"I don't want to go to jury duty. I don't want to go to jury duty." I whined and stressed to Mike all week. I just had this feeling that this time I'd actually get picked, and I had too many other things going on. What if I get picked and it strings on for days? I'll miss my kids' Valentine party. I'll have to reschedule my parent conferences on Tuesday for the only night the school is open for an evening. What if it interrupts my trip to Atlanta? Do you know how stressful it is to plan for all the 'what if's'?
"Would you stop stressing over it and just embrace it? God knows everything you've got going on, and He'll take care of it. Besides, you've never gotten picked before, so what makes you think you'll get picked this time?" I'm glad Mike is much more even-keel than me.
So, off I went, riding the DART train into downtown Dallas in the early morning hours. I took a book with me, hoping to read a bit before being dismissed to go home, but I just had this feeling I'd get picked.
Sure enough, I got picked. And the rest of my horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day followed. I'm sure it could have been worse. Much worse. It could have strung into the next day or week, and all my what if's could have come to fruition. We may have been the last court to finish that day at six thirty in the evening, but at least we didn't have to go back on Friday. Now I can chalk it up as a learning experience, one I hope to not repeat again anytime soon.
I learned a lot, though. I learned more about an actual court process and how a jury works. I got an inside view of how accountable a police officer is for his every action and word, especially since he is on camera. I gained a whole new level of respect for police officers and the integrity of their job.
I learned how important it is to answer honestly about any prior or personal experiences you may have had with a particular situation before serving on a jury. I learned firsthand how not disclosing such information can truly affect a case, and it made me angry to watch that happen. Angry with a system that's supposed to work.
I learned that I have quite an ugly side that can come out when I feel trapped in an ugly situation. Yes, me, the one who's normally quiet in public. Also the one who is determined to finish a job efficiently and effectively and won't stand for incompetence to stand in the way of getting that job done. Ugh. I still can't believe the ugly monster that came out of me in a room of strangers.
I also learned that as independent as I try to be, I am a big baby and terrified in certain situations without my husband. Like being in downtown Dallas by myself at night, lost and confused with no sense of direction but too scared to let anybody know. After an hour of holding in my fear and trying my best to figure out how to get home, and finally within a few blocks of the train that would take me home, I called Mike in an absolute panic because I couldn't find the street to get on the train. Once panic sets in, it takes a bit to calm me back down so I can function rationally.
Thanks to Mike for calming me down on the phone and a nice lady at McDonald's who directed me in the right way, I finally found my train and made it home by 8:00 at night. My house couldn't have looked sweeter to me. I was so, so, so glad to be in the comfort and security of my own home.
So, yes, I got picked. And yes, I had a bad day. But I didn't have to go back, and I didn't have to worry about any of my other what if's. I'm thankful it's over and done with, and I'm so thankful I didn't have to miss my kids' Valentine party the next day. Four and five year olds make the best valentines. I came home loaded with chocolates, stuffed animals, coffee mugs, balloons, flowers and cards. My assistant gave me a sweet gift, and then my new friend (Juan David's friend's mom) gave me a card and more chocolates at the soccer game later that evening.
I went to bed feeling very loved and cherished, and thankful to be so loved and cherished.
I'm still battling quite a cough and am nursing a sore throat, but hopefully I can manage to stay out of the doctor's office and the ER this weekend.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.