The Night I got in Big Trouble.
Dear fierce ones,
Several years ago, I was over at a friends’ house. We had a couple of glasses of wine. I got in my car and drove home. Before I got home, I was pulled over by blue and red flashing lights. The officer asked me if I had been drinking?
I admitted I had some wine.
He asked me if I would mind stepping out of the car?
He asked me to walk a straight line, follow the tip of his finger with my eyes, and stand on one leg. I struggle. I am wearing heels, it is dark, the ground is uneven, it was after midnight and truth to be told…I was a little tipsy.
The next thing that happens is I am being read my rights, handcuffs are placed on my wrists and I am being thrown into the back of a police car and brought to jail.
Talk about scared.
I was literally locked up in a jail cell like a “bad” person.
They gave me a Breathalyzer test…
I blew .9
I was over the limit.
There was a price to pay for that.
I was now a criminal.
That experience was absolutely terrifying and it was beyond humiliating. Being treated like a criminal by the justice system in those moments was unbelievable to me. I was shocked that it was even happening.
It was a complete nightmare.
I was like…” Wait a minute! I am not a bad person! Why aren’t you going after the “real” criminals!”
"What the HELL is going on"? I was truly incredulous. I couldn't believe what was happening.
I kept thinking…"I ONLY had 2 glasses of wine".
2 glasses put me over the limit.
I was in deep shit.
Being at the mercy of the justice system was unbelievably terrifying.
I had committed an actual crime according to the law. I didn’t mean to. I was a social drinker. I wasn’t intentionally trying to break the law…but I did…and the potential consequences of that crime was a very sobering reality for me.
The lawyers laid it all out for me…the worst case scenario according to the letter of the law. It included jail time.
It was very serious.
I was shitting my pants.
The justice system is a process. A long and tedious process. It takes almost a year. There is a lot of negotiation. At the end of it…each lawyer pleads the case before the judge and it is up to him to decide what the final sentence will be.
Waiting to be sentenced, in that moment…I can tell you…I was praying to God for MERCY.
There is a moment just prior to receiving your sentence when you are asked if you have anything to say?
I was teary…my heart was pounding so hard and fast, the adrenaline response had taken over and my entire body was trembling…I could barely stand...I was at the complete mercy of the judge.
The judge looked at me.
I looked back at him with my tear-filled eyes.
My mouth was dry, my throat felt strangled. I mustered up all my strength to say all that was in my heart at that moment…
“I’m sorry”…it came out in a whisper and it was the only thing I could say for myself.
He saw my heart.
I was given the most leniency for DUI the law would allow.
No jail-time for me, just some hefty fines and a few conditions that were easy for me to comply with. After it was all said and done, those 2 glasses of wine cost me over $10,000 and an unforgettable lesson in
Humility...(this was such a humiliating experience. I was completely humbled by it)
Justice...there is a price to pay for mistakes.
Mercy...I received mercy and forgiveness from the judge and had my record wiped clean after one year...
At the beginning of this ordeal, it felt like the end of the world.
I was terrified of the potential consequences.
After living through this experience...
I feel extremely grateful.
Many positive changes have occurred in my life as a result.
There is ALWAYS a bright side.
Mistakes are the birthplace of wisdom.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines wisdom as...
1a: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships: insight
b: good sense: judgment
c: generally accepted belief
d: accumulated philosophical or scientific learning: knowledge
2: a wise attitude, belief, or course of action
3: the teachings of the ancient wise men
Within the 2nd book of Chronicles, a story unfolds that is better than Disney's Aladdin.
God makes Solomon an incredible offer.
Remember that fantasy we all played as kids? (The one where you get a magic wish and everyone thinks about what they would wish for)
Read! (2 Chronicles 1 verses 7-12)
That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (Imagine what you would ask for if the God of the Universe just made you that offer?) Seriously, this is THE MAGIC WISH.
Solomon answered God,
“You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
WOW!!! He only wants to lead the people! His truest heart's desire is to lead with wisdom. He is a servant of the people...a TRUE KING. I want to start chanting
God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
HOKEY DINAH! (this is one of my favorite expressions... say it whenever you want to express extreme amazement)
GOD WAS PLEASED.
Failures and mistakes are the birthplaces of wisdom if you learn and grow from them.
When you make mistakes it is an opportunity to learn and grow. To gain wisdom. To grow as a person. To learn from it. To change in a positive way.
I have fallen head-over-heels-in-love with Jesus many times because over and over again I have realized through my mistakes how incredibly merciful God is. God's mercy is extravagant towards us. I was so humbled by this experience...the mercy I received was such a relief.
I felt heady and weak all at once in a great big SWOOSH.
I felt light as air...floating in a sea of giddy relief...I wanted to kick up my heels and dance a jig...I had been set FREE!
His mercies are new every morning.
It is all about your heart.
Find your fierce.
Take the journey.