Earlier this year, I found myself wrapping up a really challenging day at work. You know those days where you question everything, feel inadequate, and leave just absolutely drained? Yeah, one of those days. I’m talking snotty, ugly-crying, M E S S .
I knew I didn’t quite have time to decompress well because I was expected at another event soon. I figured, “I can push through. I’ll process and figure it out when I get home. Just keep going.”
Easy enough, right? ….apparently not.
I made it home, did a quick change, picked up my friend and headed down the highway.
Fifteen minutes later... the truck in front of me hits a large animal, and sends it careening through the air to meet with the front end of my car at 70mph.
I sat there on the side of the road thinking, “What in the world is happening today?”
Bad day at work. Flying animal. Broken car.
Later, when I spoke with the insurance company, the rep on the phone said “Ms. King, I know this story isn’t funny at all but I just feel like I should tell you how we’ve categorized your accident.”
“We have your claim filed under, Falling Missiles.”
Yep, you read that right.
And I laughed because that’s exactly how the day felt. Falling Missiles everywhere. In fact, the last couple of years have been pummeled with falling missiles.
Heartache, abuse, a fractured justice system, illness, death, grief…big missiles.
I don’t believe that God causes the trouble and hurt we experience in life. But I do know that we live in a fallen world where sin and imperfection are rampant. And if that’s the case...falling missiles are bound to happen.
So then, how do we deal with the Falling Missiles that come crashing into our lives?
Remember That God is Holy and Constant.
This one sounds easy, but I struggle with it most when I’m overwhelmed. When it feels like I’ve taken one too many hits and I’m just about ready to tap out. It’s in that very moment though that I need to press in and remind myself of the truth of who God is and what he says about me. He didn’t change while I took the long way around. He didn’t abandon me when I questioned His goodness. He knew all of my thoughts + fears + doubts before I had them, and yet He chases after me anyway. He is holy, His words are true, and He is big enough to handle my brokenness.
Find Your People.
Surround yourself with a community that lifts you up, encourages you, and is willing to stand beside you during the messy stuff too. Look around...those people waiting in the wings with shovels + paint + answers + hope are the ones you want to fall into step with. Let them help you with the rebuild.
Be Honest About Where You Are, and Do The Hard Work.
Nothing said here is meant to diminish the weary + struggling seasons we encounter, and it would be wrong to try and deny the truth about where we are. Find a safe space to be transparent and call it what it is. I learned along time ago that it was okay to just say “I’m not okay”. Authenticity has so much more value than perfection. Working with a counselor, learning ways to process trauma, and writing over those lies we believe about ourselves are all steps towards finding healing. Doing the hard work is a vital piece to the process.
Be Intentional with Gratitude, and Purposeful in Looking for the Good.
It’s easy to get caught up + overwhelmed by the heartache or burdens in our lives - so much so that we miss all of the moments where God is moving and working in the people and situations around us. I’ve even gone so far as starting a list of all the things I’m grateful for amidst the hard days...so that soon I’ll have this physical representation that despite what’s happening in front of me - there is still good and seasons are temporary. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to ditch the tunnel vision and be purposeful in calling out what’s true when I feel like everything else is falling apart.
But for me, if I can flip the script…
If I can take a step back and apply redemption + grace + mercy to the story that’s unfolding...
If I can begin to look past the short sightedness of the present, and set my sights on the threshold of eternity - my perspective begins to shift.
My steps forward get a little bit stronger, and weariness loses ground to lasting hope.
Purpose gets revealed and God gets glory in dark places.
Because in the great, big, grand scheme of things...isn’t eternity the whole point after all?