I sat motionless on
Usually I’d go to the door before the driver escaped down the road to wave and say, “thanks,” as I retrieved my package.
But not today.
I knew what was in the box.
The only order I’d placed online since Christmas.
But pangs of guilt pinned me in place.
I mean the UPS guy delivers thousands of packages a day, not knowing the contents. How could he possibly know I’d bought such an extravagant item…in secret?
I had my eye on this handbag for quite some time.
Did I “need” a new purse?
But this one…
Oh, the beauty of it.
And, oh so functional and organized.
My daughters tease me, “Never go wallet shopping with my mom!”
It’s an errand that takes an eternity.
“Too many pockets.”
They can’t win by handing choices to me to make the process simpler.
I’ve got in my mind the “perfect” fit.
So when Michael Kors designed THIS handbag…
He read my mind!
But, you see I’ve always got a spending limit for all things.
I only by a new purse every 3 to 4 years. And then, I buy a really nice one and use it all the time.
No switching bags for me!
But this purse was WAY out of my league.
So when Christmas came and my mother-in-law gave Macy’s gift cards to my husband and I, each $100, my mind began to whir!
My husband handed me his and said he didn’t like shopping much.
It didn’t take me a day to get online and begin dreaming.
But even with the gift cards, the purse would set me back over my purse spending limit of $200.
Yes, I know, it’s a CRAZY expensive bag!
So I got myself off the computer
The next day, my husband asked me to pick up a prescription for him. It was a medicine that still had no generic and was not fully covered on our insurance.
When the clerk told me how much I owed… I gasped!
“$200….I could buy a really nice purse for that,” I made the mistake of saying out loud.
She laughed as she handed me the receipt at the drive through window.
“You go get yourself a purse, then,” I heard her say as I drove off.
And that encouragement was all it took.
So there I sat, on my couch of buyer’s remorse.
When I finally took the box off the porch, I set it aside, and chose not to open it.
Maybe if I never actually looked at or held the bag, I could take it back to the store more easily.
So the box sat in my house, unopened for 3 days.
Until one day, when I was all alone… that’s when the lonely me starts seeking something to fill the void… I decided to open the box.
Oh, my goodness!
It was wrapped in tissue with every piece of hardware delicately covered to protect it.
I put it over my shoulder and looked in the mirror… boy, did it feel good!
And it even smelled luxurious!
I quickly wrapped it back up and put it back in the box.
I put it back in its place near my keys, by the garage door, so that I could make sure to return it on my next trip of errands.
No one had seen it yet, so in reality, I hadn’t really bought it…that’s what I told myself.
But the purse, in the box, stayed there for a week.
I just couldn’t bring myself to use it…it was too much.
But I couldn’t bring myself to return it….it was a craving.
Finally, one morning I decided I’d had enough!
I put the box in the back seat of my car.
And I’d HAVE to return it next time I was out.
But the purse, in the box, sat there for a week.
The funny thing is, during all this time, not one member of my family EVER asked me about the box. Even as many times as if got shuffled around in the car to go here and there, giving other people rides.
Finally, yesterday, I went to the mall. I decided that I would return the purse.
But first, I’d go in and look to see if I could find a less expensive, similar style.
After 2 hours in the mall, I came out empty handed and drove home.
The purse, in the box, still sitting on the back seat of my car.
I began to cry on the drive home.
And I prayed out loud, “Lord, what is wrong with me!”
“Why am I struggling so much with my flesh over this ridiculous purse!”
Tears streaming down my face, I begged Him, “Lord, please… this is so stupid! Why am I being held hostage by a handbag? Show me what You would have me do with this money so I can return it.”
Then this morning, God spoke to my heart.
Lisa, do you really KNOW what it’s like to be a “hostage?”
Of course NOT!
There are others suffering…really suffering today.
Give the money for them.
Do something that will work toward their freedom.
Don’t standby and do nothing.
Someone else’s daughter was lured, trapped, raped and held hostage… to be sold into slavery.
And I can help her.
Every month, I support the A21 Campaign.
They are a non-profit organization who believes in ending human trafficking in the 21st century.
I give $21 a month for each of my daughters.
It is intentional, believing that I am helping two other young girls across the world, trapped.
Girls praying to be saved.
But this time, I can do more!
So today, I am going to drive to the mall.
The purse, in the box, still on the back seat of my car.
And I am going to return it.
And then I am going to send the money for that purse to A21 and pray, “Lord God, You have saved me. You have released me from the bondage of slavery to sin and myself. Please, Lord, save a life. Save a young girl from the horrors of this evil.”
And still my gift will not be enough.
But I believe in a God who is more than enough.
And He can multiply my offering, freeing me from my flesh…
But even more important, giving LIFE to another on the other side of the world.
Would you please consider making a donation to the amazing organization?
They have saved lives.
They have prosecuted traffickers.
They have glorified our Lord God!
In Luke 4:18, Jesus was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
And he read aloud from it in the synagogue,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”
We are to continue with this… and help proclaim freedom for prisoners and set the oppressed free.
Let us continue to work with A21 to abolish human trafficking in the 21st century with the Lord’s favor.