Today’s Sunday School lesson included a discussion about times when we have seen God’s healing power.
As I listened to the powerful testimonials of my classmates, I wondered if the two examples that popped into my mind were enough to be shared. The problems I have faced seem so minor compared to what others are going through. But as my friends pointed out, it mattered to God and is worth sharing.
That Time God Healed Me with Peppermints
My kid’s dad did not treat me well when I was pregnant. As my due date drew near, he became more and more stressed about the realization that soon he would have to settle down and be a responsible adult. And when our daughter was two weeks old, he broke up with me.
When asked why, he told a few lies, and then he gave me a handful of peppermints. … Peppermints that I knew he collected while out with his secret new girlfriend. A woman that he met while at a friend’s house celebrating the birth of our daughter.
For over ten years, I could not look at a peppermint without remembering the feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration that I experienced in the weeks that followed. Sadness that the man I loved could leave at what was supposed to be such a happy time. Anger over HOW he left. And frustration at myself for letting his actions have so much control over my emotions.
I tried to avoid peppermints for a while. But do you know how hard it is to avoid peppermints? It seems like they are everywhere! At the grocery store, at restaurants, at the gas station, and even at home!
As our daughter grew older, it felt like a cruel joke that she loved peppermints so much. They were a must at Christmas and her go-to candy whenever she had a cough or a sore throat. She even made herself a peppermint costume for Halloween!
10 Years to Heal
For ten years, I tried to avoid peppermints. Then one lazy winter day, I went to Sonic. And as I dug a festive red and green peppermint candy from the bottom of my bag, I looked down at my hand and realized: I do not hate peppermints anymore. I smiled inside as I was able to enjoy a sweet minty candy for the first time in years.
I was healed. I did not hate peppermints anymore.
Another 10 Years to Appreciate
For 10 years, I secretly felt pain and resentment every time somebody offered me a peppermint.
Then came 10 years where I smiled a little inside at the realization that peppermints no longer have that control over me.
Now I smile on the outside too.
Last December, our pastor gave me a peppermint. A small gesture on his end. Just one of the leftovers after he told the kids how candy canes can remind us of Jesus. I accepted it with a smile, knowing that he had no idea the struggle I would have felt had he offered me a candy cane eleven years ago.
I realized something as I drove away from the church that night. You never know what a small act of kindness, such as handing someone a candy cane, may trigger in someone’s life.
It once felt like a cruel joke that peppermints were everywhere. But over time, God has turned what was painful into an empowering reminder that He is there through every heartbreak and every struggle. He cares. And with him by my side, it just might not be as bad as it seems.
That peppermint candy cane sat on my desk for seven months, serving as a daily reminder of God’s gifts of resilience and healing.
Update: In case anybody wonders, I did not let that peppermint candy cane go to waste. I finally ate it to calm a cough.