I was having “a day” with one of the boys. The other one was at baseball tryouts at his school.
You never know when something unexpected will alter your perspective.
The call interrupted me as I spoke with a pharmacist. I didn’t recognize the number, so I ignored it. After my conversation with the pharmacist ended, I listened to the message the other caller had left.
And my stomach tightened.
“Mom, I got hit in the face with a baseball…teeth came down. Possible broken jaw.”
After my heart jolted into a too-fast rhythm at my son’s words, guilt swept over me. Why hadn’t I taken the call? Why hadn’t I been available to comfort my boy at the moment he called?
Logic told me it was okay I’d not answered because the number the call came from was unfamiliar. But there’s this horrible tugging at a mama’s heart when her baby is hurt. Even if he’s fifteen.
When something like this happens, all that’s “important” suddenly feels trivial. That ongoing argument I’d been having with the other boy suddenly felt stupid.
We aren’t guaranteed a happily ever after with those we love most.
Sometimes the U-Turns we are forced on are painful. Scary.
In the waiting room of the emergency department, my boy tried to read. And I texted friends, begging for prayer.
I couldn’t help overhearing nearby conversations in the crowded waiting area. The grandma who sat vigil waiting for news about a granddaughter who’d been in a car accident on the way home from school. People dealing with influenza. Adults with heart issues . . .
. . . All of us waiting our turn with a doctor.
All of us in a place we never expected to be that day.
Sometimes life’s U-Turns are a reality check for the heart.
It’s too easy to become wrapped up in the minutiae of our days. It’s when injury or tragedy hits that we’re shaken, that our hearts are challenged.
Our U-Turn was a relatively minor one. But what about the big shifts we sometimes face?
Here are five thoughts that can help us face the unexpected:
1. Don’t condemn ourselves for things we don’t do right. We aren’t always going to respond in the best possible way when a stressful circumstance barges into our day. We can give ourselves grace, take a step back and ask for God’s perspective.
2. Pray. God hears our words, and He hears the thoughts too deep for words. Even in the hard seasons, He is with us. Though it can be difficult, these are the times when we choose faith in what we know about Him over what we may or may not feel. Even if our praer is only, “Help!” we’re choosing to invite God into our circumstance.
3. Look around. Not so we can compare our situation to others, but again, to help us gain a broader perspective. As My boy’s cries faded, I could hear the heartbreak of those who shared the waiting room. And I could pray for them.
4. Remember that we never walk through the unexpected alone. Our Father is with us, ready to strengthen, offer wisdom, and guide us as we trust Him.
5. Look for God’s presence in the middle of it all. Even when we can’t see or feel our Father, He walks with us through every unexpected event. If we have eyes that are looking for glimpses of Him, we may find His fingerprints on our lives in surprising places.
After waiting for a few hours, Peter and I were led to an exam room. A dental specialist checked his mouth and teeth. X-rays were taken, and other tests were performed. Thankfully, his injury wasn’t severe. No broken teeth, though four had lowered. There were no holes in his mouth. No concussion from the impact of the ball.
In time, two teeth reattached and survived and two didn’t. And my brave boy chose to finish out his first (and final) baseball season. I’m learning to be a better listener when the boys need to/want to talk about something and not allowing lesser things to demand too much of my attention.
And, I’ve realized that sometimes U-turns realign our priorities and help us remember what’s most important in this life.
What about you? How do you handle the U-Turns life sometimes throws your way? What would you add to this list for handling unexpected circumstances?
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