I Kicked Carrie
There were twelve seconds left on the clock. The crowd was in an uproar. The basketball coaches brought Mary Ann in to finish the game. No one could understand it. She was hurt. She could hardly hobble down the court, yet Sydney inbounded the basketball in to her with confidence. Mary Ann miraculously dribbled down the length of the court as if the pain hadn’t bothered her, but I knew better. It took practically ten minutes for her to be lifted off the court and walked to the bench where she missed almost the entire second half of the game. But here she was. The game was on the line. They were down by one and she had the ball in her hand.
I stood up trying to peer over the rest of the crowd pushing up and forward, my eyes locked into the action. I couldn’t resist my body as if it sensed and mirrored every move Mary Ann made, twitching left and right with every fake and maneuver she gracefully and freely danced around the other teams’ defenders. I made eye contact with another Oshkosh fan decked out in black and gold. Wide eyed, with disbelief and excitement in our eyes, we smiled at each other. Five seconds left.
“Hey, I know you.” An eerily familiar voice called out to me. “You ran track here a number of years ago. So what are you up to now?”
I couldn’t believe it. Why on earth would someone ask me that question now! I turned towards the voice not wanting to be rude. “Yes, I did,” I quickly chirped. “But that was a long time ago.”
The gal looked to be about 30 years old, decked out in Purple and White. Just as I looked back to the court, I saw the basketball sink through the orange rim and heard the buzzer go off. Mary Ann’s teammates corralled around her hugging her tight, laughing, and giving her high fives.
“What happened?!” I burst out loud, splaying my arms out in front of me in disbelief. I can’t believe I missed what happened. There aren’t any instant playback highlights in women’s Division III sports. I was perturbed. I knew I missed a great move by a star player, who, on top of everything else, was injured.
As the stadium filtered out, I found myself in the foreign LaCrosse lobby by the outer glass exit doors. I was talking with a couple gals, old teammates of mine, when the “purple and white” girl rudely interrupted the conversation on her own will again. Who is this? I thought. I was just trying to chat with some old friends that really meant a lot to me and I was hoping that we could schedule a time to meet up later and catch up on life. I knew they had to have families of their own now, and this might be the only opportunity to connect for another ten years. They felt the uneasiness of the situation, my uncertainty in our conversation, and politely excused themselves. Maybe next time.
I turned to look at “purple and white” and remembered her name. “Hi Carrie,” I mumbled.
She smiled at me, “Great game, huh?!” I swelled with annoyance.
We exited the doors together and I had a feeling she wasn’t leaving my side. Her sandy, short, shaggy, blonde hair, slightly freckled face, and thin boyish figure were hard to miss. She was a fun, free spirit and so many people loved her. Sometimes I didn’t know why I was so nice to her. She always seemed to distract me, but I couldn’t find it in myself to be rude to her and tell her I needed space.
“Yes, it was a great game,” I said flatly. “I have to head home now. I have some work to take care of.”
“Can I get a lift?” she squeeked, “And maybe we can stop for some fun!”
“I don’t know Carrie. I have a lot to do.” But her persistence ate away at me and I wimped out and gave in.
We were on the road and Carrie seemed excited even with my outwardly annoying disposition. She smiled, “Hey, let’s stop there!” I looked to where she pointed. “Come on Lise. It will be fun.” Ugh. Why does she call me that!
Just a half mile ahead, I saw the large sign. I couldn’t believe it. She wanted to stop there, an immoral, illicit venue. Time-past flashed back at me as my body temperature rose, and my palms gripped the steering wheel with sweat and uncertainty. What do I say? I couldn’t, could I? Should I? I would never accomplish my writing tonight. I’m going nowhere with it fast. It’s not very good anyway. If I give in, I would be another day behind.
Like a flash of lightning, I heard the Lord say, “Lisa, if you don’t trust me and use your gifts, they will be taken away from you.”
No Lord! I looked at Carrie, beaming with excitement, eager to pull me into her twisted web. I felt it. Something was amiss. “Carrie, I’m hungry.”
I slammed on the brakes as we approached the gas station just before the venue, turned right into the parking lot, and swerved left in front of the convenience store doors. “What?! Now?!” she cried. “Yes Carrie. Now! Can you please run in and grab me a bag of Cheetos and a Sprite?”
I shifted the car in park. I pulled $3 dollars out of my purse and handed them to her. Annoyed, she yanked them out of my hand, pushed open the car door, and slammed it shut. I watched as she gripped the dollars in her right hand and stomped off in aggravation. She entered the store, bumping the elderly lady coming out, as she fought for position in the narrow opening. The door shut. I turned my head forward, shifted the car into gear and sped away, leaving Carrie behind. I had a job to do, and I’m not doubting myself or God again.
