The first thing I did when I got the frantic call, “Come quick! Your husband got hit by a car on his bike!” was to write a facebook status update. Well, not the first thing. First I grabbed my keys and my phone, and drove the one mile in about 3 seconds flat … and then watched helplessly as the medics lifted him into the ambulance. That’s when I used my blackberry to tell everyone I knew to pray.
The good news is that Larry didn’t have any internal injuries. (Plus he hadn’t been hit by a car.) The bad news is that he had several broken bones and would be in pain for about six weeks.
I continued the facebook updates from the hospital room for the next several days, and everyone was so gracious; but I realized how quickly I went from caring for others to caring for us. My mind was entirely preoccupied with helping Larry, managing the kids, and surviving on minimal sleep myself.
When in a crisis, we should take care of self, of course. We’re not much good to anyone if we’re not well, so getting better is our number-one responsibility. During our few weeks of difficulty after Larry’s fall, we had meals delivered to us, cards sent, words of encouragement given constantly—and it was all wonderful.
But we don’t need that kind of care anymore, and I’m glad. My world became much smaller when it was all about me (or in this case, us). Once I could turn my focus towards others again, I was much happier.
I know a few broken bones is nothing compared to what some people are facing right now. If you’re in a crisis, you have all my compassion. But let the analogy work for you. If you’re in a crisis—whether it’s a medical issue, a relationship problem, an addiction, too much work to do, spiritual unrest—remind yourself that things will improve. Be intentional about making things better, and ask others to help you. Take steps toward healing. This is your happiness at stake. Fight for it!
It’ll be worth it. Because as soon as you can take care of others again, you’ll be as happy as a kid on her bike on a glorious summer day. Even happier.
Note: Some people are in perpetual crisis by no choice of their own. May the Lord bless you with an extra measure of perseverance.