The red and white logo shined bright at every turn, a beacon of savings and convenience to the pedestrian twenty-something, which described us perfectly. We had no car, didn’t want to spend on a cab, and couldn’t walk far due to my growing belly. So, we gravitated to the holder of all the things. That’s what it should be called. "Target: holder of all the things.” Decorate your home, dress for a vacation, stock your fridge, buy all the electronics your heart could ever desire, baby-proof everything in sight, become a fervent athlete, spruce up your garden, and there’d still be entire Target departments left untouched.
For being smack-dab in the middle of Washington, D.C.’s action, this store wasn’t nearly as packed as you’d think, but perhaps that was due to the sheer size of this red and white behemoth. My friend Soup pushed our cart through the aisles, I walked alongside her, one hand on the handlebar to keep the pace. The belly wasn’t huge yet, but the little guy had developed a habit of giving me a swift kick in the gut if I walked us anywhere too quickly.
“I never expected my college counselor to be quoting the Bible, you know?”
In the middle of a big decision, Soup was turning to any resource she could find for clarity. As we strolled through the store aisles, she told me about the conversation that had given her peace of mind.
“First of all, we’re chit-chatting about all of my options, and out of nowhere she asks me if I believe in God. Which caught me completely off guard. I never expected this lady to bring up God, you know? So, I tell her that I do, and she tells me, ‘One of the most frequent phrases in the Bible is “fear not.” So fear not, Melissa. Fear not.’”
Intrigued, I jumped in, “Fear not. Sounds simple, but, realistically, how do you just turn fear *off*?”
The question stayed with me as we finished picking up our supplies for our rooftop picnic that night. It sat with me as we watched Jimmy Fallon videos on YouTube at 1am. And it walked with me as we made our way to church the next morning.
I had never been to a charismatic church service before. And this. This was cool. As we walked into the church first built in 1858, I was hit with the awe that accompanies places embedded with faith. On top of it's otherworldly beauty, the rush of music and movement was instantly heart-opening.
As the service continued, the music got louder and more people started giving into the flow, singing and throwing their hands up—and I realized that these people were free of fear in this moment. Fear of judgement? Gone. Fear of the unknown? Kaput.
They had surrendered.
On the plane ride home the very next day, I reflected on this beautiful word: surrender. I turned it over and over in my mind as we soared through the sky, basking in the peace that comes along with that kind of all-encompassing trust. "Could I surrender, too? Would that remove fear from my life?" I wondered.
As soon as the plane’s wheels hit the asphalt, I switched my phone on and was hit with a wave of incoming messages. The first one I opened was from Soup, assuming she’d want to know if I'd arrived safely. But I was wrong.
Her message read, “I got the job. Fear not."
In the words of Soup herself, it's hard to remember all the nuggets of wisdom we come across. I wrote this story because I'd love us to remember this one forever.
Fear not, my friendsies. Thanks for reading Day 6 of #100daysofmicrostories. :-)
PS. I'm posting this a few hours late because I got all kinds of busy with these two cowboys yesterday. I am excused.