Falling Uphill


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Isaiah 41:10, Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I have never been particularly clumsy—it is just that I can be walking along in a flowing, easy way, then suddenly experience an adverse reaction to gravity, ha!  At such a time, usually about once I year, I just take a tumble because I didn’t see something that appeared under my feet in time to avoid it!

What has been disconcerting is the fact that, since my chemotherapy for breast cancer eight years ago, I have a tendency to do that falling thing slightly more often, maybe three times a year now.  I have checked and found that, although doctors don’t want to correlate a lack of sensation on the bottom of my right foot with chemotherapy, there are quite a few women who have had exactly that same phenomenon after chemo.  It is not a big deal, just scary when something unexpected happens, usually because I didn’t pick my foot up high enough and caught it on something uneven on the floor or walkway.

My husband and I were out walking around our local lake on Thanksgiving weekend when I did exactly that while stepping over a crack in the asphalt.  I tripped, tried to grab my husband, missed, and ended up faceplanting and breaking my nose.  The discoloration spread for two days until I not only had a red nose, but two blackened eyes and various red splotches on my cheeks.  Quite memorable in a not-so-good way, although it taught me once again that my husband is my hero when he helped me stop the bleeding with his socks, then slowly walked me every step of the way home. (I fell at the halfway point, 1.5 miles from home.) 

And I took a very slight tumble on the sidewalk of Cracker Barrel the other day as I was so excited that I followed my best friend into the parking lot that I did not look down in time to see  the curb while exiting my vehicle.  We were coming from two ends of the state, and I could not believe it when I arrived at the stoplight right behind her.  Thankfully, when I dropped my iPad to the ground, the case protected it.  And I was away from the Cracker Barrel windows, so hopefully no one saw.  Vanity, thy name is woman.

All this to say that God has indeed promised to uphold me with the right hand of His righteousness.  Life is messy, and we are flawed creatures, with bodies that break or respond to things like chemotherapy in weird ways.  But God is faithful and will superintend His plan in our lives all life long.

We can and do face setbacks like my broken nose.  But we can trace the path of His grace even in those moments.  He will always be with us, just as He was with me and ensured my husband was there on that walk when I fell.   

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