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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

They Sanded the Roads in July!

We have a lot to talk about that has happened in the past year.

We have lived through a pandemic, through mass toilet paper crushes, and now we can say we lived through a rogue heat wave!

I might live in the far north, but we hit 38-40 degrees in the past week and man that is warm, as I am sure most of you are aware because it probably touched you as well. That is unheard of temperatures for here, record breaking.

We saw something that I have never seen before. The highway into Dawson Creek began to get thick black lines where the car and truck tires drive on the pavement. When they first started it looked like someone had done a long burnout on the highway, but as the lines went on for miles you could not figure out what the black exactly was.

Then I noticed that the black was getting blacker and slippery and then I remembered. When I was a little girl in North Vancouver on hot summer days the tar on the cracks of the road would start to bubble. The bubbling resembled the bubbles that come up on pancakes and eventually pop. We would sit on the road and pop the tar bubbles that had surfaced with sticks.

The black on the roads was tar coming up through the rocks and surfacing and it was slippery. I learned this when a truck went to pass me, and I watched in my mirror as he slid on the road behind me.

When we were coming back from Dawson Creek last Monday, we saw an actual “sanding crew” out sanding the highway to help alleviate the slipperiness. We worried that the tar would stick to our vehicles and make a mess.

Tar is so sticky and gooey. It gets stuck on your shoes if it is soft, also on your tires, and on your cars.

As I reflected on the things that stick to tar, it reminded me of the things that “stick” to us.

The simplest example is the names we were teased with at school or when we were kids. I imagine most of us can instantly think of those names still today – those names “stuck” to us.

What about the hurtful things that other people did to us? The effects can “stick” to us. Someone you trusted betrayed your confidence, you felt the sting of betrayal and perhaps that “stuck” with you and you find it hard to trust others.

We all have things that stick to us or at least try to. We are able to usually brush these “stickies” off of ourselves but there are times where these “stickies” imbed themselves into our skin and lodge there.

I have a hard time when people define themselves by their illness. Ie: ‘I am a diabetic.’ No, you are a human being that suffers from the effects of diabetes, but your name is not “diabetes”. Nor is it “cancer”, “heart disease” or even “mental illness”. We are not our illnesses; we are people who suffer from some of the effects of illness. The reason this bugs me, for lack of a better phrase, is because how will we describe ourselves when we get cured, healed, or even leveled on medicine? I had cancer cells in my body, but I’ll be darned if I let that word define me, I don’t even want to be labelled a cancer survivor. I want to be known as a person who kicked its ugly butt with the help of God! A warrior.

There is a difference in how we define ourselves with our words. Do you want to be a survivor or a warrior? A victim or a conqueror?

I have met many people who were told they were “stupid”, “dumb”, “worthless” as children and those labels kill our spirits as well as imbed into our souls. We must work hard to try to unstick those kinds of labels.

If someone commented on your weight or your size in a negative way, we often have a hard time “unsticking” those comments off of us and not trying to live up to or prove that we are not that “image”.

Life is full of unwanted “stickies” sometimes we need help from trusted friends, or even counsellors, perhaps a "team" like the highway sanding crew, to shed those unwanted items. I know that for me, it took understanding how my heavenly Father sees me to get rid of some of the stubborn “stickies”.

As people we tend to value what others say or think of us. Some of us may not really give a darn what others think, at least they say they do not. Reality says it is hard to unstick some of those “stickies” off us, much like trying to get tar off your car (I heard Coke, like coca-cola works).

I had some horrible names define me when I was a kid, I was heavyset and had buck teeth – quite the combination and quite the target for names. It took a long time before I could erase those taunting names that rolled around in my head for many years. Even as a teen and young adult I often saw the heavyset girl in the mirror and I was not heavy, it was hard to shake that image.

Even after I became a Christian it took a while for me to see that my heavenly Father sees me differently. He sees you differently as well. Heck, He created you and you are exactly like He wanted, and He absolutely loves every square inch of you (or I guess ‘centimeter’ now…).

Now I get Him to define me, He tells me who I am and what my purpose is. He continually tells me and shows me that He loves me and when I get an unwanted “sticky” I run it by Him to see if there is any truth to it and let Him do the unsticking, so I no longer have to.

I have to have reminders around me to be able to maintain this attitude since it is easy to fall back into old patterns. Like if my jeans seem to tight today, I could start to think about the heavyset girl from years ago. I just changed my lock phone picture this week, here is what I put on it:

“I am a born again, kingdom minded, devil stomping, sword wielding (and I do have a sword), Spirit filled, eternity bound, blood covered woman of the Most High God!” (I Love it!!!) This is who God says we are, do you believe it?

God is in the truth business. He says it Himself in the Bible.

“God is not a man, that He should lie;” Numbers 23:19

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Titus 1:2

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie...” Hebrews 6:18a

I have a choice to make. I can continue to live my life by my words and thoughts, by others words and thoughts letting these false truths stick to me and weigh me down or I can live by God’s words and thoughts. Since it is impossible for God to lie, I think I will wager on the side of the truth and go with Him. How about you?

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