Tripped-up and Turned Around

Tripped-up and Turned Around

Tripping on the two top wooden steps and safely delivering me onto the kitchen floor last week injuring my leg, not only dealt a huge surprise, throwing a complicated damper on the rest of my week but involving my daughter, Kay’s schedule as well.

I quickly got to my feet and before I even checked the condition of my leg, I cleaned up the dishes in the sink and completed a vegetable dish I was taking to the family dinner. Kay was picking me up in 15 minutes. When I finally took a look, I was astonished to see a red and purple bruise and knew immediately that I was facing something serious and a radical change in schedule. Like I shared in last week’s blog, “Defeat is anything that stops my going.”  I grabbed an ice pack knowing I’d have to also elevate my leg. An adult granddaughter photographed my leg and pulled up the portal on my phone and encouraged me to relay to my doctor what had happened and how I was treating the wound.

Ironically, I had already begun next week’s blog writing a follow up to Defeat vs A Blast considering other words and definitions for defeat.  I had gotten this far:

More research on the word defeat has been enlightening in providing more levels of intensity not previously considered which describe what the majority of people experience in life. Other colorful descriptive definitions for defeat in several old and newer dictionaries are:

To render null and void, to deprive, a failure of expectation, blighted hope, vain expectation, dumfound, disgruntled, blunder, neglect, blunder, slip, mishap, scrape, slip, breakdown, decline, decay, deterioration, botch, fruitless, renounce, disavow, vanquish, an undoing, to bring to nothing, to destroy. A present state of mind concerning facing struggles which they caused, inherited or just received out of nowhere.

Everyone has their favorite rendering of the unique definition of defeat which accurately describes their experience. A reader wrote: “I regard an obstacle as an opportunity” which is a positive stance. My guess is that when Extroverts, fail or fall, they jump up and try again. P

Since my misstep, I’ve chosen the slip description---way simpler than defeat and expanded the subject to focus on the Tripped-up and Turned Around angle which is all about attitude.

Years ago, when I was counseling a twelve-year-old boy regarding his critical adjustments to his parents’ divorce, and dealing with a stepdad, he said, “To succeed, one must fail sometimes.” “What did you say?” I stopped short. I hadn’t asked a question. Did I hear him right?

I asked him to repeat what sounded like a profound statement for a twelve-year-old who was experiencing uncertainties in his young life.  Changing schools, leaving friends, adjusting to new teachers, being alone more, and deciding which parent he preferred to spend the majority of time with.

He was deciding weighty matters that were way beyond his age. “Where did you get that statement?” I asked. “I just thought it up”, he said.  I’ve used it over and over. We are wise when we refuse to fall apart when something we’re doing fails or falls apart.

Responses to Defeat arrived:

Good morning, Ruth! I've reached points of defeat, but after letting myself 'have it out’, then praying, then rationalizing, I may still be exhausted and frustrated as heck, but I turn again to the duties necessary to carry out with more determination following through to completion - however long it all takes. It's life, love, responsibility, and carrying out God's message to Love One Another. J.

Then, in a brief time, a follow-up email arrived saying that he’d just encountered a huge set-back involving major changes in his life: Immediately after sharing my dilemma with you, asking you to say a prayer, then reading your blog & asking The LORD to change my mood... HE DID, HE ALWAYS DOES. In re-reading and following your blog and others' plight in dilemmas and their feelings of defeat, something occurred to me. Although this latest development is a tremendous setback and I have no idea how bad the final pinch is going to hurt, I won’t get defeated.

Once I regain control of myself, assess the situation and get my composure back, I often think of what you said Jim used to always say...." well how bout that”.  You have no idea how powerful that attitude of "your Jim" uttering those simple words are to me--they help a lot!

I responded to him: God will guide you in making the best decision. Waiting is very difficult but absolutely necessary.  The right people will emerge and the perfect job for you. Praying that you will have insight and wisdom as you tackle this new challenge. The Lord has solutions for you. I'll also pray that scripture will encourage you.  Paul didn't like his ailment, but God assured him of His presence, strengthening and grace.

A retired military officer shared: “When a defeat-type change happened to me when I was young, what I was given to do actually became what I really loved to do.”

I’ve heard many stories about being Tripped-up and Turned Around with outcomes which could never have been planned or dreamed up.  Many have mentioned that timing plays a big part in responding positively to a calamity.

As I chatted with a friend Just today about defeat, she added how important timing was for their family. She had cared for her father for several years and her brother in another state suggested their dad stay with them for a while, to give her a break.  Shortly after their dad arrived, he needed three surgeries. Fortunately, her brother and his wife both in the medical field were perfectly equipped to take care of their dad’s needs. “Timing is everything”, she said with a deep sigh.

Our part is not to fall apart when financial, medical, deaths, physical or relationship problems fall into our lap altering what we thought we were going to do, but to take the calm, calculated, common sense steps toward sound decisions, and be alert to opportunities and open to learning something new.

Like the woman with an issue of blood coming face to face with Jesus in a crowd after he said, “Who touched me?” stopping the parade. The embarrassed and nervous woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet and in the presence of all the people, told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Jesus said “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in Peace.” Jesus validated her, freeing her to once again participate in worship and socialization.  Her life was brand new.  Luke 8:43.

So, the next time things in your life go awry, turning around, don’t question ‘why’, just intentionally expect and look for positive outcomes.

God lets us fight our own battles while he watches and helps us and often sends others to assist, guide and encourage. His eye is always on us.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’  Isa. 41:13 (NIV).