until years later my Dad’s sexual abuse.) I could no longer go to the grocery store. I could not go.
Today I am going to the grocery store…I may not always like it (who does?)…and all that is in the past. It no longer haunts me. It is done. It is over. And, I even smile and pass on joy to others. Thank you, God, for grocery shopping trips. To God be the glory for the things He has done.