If the Shoe Fits


Life often has repeating themes.  One of mine is silver heels.

In May of 2000, I bought my first pair of silver heels.  Against my better judgment, I allowed my college roommate to take me shopping for the perfect graduation outfit.  My roommate looked like Barbie: long blonde hair, perfect body, dressed like a feature in Elle Magazine.  After hours at the mall, she convinced me to purchase a pink sweater, silver skirt, and matching silver heels.  Four-inch heels to be exact. 

Four-inch heels I not only had to accept a diploma in, but also had to stand as “student speaker” in.   The day before graduation I confessed to my roommate I couldn’t walk in those heels.  It wasn’t cold feet, just clumsy ones.  She took me to a park where we practiced for two hours.

I proudly stood and spoke at my college graduation . . . in bare feet.

Just months later, in September of 2000, I found myself needing five pairs of silver shoes for the five bridesmaids chosen to stand with me at the altar.  I learned the hard way that one should never google the term “silver shoes.”  I was not directed to Zappos, or Amazon.  My search sent me toggling through pages of silver heels starting in size 10 . . . men’s 10.  I decided to buy the (cheap) silver ballet slippers I found at the local Payless Shoe Source.

My bridesmaids danced the Wedding Night away . . . in bare feet.

Fast forward almost ten years later to  another wedding day.  Now, it was  my  (almost) eight-year-old daughter who needed the silver heels. 

This time I sent my browser straight to Zappos.  My daughter squealed with delight when I pulled up the picture of 2.5 inch silver platform heels in size 2 . . . child’s 2.  The day they came in the mail, she slid them on like her own prince charming and danced through the house with ease.  Every day she peeked in the closet to make sure they were still there.   And she finally got to wear them this past  Monday at her long-awaited flower girl début.

She walked down the aisle . . .in silver heels.

Tuesday she pranced pool side in a red string bikini and silver heels.  Wednesday she grocery shopped in skinny jeans, a Juicy tank-top, and silver heels.  Thursday, she frequented  Starbucks in a jean skirt, Roxy t-shirt, and silver heels.  Friday she spent the day at home, in her pajamas, and silver heels.

Life often has repeating themes: silver shoes that don’t seem to fit, until one day they do.

Life, though always moving forward, has a way of repeating itself.

Without fail, I  face the same struggles, the same tribulations, the same frustrations again and again.  Every time I get a little better at walking through them: I complain a little less, dramatize a little less, worry a little less.  A little less, for a little while.  Then it’s usually right back to the complaints and drama and worrying.  Like sliding into a pair of heels,  practicing the walk . . . only to take them off and go barefoot.

Some days life feels like a relentless hamster wheel, and who can run a hamster wheel in four-inch heels?

My daughter could.

To my daughter owning heels is a privilege.  They mean being a part of something special.  She keeps wearing them, because they make everything special.

I get frustrated when I make the same mistakes over and over and have to face the consequences.  I shake my fist at heaven every time another car breaks down, or dental bill comes and wonder why God doesn’t just give me a break for once.  I make myself sick with concern when I see the people I love face the same injustice for the third and fourth and fifth time.  I try to face these situations with joy and faith, but grow weary quickly.  Like settling for the cheap ballet slippers instead of patiently scrolling for the right size.

God says facing consequences is a privilege, that to go through trials is to be a part of something special.  When God allows life to repeat, He is letting me know that He is not done with me.  He, instead, is giving me another opportunity to learn, to grow, and to be better.

If I, like my daughter, can somehow learn to embrace life I just might learn that every day (no matter how repetitious) is special.  I might just see that the worst things in life are just waiting for the right fit.