When Life Lands You In a Ditch

Unforseen, rare things happen to me. They just do. Can you relate?

When my family went tubing this week, I was preparing to go down the hill and I asked the employee who was helping us if anybody ever goes over the berm while tubing. "Oh no...not to worry...that never happens..."

Famous last words. This is why it's very hard for me to trust people. Anybody. Anyone but God.

I was tubing down a lane all the way to the right. My husband was at the top of the hill when he witnessed my tube flip over the berm, to the right and head down a hill...one that wasn't an actual tubing hill. I wasn't supposed to be there. I instantly realized it and my heart was struck with fear.

Ever been in a scary place that you never planned to go to, and yet there you were?

I went careening, first in my tube, then without it, as I headed at warp speed towards a lake at the bottom. A lake that was not entirely frozen. I saw it coming and if you think my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest, you're right. Thankfully, I was caught by a ditch before I could reach the lake. It was muddy and wet and about a foot deep. But at least it caught me before I got to the lake.

I proceeded to get out of the ditch on my hands and knees, carefully crawling to retrieve my tube. The hill was a sheet of ice. With my arm through the strap of the tube, I painstakingly began the crawl to the top of the slippery hill, trying desperately not to slide back down, all the while praying quietly out loud.

Larry called to me, "Stay there! I'm coming to get you!"

Do you think I stayed there?  Heck no. No, a thousand times no. I know my husband. There was no way he was going to come down to where I was and crawl with me. I knew he was going to tell me to stand and walk the rest of the way up the slick hill and there was no way this girl was going to do that. No way in the freakin' world.

I kept crawling inch by inch while Larry still insisted on trying to come get me. He walked slowly, sideways, down the hill. Fortunately by the time we met up there were only about 20 more feet to navigate to safety. Sure enough the first thing he said was, "grab my hand and stand up!" Ugh.....if you think I was dreading standing up, you are so right.

Still I was glad he came for me, of course. (smile)

Some things to reflect on:

Sometimes we end up in places we don't plan on

I'm a planner to the 'nth degree but sometimes well, a lot of times things happen that I don't plan on. I know this happens to you too. The fact is, we all end up in scenarios we don't plan on or ask for. It's tempting to curse that all the day long, but it does no good to focus on that. It does help to give attention to how it might be avoided in the future, or help others as a result of our experience.

We have to be brave and keep going

 When life lands us in a ditch, it does no good to just sit there and cry about it. We have to take steps to get out of the ditch, even if it's scary. Honestly, I would have been "safe" sitting there in the ditch. I could have sat there for long, long time and put off the scary journey back up the hill .  But truth be told it was icky in the ditch. I needed to come out and start crawling as painful as it was with two knees that were now bruised from the tumble. Sometimes the pain when we're first crawling out of life's ditches is terrible. But...

Healing comes as we put ourselves in position

Things got better as I put myself in position to heal. The first thing I did was get back up and start tubing down the hills again. Because one tumble down the hill and into the ditch wasn't going to stop me from loving the rest of the night.  Out of wisdom I did not choose the lane to the far right again. I can hear all my democrat friends cheering now.  I enjoyed the rest of the night. And then soothed my aching body in the jacuzzi once we got back.

My friends, life will sometimes land you in a ditch. Don't miss the totality of what's out there for you because you've taken a tumble. Move forward even if you have to crawl. Get out there again, put yourself in position for healing and let life know, it is not the boss of you.