Empty Nest, Abundant Life

Nag Less, Pray More

The Day My World Hit the Cement

This past Monday started out like any regular day, but I don’t think I’ll forget it for the rest of my life.  I woke up and began preparing for a full day when I received a text from my mother-in-law that she would be in town.   We only see her 6 or 7 times a year, so we wanted to make her visit a priority.  My husband had already made arrangements to take the day off work because we had more than the usual activities going on that day.  My daughter’s fiance’s parents were coming to town for lunch, to look at the wedding venue, and to scout out a place for the rehearsal dinner, and we were joining them.  In addition, my husband had a doctor appointment, a lawn care person coming to the house to help us rescue our lawn, and a late afternoon training run for his upcoming marathon.   I had my usual Monday schedule of walking 3.75 miles with the moms from my Mornings for Moms group at 8:30am and meeting with two friends for Bible Study at 10:30am.

It was a beautiful day for a walk through Bidwell Park’s lush foliage.  We had never seen so many butterflies in one morning.  My three friends and I were engaged in conversation about the joys and trials of family life. I tried to stay in the moment, but I was a bit on edge with our late start to our walk and the full afternoon awaiting me.  As we rounded the last corner before heading to our cars, I stumbled over a piece of bark, causing my ankle to give way and hurling me  toward the sidewalk face first.  I didn’t have time to react before hitting the ground with a sickening thud.   I pushed myself up to a sitting position and noticed the scrape on my sunglasses, the concerned looks on my friends’ faces, and the  blood dripping onto the cement from my mouth and chin.  I ran my tongue along my upper jaw and felt two teeth dangling precariously.  The pain throbbed throughout my body.

My friends sprung into motion as Carol called her dentist to see if we could rush me in, Tiffany gave me her baby wipes and prayed for me, and Lori bandaged my largest wounds.  Within minutes, I was in Carol’s Suburban heading to the dentist, stunned by how my day had derailed.   The next hour was spent in a dentist’s chair as the dentist and his assistant fought to save my teeth and stitched up a gaping hole inside my mouth.   My mind raced with thoughts of the effect this would have on my week and life.

I did not join my daughter’s future in-laws on the afternoon outing, but I did visit with my mother-in-law and her best friend.  I expressed my hope to be teaching again by Wednesday morning and have everything back to normal.  I awoke Tuesday with a groan as my body shouted in protest from head to toe.   My reflection frightened me with abrasions littering my face.   I knew it would be a long week.

Two days later, muscle relaxants are my friends.  I have not yet resumed my normal activities and am not sure when I will able to again.  Sleep is uncomfortable.   I have only left the house to go to Prompt Care and the chiropractor.  I still don’t look like myself.   Eating is difficult at best.

We never know what will occur in our lives from day to day.   We can’t emotionally budget for the unexpected, but we have to accept it as it comes.  When hard times come, we have to look for the lessons in them and how much worse it could be.

How was your life changed by unexpected circumstances this week?




  1. No unexpected circumstances for me this week, but I know that life can do a 180 on us in a split second. I think it’s God’s sometimes painful way of reminding us that we are not in control of our circumstances. We plan and are so sure that’s how the day is going to be, then BAM plans destroyed. We wonder why, and HATE the pain that we are at times afflicted with. As Christians we can only trust that He allows only what is best for us. Even if what we have (as in your case) is being freaked out when we look in the mirror and see a pitiful mashed up face and have muscles that scream when we move. Praying for you my friend ! They say there is always something to be thankful for. You can be thankful it didn’t happen right before the wedding. 🙂

    • I love your perspective, Marilyn! God is so good about reminding us to rely on Him, yet we are often too stubborn to do so. He has so many lessons He wants to teach us at any age. I think the fall has caused me to slow down and look for lessons and for ways to be thankful even when circumstances might not be going my way.

  2. Praying that you will be able to sleep well tonight. And that the Comforter will bring you peace as you heal and rest.

  3. I feel like my heart hit the pavement this week. My mother passed into the arms of Jesus on Jan 19th 2017. I’m familiar with greif, I have had many loved one’s leave this world. This week it hit me like a ton of bricks that we are selling her home, our family home. The home where all my memories live. The home where I last saw my father alive in 1974. Where I brought my daughter home as a new born.
    I went to work and I could not stay there, I miss my mother, I have been staying busy to avoid the pain. God slowed me down this week. I am grateful!

    • Hugs to you, Paula! I think that sometimes God slows us down so we can acknowledge our pain and allow Him to gently suture our wounds and restore us. The mother-daughter relationship is such a special one that the grief once they’re gone leaves an emotional hole at the deepest level. I lost my Mom nearly 13 years ago and found myself wishing she were by my side after my fall. Focus on the gratefulness!

  4. Julie, I do understand how things can change in an instant and change your plans. 7 years ago, 10 days before my daughter’s wedding my feet slipped out from under me while getting of the floor at the roller rink. Falling backward landing on my left hand first caused a broken wrist. That moment changed how I was to prepare for the wedding as we were making all the food and doing all the decorating. It was very hard at first as I like to do it all myself and be in charge and not ask for help. I had to let others step in and do most of the work and thankfully I was blessed with many who were willing to do that. It taught me that I’m not the only one who can do it perfectly…lol. I was so thankful that they stepped up and volunteered. The wedding was beautiful. I was thankful also that it wasn’t my ankle that broke as I was able to wear my great high heels and dance the night away in celebration…Lol!
    Julie I’m so sorry this happened to you and am praying for quick healing and less pain for you.
    With love, Tina

    • Oh, Tina, I can so relate. It has been very humbling to ask for help and admit that I can’t do it. In fact, I can hardly do anything at this point! My daughter is getting in 3 months, and I am determined to enjoy the wedding! Miss seeing you! Can you believe that it’s been 2 years since Big??

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