Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!
Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent.
“Who is this Murphy anyway?” she thought as she angrily wiped the tears from her eyes and tried to focus on the task at hand. It seemed that no matter what she did, it was wrong. She had spent her whole life trying to win her family’s love, and it seemed that no matter how hard she tried, she always came up short.
And now, she was at a crossroad. She could make one more last-ditch effort to win everyone’s love and approval. She could make this all or nothing play, and maybe, just maybe, everyone would see that she really wasn’t so horrible. Maybe, if everything went just right, maybe if nothing went wrong, her family would finally see that she was indeed, worthy of their love and affection.
Perhaps, if she played by all of their rules, she would finally win their approval. “Oh God,” she wept in misery, “why does it always have to be so hard?” She thought back to all of the years when she had tried so hard to make them love her, even though it meant losing herself in the process.
She remembered the time her mother had made a bet with her. “I’ll quit smoking if you bring home a report card with straight A’s,” her mother told her. Oh, how desperately she had wanted to win that bet. She had worked and studied so hard, not only because she wanted to win the bet and have her mother quit smoking. The truth is that was just icing on the cake. What she really wanted was to win her mother’s respect, but if anyone lived according to Murphy’s law, it was her. When her report card came out, she saw that she had once again fallen short… She got all A’s and one B.
Her mother had laughed with derision when she saw her report card. “I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about,” she told her daughter. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to pull it off,” she said as she launched into yet another story of how she had gotten straight A’s all year when she was in the third grade. Her daughter felt like such a loser.
Throughout her childhood, she tried to fit in, but again, Murphy’s law followed her wherever she went, and she always fell short of what she tried for. She wanted to sing in the County Chorus, but her nerves got the best of her, and her singing fell flat. She tried so hard to be the funny one, so people would like her, but again, she always seemed to miss the mark.
The only place that she ever felt acceptance was at church. For some reason, no matter how badly she messed up, those people seemed to care for her, and they tried to tell her that God loved her too, but she knew better. If her own family couldn’t stand her, how could a holy and righteous God love her? Though she wanted to believe that He loved her, she couldn’t believe it, because she knew the evil that lurked inside her heart, and she knew that God knew the evil within her too, so how could He love her?
She was a funny little child. No matter how many times her family rejected her, she was always able to find a small reservoir of hope within her that never ran dry. “Maybe this time, they’ll love me,” she’d think as she tried again and again to win their love.
When her stepfather molested her, she was told that it was her fault, and she believed it. She was told that she must keep the secret so that others wouldn’t be hurt and so her family wouldn’t be destroyed… And she kept that secret, too, because she didn’t want to destroy her family, and she didn’t want to hurt them either. “If I let him do this to me,” she foolishly thought, “maybe he’ll leave my sister alone.”
She got married at a young age, to a young man she’d only known for a few months. Her mother told her it would never last, and a part of her was afraid that this would prove to be true, after all, hadn’t her whole life been a prime example of Murphy’s Law? But thankfully, in this area, she beat Murphy’s Law…
It seemed that after she married, Murphy’s Law seemed to have a far lesser hold on her, as though it didn’t operate outside of her relationship with the family she grew up with. She discovered that she didn’t need to work hard and jump through hoops to keep her husband’s love. For some crazy reason that she couldn’t understand, he seemed to love her whether she was good or not. He loved her when she burned his dinner or forgot to take his laundry out of the washer and caused it to get moldy.
And then, she began to know Jesus. It was a relationship that began slowly and gently, as He wooed her and drew her to Him with gentleness and love. He began to speak words of love to her heart, erasing Murphy’s hateful Law, and writing His Law of love on her heart. “You were created in My image,” He spoke to her, “and it was I who formed you in your mother’s womb. I knit you together, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Before then, it had never occurred to her that there was anything good about her. Indeed, whenever she looked in the mirror at herself prior to this, she saw nothing but ugliness, but after He spoke those words to her, she began to see herself as God saw her.
“Beloved,” He gently spoke, “You are precious in My sight. I have redeemed you and called you by name,” He said. “You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
Christ gave her the strength and the courage to be all that He had created her to be. She was no longer a slave to her past… She was no longer a slave of Murphy’s Law… And now, these many years later, as she stood at this crossroad, she had a choice to make.
She could go back to her remaining family, back to the life that she had escaped from, and become a slave once more to Murphy’s Law, as she tried to earn the love and approval of those who were left, knowing that no matter what she did, she would never measure up to what they wanted and expected from her…
Or, she could walk away from all of the rules and expectations that she could never live up to, and walk to the life that God offered her… a life where she was free to be the woman He created her to be… a life where she was loved and accepted by her husband and her children, and the family of God… a life where she didn’t have to work and struggle so hard to earn the love of others, because God caused them to lavish their love on her regardless of what she did… Really, it wasn’t such a difficult decision for her to make.
Cheryl A. Showers