I should have been at the beach this past week on a long-awaited girls’ trip with my sister and her best friend. A sort of healing and celebratory trip for Susan who not only lost her husband, but beat breast cancer. I too was needing a respite from life’s health challenges. I did a lot of the research and planning for our fun trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. But a short fall down some concrete steps changed all my plans.
I hadn’t been to the beach in a number of years with my own unusual and reoccurring health challenges: surgeries, accidents, fractured bones, struggles with gastroparesis (GP), hospitalizations, procedures, back and hip problems, and Covid. I finally breathed a huge sigh of relief sure this seemingly unrelenting season of suffering was lifting. But I should have held my breath.
While on vacation recently with our growing family and 6 little grandchildren under the age of 7, we had been having a delightful vacation, boating, tubing, swimming, playing, crafting, cooking, and more. As the heat index often reached 110-115 degrees, we kept the fans, along with the misters going to cool the porch outside. Two small inflatable pools were set up. Lots of splashing of water was involved. As I led the little girls outside to play a game, I wore a new pair of beach sandals for the first time. And as I stepped on that first step I slipped and bounced down the concrete steps in dismay and shock as I burst into tears.
My grown girls rushed to help me up, check for broken bones, and quickly prepared ice packs for all my bruised areas! My pride was a wounded along with my hip, backside, and arm. I mean, what good is a large cushy backside when you don’t even really land on that part?! And I realized concrete becomes quite slippery when wet. Plus, it really does not yield or bend when someone falls and bounces on the steps. To top it all off: what good are a cute pair of seemingly safe beach sandals when they become like ice skates mixed with water?
But I got back up, very, very slowly, while my oldest daughter threw the offensive shoes to the side. While she commented: “Mom these things seem to happen to you a lot lately!”
Um, I’ve noticed that too; thank you for that profound insight! Blame it on my guardian angel or something. I’ve been meaning to take that up with the Maker lately. I think I wore out my angel some time ago.
I’ve been needing to laugh. It sure beats crying after a while. Scripture says, “Laughter is like a medicine.” I decided I’ve needed a rather large dose of that medicine lately.
And after all these physical trials and accidents, I’m starting to wonder if my current guardian angel is MIA or should retire? Should I ask the Creator for a replacement angel or a few more angels added to my detail? You know like “body guards.” Some of my friends have wanted to wrap me in bubble wrap: permanently. And I bet these new angels come equipped with all sorts of gadgets and protective gear.
I imagine the dialogue now:
God: “You’ve been summoned guardian angel.”
Angel: “Gulp! Reporting for duty, Sir!”
God: “So, how did you miss this accident this time?”
Angel: “Honest, I was right there. Okay, I admit that I got a little distracted by that beautiful plant You created and there was a hummingbird… I just don’t know how she fell again! Does this mean I’m being demoted? Am I losing my angel wings here?”
God: “She does seem to have quite a few accidents or injuries of late. She’s asked for reinforcements, so I’m adding more angels to her detail. You are still on the job, but you’ve really got to pay attention to this one.”
Angel: “Yes, Sir! I will do better Sir! Extra help is appreciated. Reeaallyyyyy appreciated! Thank You, Sir!”
Tears are good. Tears are helpful. But humor is effective too! Having humor has helped me get back up! Well not quite literally yet, but figuratively speaking as I’ve had both an in-office and outpatient procedures to help the inflamed and painful bulging discs and back injury to heal. Bed rest, meds, and icing the injuries goes with the protocol. Plus, the meds make me woozy anyway. And I have more appointments to come. Woo-hoo! I can’t wait! And to add insult to injury, I banged my teeth together so hard, I injured a few of those as well. Antibiotics, steroids, and treatment are helping my teeth too. Plus, I guess it’s forcing me to be quiet besides resting and being still. I’m feeling like that’s a rather tall order.
I’ve fallen but I CAN get up in time!
What if I had called 911? Not really, but here’s the scenario in my mind:
Operator: “911. What’s your emergency?”
Me: “I’ve fallen but I can get back up.”
Operator: “Excuse me? Could you repeat yourself?”
Me: “I’ve fallen and I can get up.”
Operator: “Are you hurt? Should I send help?”
Me: “No, well yes. But I will be okay. I just thought I’d let you know I can get back up.”
Operator: “Ma’am, please only call if there’s a true emergency.” Click.
Humor helps you get back up and face life.
I also considered sneaking over to the nearest church. Some churches offer communion every single service. Sometimes they have several lines going at once to serve the host to the body of believers. I mean, if one host is good, maybe I need a whole lot more help from the body of Jesus: like the whole tray.
I imagine the scene now:
Priest: “Bless you, my child.”
Me: “Thank you, Father.”
Deacon: “Bless you.”
Me: “Bless this host.”
Priest: “Bless you… Wait you look familiar.”
Me: “Really? I don’t think I know you.”
Deacon: “Hold up, weren’t you just in line?”
Me: “Have you checked your eyesight lately?”
Priest: “Okay my child, this is going a little too far! Haven’t I seen you twice already? In fact, I’ve noticed you in the other line as well. A couple times. We may need to discuss this further after services.”
Me: “Well Father, I’m getting a little desperate here. I figure I might even need the whole host plate for help. I’ve not had a good year. A few good years in fact. And I’m a little behind in communion. Oh! And I was thinking a little extra help from Jesus would give me some Divine protection! And make up for a little lost time too.”
Priest: “That’s not the way communion works. We will discuss this later my child!” (Frown. Then eye roll for emphasis.)
Me: “Oh, okay got it! Can I still have another host just in case?”
Humor helps me get back up in the face of trials and adversity and deal with life with joy and even laughter once again!
I’ve thought about seeing if there’s a return policy on certain body parts with the Manufacturer! Again, like what good is a big booty when it fails to do its job? But I suppose it could have been worse. Maybe I did have some measure of cushion protection after all. I didn’t refracture my sacrum or break anything new. I just traumatized my back so bad that now I have 6 wonderful bulging discs and pinched nerves. Delightful! Okay, okay, forget the return idea. The policy probably expired some time ago.
I’ve fallen but I CAN and I am getting back up! In more ways than one.
What about you? Trials are hard. Tears bring relief. But humor helps too. Try to find joy and laughter in the midst of trials and life’s difficulties. And get back up! Don’t be defeated by pain, despair, hardship, unbelief, and more. Don’t let the enemy of your soul hold you down and captive: rise up! You can do it. And there’s always that emergency number you can call: it’s called prayer! And God will never hang up on you! He cares; and God really does give His angels charge concerning you and me, even when it may not seem like it.
I know you’re struggling. I know you’ve been disappointed. I know the latest round of trials have shaken your faith once again. But the enemy wants to keep you in despair, to keep you down. But I’m proud of how you’ve taken this time to rest in Me and to even find joy and laughter. I promise to cause all things to work together for your good. For I’m a Good Father. I am working on your behalf and I do indeed dispatch angels to assist you; even at times when it does not seem so. Keep rising up and don’t let the schemes of the wicked one defeat you. You are my Beloved child and I can redeem all things. All. Keep trusting Me to work on your behalf.
“A joyful heart (laughter) is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
“For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways.” (Psalms 91:11)