Since 1976, forty-five years of daily walking with Christ has gone quickly, and the primary lesson I've gleaned is surrender and trust. King David knew that confidence too when he chose "five smooth stones" to slay his enemy, Goliath, and my five words of courage have become JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU. Here is why.
The Big Lie
In 9th grade, I was caught cheating on my Latin exam. I lied when the teacher nabbed me, but she knew better. And Mrs. Fillinger told all of her subsequent Latin students that she had caught MARTHA WILD cheating. They [particularly Billy H.] told everyone else, including my other teachers. From that very embarrassing experience in 9th grade, I vowed to be truthful in all situations, even often to my own detriment.
And I was truthful in all I could be until we crossed through the Canadian border this past August with marijuana.
The Big Truth
After my complete spinal fusion due to scoliosis in 2018, medical marijuana really helped with the pain. It was effortless to get it since we live between Washington and Colorado, both of which have legalized it. What I'd never bothered to investigate was whether I could legally bring it to Canada. Stupidly, I just assumed that it wouldn't matter because it was legal in Canada and WA, and no border guard we can remember had ever asked before. Well, this August, one did ask, and my dear husband, to his credit, said, "Yes, my wife has a few vape pens." The border guard said to me, "How many do you have?" "Three," I lied. But I really had four, and we were asked to pull over and turn in my stash. I relinquished four.
The young border patrol officer did his best to shame me for my reckless behavior as a 73-year-old senior citizen, and he was totally correct in doing so. After his fervent admonition, he said, "Well, you told the truth, which was good, but do you have any more marijuana that you aren't telling us about?" Visualizing that this might be the answer to a silent prayer I'd mumbled the day before when I said, "God, if you want to get me off of this stuff, you are going to have to do it because I can't," I said, "Yes some MJ candy and another vape cartridge packed in the car." The guards quickly retrieved them too, then they asked me my final question, "Is there anything else Mrs. King we need to know which you aren't telling us?"
Michael and I had been sitting there for about an hour by that time, and he had expressed concern to me that the border patrol might mistake his two boxes of baby Helleborus Lenten roses for marijuana plants. These seedlings, which he had been nursing for months, were located in two plastic-covered shoe boxes. So I confessed those too! Why not! The officer aghast said, "What plants?" and the car was torn apart again with my husband on the hook this time. After another hour of research on whether the tiny vegetation was even allowed to cross the border, they released us with me signing a document declaring what I'd relinquished and the baby plants in tow.
The next day I called the local Canadian parish priest and made my confession before mass. That for me was the hardest part, for I knew I'd let down my Heavenly Father by lying. I felt the sadness in my heart, and I longed to make it right. And confession and the Eucharist did, but now I faced marijuana withdrawal--a full week of coldness, chills, nausea, and loss of appetite--but I knew my life needed change, even if this was our vacation. I had asked God in that little silent prayer to make me the best version of myself according to His plan, not mine, and He had begun.
What I've Learned
Truthfully, I'm glad this experience happened because now I have new, non-addictive freedom in Christ that I could not get to myself. By removing temptations from my path, God showed me His Wisdom, not mine, and He reaffirmed my five smooth stones; Jesus, I trust in You, the five words that defeated my giant.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
Martha Wild King, M.Ed., Author
The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.