The first thing I did when I got the frantic call, “Come quick! Your husband got hit by a car on his bike!” was to write a facebook status update. Well, not the first thing. First I grabbed my keys and my phone, and drove the one mile in about 3 seconds flat … and then watched helplessly as the medics lifted him into the ambulance. That’s when I used my blackberry to tell everyone I knew to pray.
The good news is that Larry didn’t have any internal injuries. (Plus he hadn’t been hit by a car.) The bad news is that he had several broken bones and would be in pain for about six weeks.
I continued the facebook updates from the hospital room for the next several days, and everyone was so gracious; but I realized how quickly I went from caring for others to caring for us. My mind was entirely preoccupied with helping Larry, managing the kids, and surviving on minimal sleep myself.
When in a crisis, we should take care of self, of course. We’re not much good to anyone if we’re not well, so getting better is our number-one responsibility. During our few weeks of difficulty after Larry’s fall, we had meals delivered to us, cards sent, words of encouragement given constantly—and it was all wonderful.
But we don’t need that kind of care anymore, and I’m glad. My world became much smaller when it was all about me (or in this case, us). Once I could turn my focus towards others again, I was much happier.
I know a few broken bones is nothing compared to what some people are facing right now. If you’re in a crisis, you have all my compassion. But let the analogy work for you. If you’re in a crisis—whether it’s a medical issue, a relationship problem, an addiction, too much work to do, spiritual unrest—remind yourself that things will improve. Be intentional about making things better, and ask others to help you. Take steps toward healing. This is your happiness at stake. Fight for it!
It’ll be worth it. Because as soon as you can take care of others again, you’ll be as happy as a kid on her bike on a glorious summer day. Even happier.
Note: Some people are in perpetual crisis by no choice of their own. May the Lord bless you with an extra measure of perseverance.Leave a Comment
Having just taken on the role of caregiver to my mom, who has cancer and the beginning stages of dementia, I have recently come to grips with the fact that I can’t take care of everyone else without taking care of me, too. Humbling myself to ask for help is so outside my comfort zone, but I know the Lord has me here for a reason (AND a season : ) ).
And you DO have to be INTENTIONAL about making thinks better…to have the thought process on not letting anything disturb your peace of mind…and fighting for that joy that is promised.
Heather Gemmen Wilson says
Heathalee, sometimes it’s tougher to ask for help than to help others, isn’t it. I pray that God will be very near to you during this time.
I’ve been through a rough two years, and I feel like I had to learn this lesson the hard way, when I hit the wall, totally burned out, sick, and unable to care for the needs I was faced with. So I say, “amen! amen!” to this sister, because YES. We need to fight for joy. I *am* thankful for avenues like Facebook and Twitter- just this last weekend (with some crazy flight issues)- I was exceedingly thankful that I could update my whole family in a blink. Particularly in a medical situation, it makes it a lot easier to keep everyone updated without ever leaving your loved ones’ side. (Now remind me of that the next time I am beyond frustrated with social media again, LOL!)
My mother was just diagnosed with cancer and I did go to Facebook and Twitter and ask for prayers…also to update family and friends. While that worked great and people showed up with food and prayers for my family, it also was how a rumor started. Somebody heard something on FB and then mixed it with other news I was posting about my daughter getting married in 3 months and suddenly everyone thought my mother was dieing in 3 months. So I backed off from posting so much on FB. However, we’ve been telling my father that this is the beginning of a long journey and he needs to take care of himself so he can take care of her. It’s hard to focus on self when those around you are hurting. But it must be done. Even for me, I can’t forget that my family still needs my attention..not just my mother.
“My world became much smaller when it was all about me (or in this case, us)”
So true. Looking for places my husband and I can reach out somehow so our world does not shrink 🙂
It’s so true. I remember first noticing my inward (and probably appropriate) focus when I was pregnant for the first time. Then as crisis hit. Your world shrinks indeed. What a joy to be able to be in a place to serve others when those seasons end. And when the season is chronic…it takes a bit more effort, but looking outward brings a heavenly perspective. Gotta work on that one.
Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama says
In that small world, and small focus it’s amazing how big the Father can suddenly feel, isn’t it? Thank you for reminding us where best to find our focus, Dawn, and how to pass that love on again to others!
Oh, girl… I hear you. And as someone who is in that “perpetual” category because of homebound/illness, I have to say that the best thing for me is when I can focus on others. I have been so blessed to have others care for me, and have had to learn to let them. But even when I am needing the care, getting to focus on others in the midst of my own trials is truly the best medicine for my heart.
Somewhere I read that you can only know true joy if you’ve experienced true sorrow. When I went through it myself, I realized how true this was. It was the people around me holding me up that helped me learn this all the more. I’m not one to easily ask for help, but when I was suddenly forced to, it sure opened my eyes.
I remember that facebook message Heather; it must have been so scary, and we are so thankful with you that Larry was okay!
Love the thought of being intentional about joy and letting others share in making you accountable for that. I’ve had very few troubles in my life and thank God for that, but also have watched people come out of troubles and have a much deeper appreciation and love for God and others. Almost makes me want to have a little trouble, just to have that depth with God.
V. Higgins says
This is so amazingly true! My family is going through one of the worst times in my memory but God has reminded me that *I* choose my happiness/joy level and I don’t have to let that chaos and hurt take over my life. I’m still there for my family and do whatever God leads me to to help, but I’m fighting for peace and rest in my heart and in my home. Thank you for the timely reminder!