By Mollie Bond –
One person at every party wins these titles: drama queen, party-pooper, Debbie downer. When I was 12, you could have called me Debbie.
At my friend’s thirteenth birthday, her mom let us watch a “scary” PG-13 movie: Death Becomes Her. I was almost 13. My mom said I could watch it. After eating pizza, watching the movie, and calling the radio station to play “It’s My Party,” we fell asleep in New Kids on the Block sleeping bags under a cake-covered tablecloth fort.
I woke up at 2 a.m. haunted by scary parts of the movie. I saw blood-drenched limbs everywhere. I put my hand gently on the wall, avoiding light switches. I found the phone, called home and said, “I’m going to die! Come get me!” My sleepy parents talked me out of my wild fear and fetched me in the morning.
We read in Genesis of how Joseph’s eleven brothers dramatized a scary moment, too. Reuben and Joseph’s other brothers had sold Joseph long ago. Joseph became head-honcho in Egypt. Not knowing what became of Joseph, his brothers came to Egypt to buy food and did not recognize him. Joseph pretended to believe they were spies and kept Simeon, a brother, in prison.
Reuben, the “I told you so” brother, thought this evil ruler of Egypt was going to lock up Simeon forever because of his past. Reuben wailed, “Oh, how terrible!” (True.) “We killed Joseph!” (Not true, they sold him.) “He cried out to us and we didn’t listen,” (True.) “and we’re going to die!” (Not true.) Reuben exploded into a woe-is-me party. It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to.
Sometimes our memories warp and we exaggerate scary moments. What stressors seem magnified now, but won’t matter in a week, a month, a year? What scary memories haunt you? Are you remembering them correctly, or are they food for a pity party?
PRAYER: Father, I’m calling on You because I remember something horrible, but perhaps it wasn’t as terrible as I remember. I’m glad You took care of me and want to use those scary moments for good. I’ll dry my tears and scale back the drama. Amen.
“Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.”
“Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”” (Genesis 42:21-22 NLT).