Overcoming self-condemnation

When we've made a mistake, do we ever assume that God won't help us because it's "our own fault"?

One morning while camping in Maine, I went out to the highway to make some telephone calls to my home. It was cold, and I knew I would be on the phone for a while. I decided to leave the car running so it would be warm and cozy when I returned. Without thinking, I automatically locked the car door, leaving the keys inside. After finishing my calls, I returned to the car to find myself locked out.

What is so often a first response in such situations? I know what mine was. The thoughts that ran through my mind went something like this: "Isn't this just like a woman?" I recalled many of the false stereotypes I had been exposed to over the years: "Women are irresponsible, irrational, empty-headed; their minds are always somewhere else," and much more. Here I was in an isolated area, and how was I going to resolve this one? Beside that, I was freezing. Many will understand when I say I just wanted to sit down and cry, and have that mythical "someone" come along and resolve this for me. (This sort of thinking is often termed "a Cinderella complex"—the age-old belief that there must be a handsome prince or a knight in shining armor who will come to our rescue.)

Only for a moment did I yield to the desire to be the "little woman" protected by a man in her life. I realized that this was a purely emotional reaction in a time of stress. And I began to pray and to try to reason things through from a spiritual standpoint because I felt this would help me what to do next.

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Sometimes angels
March 6, 1989

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