I finally figured it out. It’s so simple, yet the simplicity of it confused me for far too long. I fought along, flailed along, dangling by a thread for most of my life, all because I refused to be caught.
You see, yesterday it hit me all at once, like a ton of bricks. I’ve been questioning everything, my life, my purpose, but mostly lately, I have been struggling with my struggles.
Why is life so dang hard sometimes? God, why aren’t you helping me right now? Lately, more often than not, these are my words to God. Help me. Help me. Help me. Me. Me. Me.
I’ve been hanging from a limb, for far too long, hanging on with all of my might, afraid to let go. I’m pretty strong, so I’ve been hanging out here for quite a while.
Then yesterday happened. Finally.
I quite literally fell.
Let me tell you a little story, about how falling was what I needed more than anything, and you can decide for yourself if maybe you need to fall too.
I have this little journal, one I use strictly for church. In it, I write the date of service, and some brief thoughts, prayers, questions, or even problems that I am experiencing at the moment. Then I listen for words in the church service that may correspond to how I am feeling, or I write down scripture references to look at later on during the week. More often than not, I feel that God speaks to me in a special way when I am in His house, with fellow believers. This particular practice that I’ve incorporated into my life is extremely valuable and comforting to me.
Yesterday, my little ritual was no different, but the outcome totally was. I went to service, my mind a little distracted by my frantic bipolar thoughts, and super cluttered with certain problems I am experiencing right now. I wasn’t relaxed, more preoccupied than anything, and so as I pulled into a parking spot at church, a few minutes early, I took my little journal from my purse and wrote the date, and scribbled out a few words.
Sunday, February 3, 2019
Help. Stress. Rescue. Catch me.
These were the words I wrote prior to service. And service was great, fun actually! We watched clips about the Kansas City Chiefs, and we were encouraged to wear Chiefs’ shirts to service, as most of us here in Kansas City believe our team should have been playing in the super bowl. We are awfully proud of our boys, and we just love our Patrick Mahomes.
And so, church was lighthearted and fun, we talked about disapointments, and how good things can even come from defeat. I wrote down some key verses to reflect upon later, and though I had a great time at church, I was still struggling with problems of my own, things I was trying to fix all by myself, things I just can’t fix all by myself.
Church was over, and it was time to leave. I was in a hurry, as usual (another issue I am working on), and I was ready to go. Go go go, I got up to leave, and briskly began walking down the steps. I usually sit on an upper level, towards the back, so there are a lot of steps and a lot of people to pass when I am leaving. As I am descending, I try to politely squeeze by people who do not walk quite as quickly as I do. As I am walking down, I pause to let a young lady out of an aisle below me. I didn’t really want to pause, because I was hurrying, but it would be rude not to. And so I did. I waited long enough to let her out, then continued my descent to the main floor, and the exit, trailing directly above and behind her now. I almost didn’t pause to let her out, because I was hurrying, but about three seconds later, I was really glad that I did.
I fell. My clumsy, in a hurry, always rushing self, stumbled. I tried to keep from falling, and I’m sure I looked ridiculous as I awkwardly flailed my arms, windmilling to keep from pitching forward.
It was useless. All my flailing and thrashing and making an embarrassing spectacle of myself was pointless. I was going to fall. I tipped forward, my balance lost, my feet not cooperating with me, and I stepped on the back of that young lady’s foot, hard. At the same time, I caught myself on her shoulders, with all of my weight, and though she was quite dainty, she was not frail. She didn’t fall forward. There she stood, sturdy, immovable, like a stone statue.
All of this, my embarrassing display of uncoordinated thrashing, took only a few seconds. As I toppled forward, my hands catching myself on the back of her petite shoulders, pulling some of her long blonde hair, my face was right next to her ear.
Embarrassed, as the choir in the background continued to serenade us with a pretty song, I whispered, “Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, I almost fell on top of you!”
I straightened myself up, regained my balance, and let go of the young woman’s shoulders. Still embarrassed, I watched her turn around, and smile up at me.
I caught my breath. Her smile was pure. It was genuine, it was beautiful. With a twinkle in her eyes, she grinned up at me and spoke, in a delicate, soft voice.
“I’ll catch you,” she said. And she meant it.
All I could do was grin back at her, this adorable, petite, blonde who was surprisingly stronger than she physically appeared.
I grinned the whole way home from church. I smiled, and I thought, and I smiled some more.
You see, I figured it out. Finally. Sometimes we just have to fall. When we’re in a hurry to get things done, to fix everything, we have to stop holding on so tight, and just fall. Let go. Let someone else catch us. We have to trust that if we let go, we will be caught.
That’s really what life is about! We have to allow ourselves to be caught when we stumble, or we need to be prepared to catch others if they are the ones falling. Yesterday, God spoke to me through a pretty, little blonde girl. He said, “I’ll catch you.” And He will. Always. Sometimes He does the catching Himself, or he sends somebody else to do it, but either way, we have to trust that He will be there when we are stumbling, and even if we fall.
We have to let go of that branch we’re hanging on to. That branch called pride. That branch called fear. We can’t always do everything all by ourselves, sometimes we just need to let go. We need to fall. We need to be caught.
I still have problems, and that’s okay. I’m learning to ask for help when I need to, I’m learning to fall, and I’m learning to be caught.
My prayer today is that if you are stumbling, that God sends somebody to catch you. I pray that if you witness somebody else stumbling, that you will be there to do the catching.
Catch me, and I will catch you.
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Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;