In a world that’s changing moment by moment, sadness and fear looming above us and around us, there is this sense of feeling upended, shifted, and knocked over. It’s a feeling that hurts and digs deep. The feeling that life has knocked you down and the fall has taken your breath away.
Other times it’s the smallest brush of wind that pushes you down. A word or thought that makes you stop in your tracks. Then, the questions fill your mind.
Why am I falling again?
What caused this to happen?
Why can’t I be strong enough not to let this push me over?
When will I stand regardless of the push?
When will this horrible season of falling end?
When life knocks you down, you feel the fall and with it comes the faint sense of failure that you’ve fallen once again, guilt that things big and small can knock you off your feet.
For me, the past few years have been full of falling. From an MS diagnosis, deaths in the family, moving overseas, language learning struggles, culture shock, loss, goodbyes… I’ve felt bubbles burst one after another as the realities of missionary life became clear. I watched my girls go off to boarding school. Multiple travels for family and health issues. Ministry challenges. Relationship challenges. A world pandemic of epic proportions. Lots of falling… Those were the big things.
There have also been hundreds of small things. The fall of unmet expectations, words spoken against us, and misunderstandings. The fall of change and transition, of letting go, of fear and anxiety. The fall of decisions with no good answers.
So much falling.
Then, just when I feel like I’m gaining strength, something causes this sense of falling once more.
Anxiety over something that was said.
Wrestling with God over a decision or a change.
Uncertainty about an upcoming event. Uncertainty about the cancellation of events.
Fear about what is happening around the world, how it is effecting me, our family, our loved ones, our neighbors and pastors.
Falling to the ground, losing my footing and in the fall, wondering why I’m there again.
In a sweet time with Jesus, I was asking Him to search my heart. I quietly prayed through the falling, the fear, the unknown, the feelings of weakness. Shouldn’t I be stronger than this?
This picture of me knocked down again by circumstances big and small filled my mind and brought tears to my eyes. I started reminding God how tired I am. How sick I feel sometimes. How the tension and anxiety and frustrations can get the best of me. How the world just seems so sad right now. How falling just seems inevitable.
Softly and sweetly, God said, “But you know where you fall.”
I literally stopped.
God said it again, “You know where you fall. You know where to fall. You always land in the same place. On me.”
“Wait. Falling is bad though. Falling is what weak people do. Falling means I’m not trusting enough or learning enough or growing enough, right? It might mean I’m holding onto things I should let go of or give to you.”
Falling always seems to be bad. Falling into sin or falling into temptation or falling into despair. Falling because we are too weak, too tired, or too young. Falling because we’re unprepared or unqualified.
As I thought through those things, God brought to mind moments when falling is good.
What about falling to our knees in prayer? What about falling into His arms? What about falling into a soft, comfy couch after a long day? What about falling into a pile of leaves? What about falling snow or rain?
What if falling can be good?
I remembered the group activity of trust falling. Learning to let go, trust and fall. Trusting where I land to be the firm rock, the firm foundation of a God who loves me desperately. Falling shows my trust in Him and that kind of falling isn’t weak.
Maybe, it’s actually the best thing we can do when life is blowing crazy around us.
I don’t have to stand strong in the wind, to try and hold my place.
I can fall and I can know where I land.
“The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:14
I can wait until God handles the situation and let Him lift me back up.
Falling doesn’t have to be bad. Laying down with our faces laid before Him can be the best place to be.
God spoke truth into my worry. He saw my falling and He reminded me that’s it’s okay to fall, and fall again. He’ll help me back up in His time.
In this life of trust falls, I can close my eyes, fold my hands, lean back and let go.
I know where I land.
Have you ever felt like life knocks you down again and again? Do you know where you fall?
Have you ever considered that falling might be okay?
In this season of pandemic and falling, how are you taking the opportunities for rest and trust?