I had a total melt down the other day in the Wendy’s drive-thru. Oh, but I didn’t just leave it there in the privacy of my own car. I took it inside, during the lunch rush, so the public could get a free side of crazy with their combo meal.
It’s worth noting right up front that my spirit was really crushed earlier this month. While I won’t dignify the deconstructive situation by recounting it here, I’ll just say that I’ve had the weight of the world on my shoulders ever since. I have pretty thick skin, yet somehow getting needlessly kicked in the teeth that day was the catalyst for bringing up a flood of emotions that even now, as I write this, still haven’t completely processed. While awareness is half of the battle, the other half is giving it back to God, gaining perspective and trusting with all I’ve got that He is in total control.
On the day of my fast food hysterics I knew that I was very tightly wound after being nitpicked for the most trivial things all morning…somehow, somewhere the steam was going to have to be released. I thought I could hold it until post-work…in the car, at the gym, at home – get out a good scream, a good sweat or a pillow punch and I’d be fine. But I needed some immediate space, so I went to Wendy’s for lunch and tried to decompress in the drive thru, alone in my car.
This particular Wendy’s is so mobbed during lunch that they have 4 people taking orders in the drive thru line. Since they’ve never correctly filled my order, I was especially clear with the girl that I did not want any sauce on my Go-wrap, no dressing on my side salad.
“Can you repeat that back to me?“
She did, perfectly. Great.
But the next guy waved at me and asked for my order…“Well – I already placed my order with that girl…“ He told me I should just place it again.
“I’ll take ONE grilled chicken go-wrap – No sauce….No, really…I don’t want any sauce.“
He correctly repeated it back.
Line worker #3 waved me on. Solid.
Line worker #4, standing right next to the cashier window (with the cashier listening) took my order for the 3rd time.
Awesome. As expected, the cashier still over charged me for a chicken sandwich. Refund.
Moving to the pick up window, the last stop on this predictable adventure, I ask the girl as she‘s putting my order in the bag….“This has no sauce on it, right?“
“Yes ma’am. No sauce.“
10 feet later, WITH A MOUTH FULL OF SAUCE, I started BAWLING. Something was sauced that I didn’t want sauced. Clearly a vile offense no one should have to suffer through?
Crying, I quickly found a parking space, grabbed the bag of unacceptable food and hurried into the at-capacity Wendy’s with no regard for my mascara situation or the general state of disarray I was in. Elbowing my way to the front of the line, I explained through caught breath that this wrap should not have sauce on it.
At no time was I mean or disrespectful – just hyper-emotional over a simple condiment.
I wasn’t even out of the restaurant before I started laughing (adding to my crazy status I‘m sure). What I wouldn’t normally even think twice about had sent me right over the edge. Even in the state I was in, I never thought the presence of sauce merited tears. I was not crying about sauce.
As I got back in my car in a much more pulled together state, I started beating myself up and pictured God rolling his eyes thinking here we go again, an upper middle class blonde girl in perfect health with no material needs: what are you upset about today? 99.9% of the rest of the world needs a literal or figurative drink of water and you want what? A nice boss? A new job? An extra couple of bones to throw in the plate? A hot Christian golfer? Here’s some perspective for you: when your belly is bloated from malnutrition and not from that giant cupcake with extra frosting you just had, maybe then we’ll have something to talk about.
But that’s not what he said to me, because He is not the God of sassiness. Instead, Zephaniah 3:17 came to mind:
The Lord your God is with you.
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet you with his love.
He will rejoice over you with singing.
And he did. There in the Wendy’s parking lot, in tears and with shredded lettuce all over the passenger seat, I met with God. I needed to be quieted and He said: “I take great delight in you. You are worth singing over. I’M WITH YOU. I understand that your circumstances are not YOUR ideal, but this is your portion for today so even though you have to go back to that office, I’m gonna be with you.”
That’s what He promised me. And I promise you that if we ever find ourselves at dinner together, I will not cry should a condiment situation arise.