four years ago this month I fell (pretty seriously) but- I bounced.
My hope is that you will see parallels in this post to events that happen in your own life and it will help you- it may not apply to everyone and I hope things do not happen to you -but- there is randomness in the universe and you are a living person with a free will and there is risk involved in living.
–‘things that don’t kill you, -hurt like hell’ (I just made that up)
let’s consider the bounce in 3 stages. A, 2 and III.
A. the fall / drop / leap
‘the fall’ is when its just you- something goes wrong with you. you slipped, you trip, you fumble, you find yourself in mid air- (and are suddenly surprised)
‘the drop’ is when things around you happen- you hear bad news, things change unexpectedly, things you never thought would happen start happening, everything around you goes into motion and you find yourself in mid air-
‘the leap’ is when you decide to try something- you make up your mind and do it, you prepare for it, you consider the consequences but decide you can beat the odds, you might even be part of a team or even leading the team and…. off you go, – and you find yourself in mid air- (although it might be exhilarating)
2. the impact / crash / fail to land
this is the bad part- it is not pretty- and in slow motion it is horrifying.
depending on what you hit can make a huge difference too- sometimes you might even leave a dent- you might break whatever you land on- you might go right through the first few layers of stuff before you finally collide with something solid-
many times this impact effects you too- you become mis-shapen, your structure is affected or broken or cracked and a lot of things change forever – the reality of the falling part is over and the changes really set in- you are hitting the bottom, and its hard and unforgiving- it is un-moved by the past, before you were in mid-air.
sometimes as you are hitting the bottom- some things that fell with you start landing on top of you and around you and it feels like there will be no turn-around at all- everything is broken and wrecked and may not ever be fixable-
III. the turn around / re-direction / rebound
But- at some small point in this- you realize- ‘you did not die’
now you will have to do something- you will have to go on-
this whole idea of ‘bounce’ does not feel at all like it sounds. It sounds so quick and painless and even possible (especially if you are just trying to encourage someone) -but when its you- and you have all this broken stuff and your whole side is flat from the impact and all the things you had counted on are busted beyond repair or completely missing and the reality of trying to go on is heavy and slow and even if you have a lot of help- it can be very hard- its hard because things are now different- and different is tough because we have all this previous stuff to compare it to-
People often comment that time seems to slow down during a fall and things happen in slow motion- I know that I did not realize I had fallen until I was zooming through the air and I thought… “that’s odd…- oh wait a minute-! I’m falling! -that means I’m gonna…”
time at this point stretched itself outup- into minute by minute segments and continued for a few months like this- there was no ‘bounce’ apparent at this point. It’s probably more like you have to crawl out of whatever crater you made on impact and you are just trying to get back to the surface-I started to keep a journal when I got out of the hospital- many many days it just says what time I got up and maybe how I felt (in like 2 or 3 words) but eventually I had entries about dressing myself and then an entry about how I would eventually stop making entries- and not to worry because I was getting better.
Rabbi Kushner (when bad things happen to good people) says that it is kind of a trap to fall into trying to figure out ‘why’ things have happened and we may never know until we see God- the thing is, – you are alive- (broken, battered, bruised, confused, missing parts and perhaps even alone-) but you’re alive-
so, ask yourself in an old-time radio announcer voice… ‘is this the end of….. (insert your name here)?
then say “stay tuned for tomorrows exciting episode….” because you really have no idea whats next. You just can’t imagine or picture what recovery looks like. It’s hard to explain, but it does happen- you just don’t quite know what the new you will be like -but- you will be much more gracious and loving and you will have such a better perspective on whats really important-
and you will probably overdo it in physical therapy and hurt yourself-(you will figure that out) But then ……
you are slowly on the way back- in fact once you are out of all your medical equipment- you look normal- (but you are not) you really still have a ways to go- and it can be scary- but this is part of bouncing- you end up back in the air!
this can feel like falling all over again- and you kind of are- hopefully you only bounce a few times- (yes, fall-impact-bounce-fall-impact-bounce- repeat etc.) this could be you just trying to get off the stupid medicine you have to take-
it stops after a couple of years (honestly)
During all of this Jesus is watching you and probably wondering why we don’t turn more stuff over into His hands- we are so busy trying to hold on-
Just because something happened to you- it does not mean that Jesus cannot be trusted- in fact you will see more of Jesus after something happens to you because you will realize so much more about life- and you will see that He was always there-
‘you’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held’- Casting Crowns – Just Be Held (check out this very helpful song)
Bottom Line: I am truly better off than I have ever been. I am more blessed than I have ever been- and I love my family and friends more than ever. So- I guess it is fair to say that I have bounced… and the truth is that I did not do it alone- of course there is Jesus- but also I would like to thank all my very supportive friends an family who cared for me and prayed for me- I am a result of all your care. Thank you all, very much.
*a word about spouses: it is harder for a spouse to go through whatever has happened- they care about you and are not always able to help and9 then have to go to the doctor with you and hear all the news and the list of things that you are not supposed to do and then go home with you and watch you break every rule and disobey all the doctors orders and then- listen to you complain that you are not getting better! – have mercy on your spouse.