It happened when the school year had barely left the ground. Two of my three kids, James and Faith, plodded through homework in their favorite spots around the house. My other child, Ethan the percussionist, ate an early dinner before a friend picked him up for symphony practice. As I pulled dinner together for the remaining four of us, Ethan ran upstairs to grab his hoodie and drum sticks. Faith called out that his ride had arrived, so I made my way from the kitchen to the front door.
That’s when I heard what sounded like the everlovin’ house falling down as Ethan tripped and tumbled down half the staircase.
I flew to the foot of the stairs just in time to see Ethan’s head smack hard — very hard — into a table. He lay motionless on the floor, and I stood breathless in my spot.
I dropped down, my hand gently touching the back of his head. Finding my voice, I squeaked,
“Ethan! Wake up, baby! Wake up!”
After a few seconds, he stirred, and my husband and I helped him sit down on the stairs. Because miracles are real, Ethan suffered only a mild concussion and an injured arm that required physical therapy.
Ethan seems to grow an inch a day, so it’s easy to see how his changing height tinkers with his equilibrium. Combine this with his size 12 feet and the way he descends stairs like a great dane who’s been called to dinner, and I wonder how this kind of fall hasn’t happened sooner.
Sometimes life throws curveballs that can affect us just the same. We are moving full steam ahead when something knocks us off our equilibrium. Maybe that something is an unwanted change in the form of a dream dashed or a disappointment received. Whatever it is, it causes you to twist and tumble downward, hitting and bumping every hard surface along the way. Next thing you know you’re sprawled on the ground with your head aching.
Or your heart broken.
For the longest time, a curveball didn’t have to hit me too hard to knock me flat on my back. I would lie there panicked, all kinds of worst case scenarios flashing through my mind. It would take me a long time to get to my feet and walk steady again.
While I’ve written a book about how to deal with life’s curveballs, I’ve not mastered it completely. They can still trip me up and knock me over. However, I don’t stay down as long as I used to, and there’s one key reason why: I am more intentional about spending time with Jesus. Because the only rock-solid ground to stand on is Solid Rock truth. The more I do this, the less curveballs send me over the edge.
Not long ago I re-read the passage of Joseph’s story in the Old Testament where Pharaoh chose him as his own right-hand-man. Because God gave Joseph the ability to interpret Pharoah’s dreams, Joseph knew Egypt and other countries would face seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. To ensure food would be available during the lean years, Joseph prepared the nation by saving grain during the years of plenty. So when times were tough, the people of Egypt and the surrounding lands gleaned from the storehouses and were saved from ruin.
My time with Jesus works much the same way. If I consistently keep company with Him through the Word and conversation during the good times, I build up a storehouse of faith. Then I discover I am able to feast on it during seasons of famine, too. And when curveballs tinker with my equilibrium.
Jesus doesn’t demand our presence, He simply invites us into His.
Because while time doesn’t heal all wounds, time with the Healer does.
Need additional encouragement for dealing with life’s curveballs? Kristen offers real help here.
Jenni DeWitt @ Genuflected.com says
What a beautiful way to look at quiet time with God as filling our store house. That’s exactly what it is for me! Mother Teresa said she never could have done her work without 4 hours of prayer every day. Jesus slipped off all the time to be alone with His Father. What makes us think we don’t need that?! Love this post. Thanks, Kristen!
Thank you for being here today, Jenni! Much love.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Spending time with the Healer heals all wounds…Amen! I know full well that Jesus is the Rock of Ages. I’ve spent a lot of time in sinking sand and He has drawn me out and placed my feet firmly on solid ground. The thing that keeps me there is communing with Him…reading His word of truth for me…abiding in Him. Doing that is the only thing that keeps me steady…keeps me from sinking into the mud and mire…keeps me from being leveled by curveballs. I don’t always get it right, but I know it’s a winning formula. Beautiful reminder Kristen!!
“I don’t always get it right, but I know it’s a winning formula.” Yes ma’am, Bev. Yes ma’am. Thankful for you!
Gail Noe says
Thank you Kristen. Yes, I can relate. A couple weeks ago I experienced a disappointment that I did allow to get to me for a few hours BUT my time with Jesus overcame the feelings of rejection. I was looking forward to some quality family time ( I am a grandma) at a large event in the area that took place for 2 weeks. I was free the first week for a date the family picked but I had a very exciting commitment with Jesus for the 2nd week. Yes, the family agreed on a date the 2nd week that left me out. How awesome to see what God thinks of the whole situation. He allowed me to see my reaction and then brought me to victory by His grace at work in my heart. The value of quality time with Him is beyond what my words can speak. Many curve balls, but many more victories by grace and Truth.
Thanks so much for sharing here, Gail. Your words are a gift!
Gail Noe says
Thank Kristen. I am new to the InCourage page but am finding it a tremendous blessing as it speaks volumes to me. Today is another day of one of those disappointments in a relationship, my husband. BUT I am discovering that this is also a door God is opening to walk into the new places He has for me.