I opened my eyes. Movement. My ten-year-old daughter was next to me in bed, slowly rolling out trying not to wake me. We had a late nap after a busy Sunday for our friend’s daughter’s confirmation. It was already 6pm. We might not get back to bed at a decent time tonight, but that was okay with me. I looked up at the ceiling and knew I stalled long enough on this journey. I knew what I had to do. Carrie was her name and I wasn’t giving in to her deceiving weight of doubt again.
Carrie. That is her name. It illustrates who she really is, a deceiver who placed burdens on me and that I carried for far too long. On my journey she planted seeds of doubt that grew heavy like a cold thousand pound boulder. This weight distracted me, causing me to loath myself into depression and disappointment.
Carrie’s weight of doubt pulled me away from my destination, my goals to encourage and share the love of Christ with others and give them HOPE. I know this as a fact: Christ wants me to bear fruit in life; be Christ-like, Christ-minded, and make a positive difference in those around me (John 15:1-17). But every negative seed Carrie planted in me burdened me and slowed me on the path Christ set for me. My route became dark, dirty, dangerous, and disappointing.
I know that the journey of life will be full of potholes, barricades, detours, and obstacles, hindrances to overcome. With the Lord’s guidance, these tests, can strengthen me and build my character, skill and stamina.
But “Carrie” – she’s different. She is not an obstacle, but a weapon. She is the most dangerous fighting instrument of all.
Carrie, my deceiver, is the negative voice in my mind that:
- Distracts me from my goals
- Builds fear and doubt in my gifts, and
- Tears down my confidence
When the seeds of doubt grew, I looked back and saw the casualties of a war torn life.
Carrie, my deceiver, that negative voice in my mind:
- Stole my time with a never ending labyrinth of illegitimate desires
- Surprised me with temptations I gave into that tainted my innocence
- Suffocated me with guilt and shame that grew only to destroy me from within
Carrie scared the young girl in me and trapped her in a dark and faraway place. I knew what was happening, but I gave in every time. Now that my eyes have been opened, it’s time to get back on track and move on.
Are you familiar with these voices? Sometimes they stem from our own selfish desires and weaknesses. Other times they come from the Tempter, the Accuser, the Evil One, the Deceiver, the Devil himself (Matthew 4:1-3; 13:19, 38; Revelation 12:7-11; Luke 8:12). I’ve found that using the Bible to fight the mental and physical traps on my journey gave me the power and endurance to overcome my worst fears and my greatest doubts.
The Word of God says that Satan comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He tries to steal my time and my health, kill my relationships, and destroy any semblance of holiness God has built up in me.
He likes to disguise himself. But, there is no hiding behind pretty colors.
I know if I armor myself properly (Ephesians 6:10-20), and stay alert, I will know him by his actions (Matthew 7:15-20). Whether these doubts come from the Oppressor or rise up from my own sinful nature, there is only one thing I can do: kick him/her out of my car (life), peel out, and leave him behind. Listen to him no more.
What are you doubting today? What is keeping you stuck? For me it was how I would share the love of Christ with you. But I chose to believe. I encourage you today. Believe (James 1:6).
Kick Carrie and replace her with Christ.
God has a plan for you.
Listen to the Deceiver no more. The only power he has is the power we give him. He is powerless in front of God and we are protected if we know Christ as our personal Savior.
Claim your freedom today! We don’t walk alone on our journey. If we let him, Christ carries us along taking on our burdens and self-doubt, nails them to the cross, and replaces them with freedom and promise of a purpose fulfilled.
Hear the band Kutless explain in their own words what the Cross of Christ means to them. When the weight of this world gets too great, I’m not alone. Hallelujah, You “Carry Me To The Cross”. Replace Carrie with the One who TRULY CARRIES YOU.
Throughout His ministry Christ spoke of FAITH as a pillar on which to tie our lifeline (Matthew 21:21). Doubt only broke our lifeline to what would be saving hope today and for eternity. I’m letting go of the doubt. I’m replacing my fear with FAITH in all situations and circumstances and tapping into that power, the Holy Spirit, Christ gave me when I made Him Lord of my life years ago (Mark 11:23). I can have FAITH and HOPE in His promises of a full and victorious life, because in Him the victory has already been won!
Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:7-11) Christ laid down His life for us on the cross. Click here to find out how you too can know Christ personally, for eternity, and for a power filled life.
“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth, (II Timothy 4:17).”
What on your journey have you doubted? What TRUTH has Christ shown you that can be your lifeline instead?