Before my husband and I had kids, we took note of a few things from watching our friends with kids. One thing we noticed (which has also held true with our 3 boys) is a child’s reaction to falling down.
A good friend of ours had a little boy that we just loved. We noticed that whenever he fell, if playing alone (and unless he bit it on the cement or took a knock into something), he usually got back up and kept right on going.
However, if an adult was nearby and made any reaction or gasped at little man’s tumble, the child’s reaction became one of fear and hurt.
The question “Buddy, are you okay?” became the initiator of tears. Although the fall was the same, he now needed help picking himself back up and loving arms to hold him.
Once my husband and I became parents ourselves, I remember telling the proud grandparents not to fuss over our little one when he fell down. If he cries when he’s down, help him up. If he’s still crying when he gets up, love him. But please don’t fuss over him and make it a bigger deal than it is.
Tough love? Maybe. But think about how we, as adults, pick ourselves back up after a fall.
A couple of years ago I was walking the two blocks to the elementary school to get the boys. It was a cold January afternoon that held the remains of the previous day’s snowfall. Most of our neighbors are good at clearing the snow and ice from their sidewalks, except one. And sure enough, it was there that I went down. Hard. The sound of my thigh hitting the cement echoed through my bones.
I’m not sure which hurt worse, my thigh or my pride. The brutal cold of the day and the ice stung. Tears stung my eyes. I pulled myself up slowly and continued my journey to the school, leg burning the whole way. I wasn’t even sure I should be walking, but I was needed. My babies would be waiting and wondering where mom was. And I couldn’t leave them even as bad as I hurt.
How many times have you walked through life wounded and hurting? While all falls require picking yourself back up, most of the falls we take are more than a physical tumble.
What about climbing the ladder of success only to be knocked back down?
What about picking yourself up after a hardship?
After failing at something you can’t afford to fail at?
What about the days when depression and anxiety have wrestled you down and pinned you against the mat?
How do you get back up when your soul feels drained like Satan is trying to choke the life out of you?
How do you move forward?
Lately, I feel like I have fallen. Hard. And it has left my heart with an immense ache and sting, trumping anything that ran through my leg on that cold winter day. The pain, the hurt, the burn is so intense I wonder how I’m going to stand tall again. And do I even deserve to?
Luckily, friends, you and I have hope. Our hope exceeds anything this world possesses, anything Satan flings our direction. You are not broken. You are beautiful. You have the power of Christ in you. You are an overcomer.
So how do we pick ourselves back up after we “fall”?
CLING TO CHRIST.
Pray. Cry out to him. Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Friends, He already knows what your troubles are. He knows when you have stumbled and fallen. Like a father who comes to the rescue of his child, ready to comfort and console him, God is there with his hand out ready to help you back to your feet.
Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”
I love that no matter what I’m going through, my God is walking right there with me. Through the good and through the bad. He loves me with unfailing love, even when it seems undeserved. His love never gives up.
ADOPT AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Whether the fall you have taken is a result of poor decisions you’ve made, or because of being tripped up by another… give thanks.
Many times my prayer sounds something like this, “Lord, I’m hurting. I don’t know what to do. But I trust you. Thank you for your love. Thank you for walking this path with me. It’s not pretty right now. But Lord, I know that joy comes in the morning. And I know that you aren’t done with me yet. May my eyes and heart be open to what you desire for me to learn, to see. And may this situation grow me closer to you, Lord.”
Sometimes walking the hard road of disappointment, of grief, of guilt, of despair leads to the most glorious overlook. So keep trudging along. And give thanks for every stone or root that you trip over. You will be victorious.
Admitting “I can’t do this alone” and asking for help is a very humbling experience. But it can also be very freeing.
Proverbs 19:20 tells us, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end, you will be wise.”
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
And The Living Bible translation of Proverbs 10:8 reads, “The wise man is glad to be instructed, but a self-sufficient fool falls flat on his face.”
Ouch. I do not want to be a self-sufficient fool. Depending on the situation, that might be why I have fallen in the first place.
When seeking counsel, it doesn’t mean finding someone who will take your side and will make you feel better. It means finding someone who will speak truth to you… even when it hurts.
The first counselor we should go through is Scripture. If scripture speaks to our situation and points us in a clear direction, you do not have to go any further since the Bible is God’s word revealed.
If the Bible isn’t specific about the issue you are facing, seeking counsel from Godly persons comes next (spouse being the first of those).
Psalm 37:30-31 says, “The godly man is a good counselor because he is just and fair and knows right from wrong.”
In other words, we need each other! We were meant to live in community!
Friends, even when a fall has damaged our pride, when it has scraped our knees raw and exposed our frailty, when it has left us wounded and tearful… our Heavenly Father is there to pick us back up. His arms are open wide for a comforting hug. He is whispering words of love and affirmation to you. It may not be easy, but you are not alone. You will heal. And you will once again stand tall.
Get more of God’s truth and encouragement on Alisha’s blog, Makeovers & Motherhood.