It was about a year ago. I remember walking down the stairs from my office with my new boss toward her boss’ office. I thought the meeting was weird. We never met down there. Then, half-way down the stairs, I realized what was happening. My heart started to beat faster. I started to feel a little sweaty. How would I respond? What would they say? How would this all shake out? Was this actually happening?
Life can change in seconds.
The words came out of her mouth right away and at that moment, my life was changed.
Restructuring. Position eliminated. No need to come in.
After six years, my life was taking a very unexpected turn. What was I going to do tomorrow? What if I couldn’t find another job? What about day care? Was my husband going to be upset? Would I be labled a failure by those still there?
Several weeks ago, as we were eating dinner, our dog was in the yard stalking a squirrel. He took off running when suddenly his cry was deafening. Something was wrong. His leg was twisted funny, he wasn’t walking and he had to be carried into the house.
My initial reaction was that it was broken or he had reinjured his ACL. Neither were procedures we had budgeted for, especially on an 8-year-old dog. I told my husband to make the most economic choice when going to the emergency vet.
As I prepped to help him get the dog to the car, I thought about the fact that we were just eating dinner, a family of five with two dogs…but in a matter of hours, we could be down a dog and dealing with the heartbreak.
Luckily for us, our dog has recovered, but that moment is forever etched in my brain.
Those moments when life veers slightly off-course are enough to take our breath away. And it doesn’t have to be so extreme as losing a job or putting down a pet. Maybe you child spikes a fever at school or you blow a tire on your way to visit your mother-in-law. Maybe you screw something up at work or you say something you immediately regret.
What does that moment feel like for you? Is it the sudden rush of panic I felt? Is it nauseating? Do you feel like going to sleep, a feeling so intense that you feel like your body might crumple up right there? The should’ve/could’ves play in my head. I think about what my husband will say, what my parents will think and how even the smallest road bump will impact the three little girls in our house.
I’ve always wondered what that feels like for other people, especially when the emotions are not entirely evident. I’m sharing my story because I want to know yours. And how do you handle it?
I have to admit, when one of my kids says they have a tummy ache, my life changes course and I feel as though this situation will never end. I will be strapped to the house with a clean barf bucket and a can of Lysol and, oh my, how I hate it. I think “why this? why now? why me? Is there some Ambien I can take to sleep of this change of direction?”
My only advice? God sees it coming. He knows those detours are looming on the horizon and will jump up when you least expect it. He knows it will startle you. He knows you will struggle to make sense of it. We have to trust that he will get you through it—we live by faith, not by sight. He’s there, the shock absorber to your pot hole, the friendly voice on the GPS leading you around the construction on a major thoroughfare. He is there.