This past week I had the distinct honor to spend the holiday with my family at my uncle’s home in Tennessee. There was a large contingent of our family there including my Grandmother. We had a great time and as we normally do made plenty of memories. One however, will stick with me, for better and/or worse, above the others.
The final day that we were there I was enjoying the outside just relaxing on the back porch with a few members of the family. My Grandmother decided to walk down to the lake-side (50 feet away) to look at birds and other wildlife. The rest of the family was in the kitchen working on breakfast and just hanging out. After she had gotten her fill of nature viewing, my Grandmother made her walk back up to the house. As she approached the porch, her foot got caught on an uneven part of the ground and she fell face first onto stepping stones/grass. There was already a heightened sense of awareness when she decided to walk around, so as soon as she fell, everyone was watching and came running to her aid. We had people helping her to her feet, brushing her off, making sure the dogs didn’t bother her, and re-assuring her the entire time that she was ok. Did it scare me to see this happen in front of me? Of course it did, she’s my Grandmother and I love her more than most any human on this planet. But in hindsight, God showed me the beauty behind the whole thing, through a few points.
1. Make it a Point to Surround Yourself with People Who Love You.
– Family vacation was a perfect time for this to happen, because every single person in that house (and there were a lot of them) came running to her aid when she fell. Similarly, God doesn’t want us to go through life on our own. Thats the purpose of the church and the people He puts in our life. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) These people will not only help you up, but encourage you and re-assure you that you are ok after a fall.
2. Get Back Up When You Fall
– She could have very easily stayed down on the ground and not allowed us to help her up, or tried to get back up on her own. We WILL FALL. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) But its how you respond when you fall and how quickly you get back up. I have seen over time, and watching that scene just a few days ago, that the more people you have supporting you, the quicker you will get back on your feet.
3. Don’t Be Ashamed of Falling
– When she got back up, my Grandmother said something that made me realize she was really ok. She said, “Guess I got all the excitement out of the way early this morning” and then she started laughing about it. She knew that she was ok, and while some would consider it embarrassing, she was comfortable with who she was and realized that falling is a part of life, especially at her age. Understand where you are in your life, and don’t be ashamed to ask for help or talk about a struggle you may be having with people close to you.
4. Be Thankful for Peace and Strong Bones
– After she got back up, her and my mother talked about how God had given their family strong bones! The ability to fall and get back up without breaking anything is impressive. But after running across this verse today I have a different understanding…”A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30) I am confident that as a result of having a family to support her, and not being ashamed of who she is, that my grandmother truly does have a ‘heart at peace.’ This gives her life and the ability to get back up when she falls.
I encourage you to search for that “Heart at Peace” so that when you fall, you wont just not hurt yourself, you will have the ability and friends to help you to get back on your feet without being ashamed.