Playing Old Maid


A few weeks ago, my family and I were playing Old Maid, and no one wanted to get stuck with the Old Maid card except for Jeremiah, who is four. He loves the Old Maid card. In fact, when he finally got her, he said, “YESSSS!” proudly and showed it to all of us and began laughing uncontrollably…I thought he might fall off his chair onto the floor he was laughing so hard. Every time someone failed to pick Old Maid from his hand, and he was left with her, he would start laughing all over again and once again show us his trophy. His brothers tried to inform him that he shouldn’t want Old Maid…but it didn’t matter…he was thrilled to have her and be able to hang onto her.


But the point of the game is to not choose the Old Maid card, and if you do happen to get her, to try to get rid of her as quickly as possible before the game ends and you’re stuck with her.


Spiritually speaking, I’ve been playing the game of Old Maid for a long time now, and I’ve chosen the Old Maid card a lot, and for a long time I don’t think I even realized nor did I care that I could choose something different.  I kept listening to the enemy’s voice that said I didn’t have a choice… that I would never be free of her…that I would always choose her over everything else. I couldn’t seem to will myself not to choose her because I think I was like Jeremiah in that I rather liked her. She was comfortable to have in my hand…I grew rather accustomed to her.


Early on, I think I was tricked into taking the Old Maid card, just like Eve was tricked in the garden to take the fruit of the tree…but then there was a point when I took her, and I knew I was taking her. I knew she was there, and I still chose her anyway, knowing that it would cost me. It seems like I was drawn to her but “what was meant to fulfill only emptied me still…” I didn’t have anything to replace her with until I finally tasted what Jesus had to offer…Himself.


Several weeks ago, I went through another bout with the same stinking sin patterns. This time I’d finally had it. I walked up and down my driveway in the dark bawling my eyes out, not understanding why I kept coming back to this spot. I said to God, “Two and a half years ago, You gave me Romans 6:14 that says sin shall no longer have dominion over me. I thought I was free from the the penalty of sin AND the power of sin, but I’m stuck right back here again.” I was angry…angry that maybe I was going to be stuck with this struggle for the rest of my life and angry that maybe Abba couldn’t set me free, like He said.


So I wrestled that night, and I cried out.


The next day, Abba answered my cry. He rescued me from my mud puddle before I really got in there and starting making mud pies…He rescued me in such a way that His rescue made me laugh out loud. He made my sin look like the mirage it was.


But I’m sick of choosing Old Maid, and I was recently told that I will not always choose her. I was also told that I’m dead to that…dead to her. And even when she pops her old ugly head that’s masked so beautifully in all the trappings of sin, I can now see her ugliness for what it is. My struggle is intense, but even when I choose her these days, I can now discard her as quickly as I got her, if I’m willing to. I was also told that eventually she wouldn’t even be in my deck anymore…I’m really trying to believe that…Romans 6:18 says, You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.


Nichole Nordeman sings a song, and the words have given me much hope, “No chain is strong enough, no choice is wrong enough, no mountain high enough that He can’t climb…And if the Son has set us free then we must be free indeed…Let the chains fall away starting today…I’m finally free.”


But right now from where I sit, I’m realizing that the point of my life is not to try to avoid choosing Old Maid but rather to allow the One who loves me to be the object of my affection… “Here in the love of Christ I stand…”




2 Responses to “Playing Old Maid”

  1. 1 valleydweller
    August 22, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Kim, sometimes I feel like I am the old maid card. You know, the card that isn’t like all of the other cards. The card that has no face value. The card that nobody wants. The card with the torn corner. The card that’s sticking out just a little bit above the rest hoping that someone will pick it. I’m glad that when God sees this “card” He sees someone who in unique in her own way and who has a place in His game. I’m glad He is holding all the cards.

  2. August 23, 2008 at 6:24 am

    oh! me too!

    I’m glad you’re not like the other cards…the other cards are boring, and you are certainly a gift! so glad you’re in my life, valleydweller! I’m right alongside you!

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