Keri Lynn Siegel says
What an amazing post! I praise God and rejoice with you that your son is okay. Miracles happen daily, whether they are big or small. We just have to look for what God is doing in our daily lives and we will see them. I don’t do that as well as I should, but I do that better than I used to. I love what you said about building up a storehouse of faith in the good times so you can feast on it in the hard times. I’ve experienced that and I am learning to be consistent there. However, my two favorite things you said are: “Jesus doesn’t demand our presence, He invites us into His!” and “Time doesn’t heal all wounds, time with Jesus does!” AMEN!!! I couldn’t have said that any better. I love my times with Him. It’s become my addiction. I can’t get enough OF HIM and for that I’m extremely thankful. Be blessed.
I’m right there with you–> I don’t do it as well as I should, but I do it better than I used to. High five for progress!
Thanks so much for sharing here, Keri Lynn. Grateful for you! xo
I cannot tell you how you have brought me to tears today with your words. I have been struggling for two years with a problem and I really have been off my “equilibrium” in so many emotional ways…. no amount time has healed me, but now I know, time with the Healer will be my answer. Praying is comforting but it has not healed my emotions and sometimes I don’t know how to pray when the sadness takes over, so you have given me a new approach to my dilemma, I will relax in His presence and let Him heal my broken heart. Thank you thank you.
Praying for you now, dear Robin. May healing be real and be yours. So much love.
Beth Williams says
Praying with you today! May God bring peace and healing to your heart, mind and soul!! I pray He can calm your emotions and bring relief to your problem!!
Beth Williams says
Life has thrown many curveballs my way! I usually tend to get emotional and let my equilibrium get off kilter!!! I have learned that “this too shall pass”. The older I get, the wiser I get. Now I spend a lot of time with God–praying, reading, Bible study. This helps keep me in balance and filled up!! Now I feel ready for anything that this world can throw at me!!
I forgot about that expression, Beth, ’til just now. My mom used to say that often and it was always true. But the waiting time can be hard, can’t it? It helps to have Jesus-loving sisters like you, Beth, to love and encourage so beautifully. xoxo
Joanne Peterson says
Kristen, seven years ago, Jesus was also sweet to let me get to know Him well during the storms in a way I would not have had I not had to storms. We are getting hit over and over with almost no break, and if I hadn’t learned of God’s goodness,while in the midst of the storms before, I don’t think I would be standing now. I am starting to see lovely fruit from the ugly and destruction from those many years ago. It is indescribable. Blessings, Joanne
Joanne, stories like yours are so important as they encourage those of us still standing in the destruction. Thank you, dear one. So grateful. xoxo
Susan G says
A wonderful message. And so glad your son is ok and doing well! Praise God!
I tell ya, Susan G, my heart *still* races when I relive that whole event. So, so thankful he’s okay!
Jenn Tanaka says
What a beautiful post and reflection. My life is filled with curveballs. Some I catch, some knock me off my feet, and some I manage to hit out of the park. But in each case, I’ve tried to deal with them on my own. I’m just coming into the part of my life where I’m learning to lean on and trust in Jesus. As I start my own season of reading and reflection (your new book inlcuded!) and healing through writing (I started my own blog series!), I know that I have to set time aside to just be with my heavenly father and trust in him like I’ve never been able to trust in anyone before.
Jenn, congrats on the new blog series! How wonderful.
And yep, count me as one who has tried to get by on her own as well. But eventually, my limitations and weaknesses come into play and I just don’t have what it takes on my own. I need Jesus to be what I am not.
I pray my book is an encouragement to you, dear one. So much love to you.
Penny, because of this thoughtful, courageous comment, I already believe you’re brave. I’m so sorry for all the loss you’ve endured. I’m so sorry you’ve felt its burden for such a long time. I’m praying right now you feel the Lord close, and I’m praying you know–really know–that He is for you and loves you wildly.
Just like we do in this community.
I’m so honored to have your presence here today, dear Penny. So much love to you.
I got your book n the mail today, and after reading this post of yours, I can see this year may be the most time I’ve spent with Jesus. Alone or otherwise. It’s been a year that seems to keep me in the dark. Unsure and afraid of more loss. I lost my grandma last december and I don’t know why, but it is has been a very difficult change, not having her prescence in my life anymore. It’s just..I don’t know how else to explain. Change has always been a struggle forme, so I’m thankful you wrote a book on it this year. <3
Anne Watson says
Love this. I’ve had a few curveballs lately that have left me flattened. Love the description and, more importantly, the hope through staying in the word. It’s so true. Thanks for sharing.
Devi Duerrmeier says
I so needed this encouragement today to stay in God’s word, sometimes busy times (as it is or me right now) make me think I need to find time wherever I can get it.. but I should know better than to take time from the one place that is actually giving my life relief and strength.. Thanks, Kristen.
Michele Morin says
Kristen, I just finished reading and reviewing your book, and it was fun to read yet another episode of “Jesus in the midst of the curve-ball life.” The more people we love in this world the more vulnerable we will be to those unexpected events!