FINDING YOUR FOOTING
On shaky ground…
How are you overcoming the darkness of a rocky road? Let’s journey together!
This has been a year of many things, but above all, it has been a year of fear.
And now that flu season has re-entered the scene, COVID case counts are climbing with a vengeance.
Last week, I sent dozens and dozens of students home due to contact tracing on positive cases.
Then, a fellow teacher and friend tested positive. Someone I had most definitely been within six feet of. And I developed a cough and a sore throat.
So what do you do when you’ve been hit from all sides? When your plans can’t possibly keep up with the ever-changing and increasingly-unpleasant circumstances of the day, hour, or even minute?
And it might not be just the pandemic that’s rattling you.
It could be bad news about your source of income just as the pressures of the holidays hit.
It could be a fractured relationship or a trust betrayed.
It could be rising unrest in your cities and communities.
It could be the results you’ve prayed not to get about a different medical condition, the kind you just can’t get over.
It could be any number of things that a spiking virus just doesn’t help.
Even though I don’t know all the technical ins and outs of COVID-19, or even what you’re dealing with in your life, thanks to the diligent work of neuroscientists and psychologists there is a wealth of research out there about the way fear affects us.
Just a short scroll through Google or TED Talks will give you the run-down. Anxiety, stress, and trauma are some of the biggest buzz-words of the day.
But there is some value in paying attention to the overall consensus.
If only to consider the three basic principles that are pretty much common knowledge now. The body’s (or brain’s) natural, hard-wired responses to fear. I bet you already know them.
The fight, flight, or freeze response.
The instinctive paths our nervous system is programmed to send us down.
And I think we’ve all had more than a taste or two of them: the racing heartbeat, the growing panic, the flashes of temper, and the simple inability to make the next move or even process everything being thrown at us.
It’s all very natural and very human. But it doesn’t make things any easier and more often than not, will make them worse.
Because, when things go south – where they’ve certainly hovered this year – as much as we may want to stomp in anger, scoot as far away as possible from the situation or just stay stuck in the mire of it all, the best thing we can do is really quite simple: just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
One step at a time.
Even if it means stumbling and faltering, even if it means messing up. Give yourself a generous helping of grace knowing no one else is handling this perfectly, either. And keep on going.
One step at a time.
Even if we don’t know where we’re going and none of the destinations look the least bit desirable. Just take a deep breath and keep going.
One step at a time.
Because as bad as all the possible outcomes might seem, as Christians we are called to take bigger factors into account.
Factors that weigh our own lives as a breath against an eternity that is much more permanent and much more pleasant to those who put their hope in the sacrifice of our Savior.
A faith that understands we serve a God who can take the worst possible outcome of all – the certain death we all face – and pull out a victory and an ending happier than we could ever imagine.
So when we remember this, our very real and guaranteed happy ending to whatever twists our path may veer into, I promise it will be much easier to keep marching forward to the hope beyond the horizon – and the blessings that are bound to come before then.
And with enough patience and persistence, we might even find our footing a little surer the next time disaster hits.
Or, in my case, at least lucky enough to get a negative COVID test!
Don’t make me do all the talking – I’d love to hear from you!
What waiting games have been the hardest for you this year?
Any long-awaited reward stories from your life to share?
Do you want to hear about anything else? Any prayer requests?
Just shoot me an email – don’t be shy! And I promise to reply!
BEAUTY IN TODAY
Want to share your “Beauty in Today” picture or inspirational musings? Shoot me an email and you just might be featured in my next issue!
I hope I’ve left you feeling encouraged! -Kristi Cain
Kristi Cain is a former journalist and public relations director. She has taught secondary English since 2006 and has a passion for helping students through struggles in learning and in life. She currently writes inspirational blogs at Cainspirations, a source of encouragement to readers at every stage of their personal hero’s journey. Before earning her Master’s Degree in English Education from the University of Tennessee, Cain studied English at Vanderbilt University where bestselling author Tony Earley encouraged in her calling as a creative writer.
Cain’s life experiences and faith journey have lent her the lens through which she shapes stories of unlocking the light of destiny out of darkness. These experiences include the difficult journey through her daughter’s medical crisis, which is one of the featured threads in her debut novel, The Key of Shadows. She lives in the Smoky Mountain foothills of Tennessee surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation with her husband, her teenage daughter and son, and playful family dogs.