When I was small I didn’t learn how to ride my bike at my house.
I learned at the local regional park. We lived on a hill and riding bikes as a novice would ultimately lead to ruin. At the Big Park, the now trivial-to-me roads and bike trails that stretched through the grassy expanses were the biggest things on the horizon.
We stopped near a lake, my father and mother and my sister, and laid our bikes in the grass. Stepping stones spread across a small cove on one side of the water in front of me. They were the easy, perfect way to the other side.
The distance between the stones was small enough for me as a kid to walk between them easily. No leaping and no jumping were needed.
Yet somehow I still slipped and fell in right to my shoulders. It was dirty, murky water and I still remember the smell.
When my girls run too close to the edge of a body of water I tell this cautionary tale. You might fall. You could slip. And then the consequences-parent-better-than-I-do part of me takes over and I let them scramble and slip near the cloudy water if they want.
It’s part of being young and part of learning how to leap.
So I ask myself: is faith believing that God won’t let us fall or is it believing that when we do He’ll catch us?
He never promised us that we wouldn’t fall. And I wonder that maybe too many of us are scared of the falling so that we never even leap.
If you would have asked me this time last year if I ever thought we’d be homeowners again, I would have told you there wasn’t a way.
Not a single way. Because there was that time that we couldn’t make it across the gap and we did fall.
It was as if I could see the way, I could see the end, perhaps, but not how to get from here to there.
As if there were those same stepping stones across water, but the water between each one was way too far. Neither child nor adult legs could make the gap. As if I would have to fly between them and sprout wings on a land-bound body to make it from here to there.
But after an argument at a birthday party near a bounce house at a park, he and I fought it out in both angry and helpful words and we came to the agreement that if we could try to buy the house we should exhaust every possibility. We should try to fly and trust God to float us across the growing chasm.
But then there were all the things that fell into crazy-perfect place: the ones that I could never have puzzle-pieced together myself. The small God-things, the big God-things and everything in between. And there is small growing amazement of all the things He has put into place well beyond my understanding.
That day I fell in the lake water I remember a strong arm reaching in and lifting me out. It was after I’d already submerged, but still that hand was right there, almost as if my father was waiting to fish me out of my misstep.
I fell. Oh, how I fell. And I was scared.
We could have “leapt” for this house and not made it. We could have fallen out of escrow or not have had the money lent to us like we needed. We could have failed in so many ways. We are no strangers to failure. But somehow, the details fell into place as if they were perfectly orchestrated.
Let us never be afraid of leaping because of the falling. Falling is a part of life. Even falling into the cloudy water is a part of life sometimes. But He is there, always, ready to fish us out of the depths.Leave a Comment
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Thank you for sharing your story of God’s unfathomable way of catching us, even floating us when we make the leap. In my experience, there is beauty in the falling. In my life I have fallen many times and each time my Lord was there with His mercy, compassion and grace. There is nothing like your Father’s loving hug when you have bruised knees. It is in the way that God catches us when we fall that speaks of his undying love for us…a way I would have never felt had I not fallen. Sometimes we leap and succeed. Sometimes we leap and fail. Either way, God keeps encouraging us to keep leaping. Thanks for your post this am.
heather m says
This was wonderful Sarah! One of the verses I read in my devotion this morning was Deuteronomy 33:27- The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…..
How timely to click on here and read your sweet post this morning and get even more reinforcement on that!
I’ve been in similar hopeless house situations before and it was such a God thing how He worked it out when I didn’t think there was any way possible! My first clue that God was in it was when the realtor prayed in the living room with me! I pray y’all will continue to be blessed!!!
Melanie @ Carmel Moments says
So true. What a question to ask.
Thanks for the great perspective. Sometimes we just need to leap regardless of what might happen next.
Have a great day.
Sarah-i went to your blog and read your entry about losing your home and all the feelings…..real RAW feelings you shared. It was as if your wrote it for me and God used all this to give me hope that no matter happens to “this home” my husband and I have been trying to hold onto….a little modest home……where I have watched my babies take their first steps and grow -God can come through in amazing unexpected ways. I was sitting on the couch this morning g as I drank my coffee to wake up and I was wondering all the what its about my home and what I should be doing. Then I read your entry and it was as if God said…”you’re not alone and don’t be ashamed”. Thank you for your writing.
Friend, thank you so much for sharing this. I love the depth of this post- it hit me on every level of my life right now, a beautiful experience. It made me look at how I parent my girls, how I communicate and do life with my husband, and most importantly, how I interact with our sweet God through all of these twists and turns life takes us on. Thank you, thank you!
Jamie Rohrbaugh says
Congratulations on your new home. That’s really exciting. Beautiful analogy.
Sarah, this post hit me so deeply. We are in the midst of taking the plunge and buying a home, something I did not anticipate at all, something that quite literally feels miraculous. For the first time in my life, I feel frightened about accepting something good. It sounds so strange. There is the fear of falling and being hurt/bruised/disappointed, sometimes even betrayed. And then there is the fear of not falling. Under all conditions, I and my house will serve the Lord. That is where I am doing my best to ground myself. Many, many thanks for your sharing.
I can so relate to your story about taking a leap in buying another home. My husband and I lost our townhome in 2008 and we set our mind and heart to never buy another home again. Years passed and in 2012, we took a huge leap to buy another home. We had no idea if the bank would give us a loan because of the foreclosure on our record. It was scary, but we jumped and God blessed. 🙂 Now we feel a new invitation to launch out (leap) and we have no idea what to do but excited. Thank you for daring us to leap and not fear falling! We can trust daddy God will catch us 🙂
Thanks for sharing!! Lovely, true, analogy…and oh how the slips seem so hard to fathom in the midst of them… SO grateful for His loving arm that grabs hold of us…sometimes to steady us… Sometimes to drag us out…
Jordan Alturas says
Great post! Often life is the best teacher, falling teaches us to live and builds character along the way. Thanks for sharing, and for your transparency.
Adrienne Graves says
The part about getting from here to there…thanks for the reminder to grow in the process and not try to figure it all out before the trust comes…needed it tonight. So very happy for you guys and this new leg of your journey! xoxox
Suzie Lind says
So good. xoxo
His hand was right there to pull us out, love that image, definitely a reminder I needed today!
Mark Allman says
I do not believe that God will always catch us when we fall. I think sometimes he lets us fail in ways we hate and ways we can’t believe He would allow. I know in my life I’ve always learned more through failure than I ever have through success or even near failure. Failure teaches tough lessons that stay with you. That being said I don’t think we should let perceived consequences be a deciding factor in what we do. I think God wants us to dare greatly in this life. At times we will fail in our eyes and other times soar in victory. Each has it’s own merit in enriching our life.
Dare greatly and Relish the Journey.
Beth WIlliams says
Congratulations on your new home!
The phrase “Let us never be afraid of leaping because of the falling.”. Hit me to a T just now. My hubby and I are going through a “falling” of sorts–mostly job changes. It is scary! 🙁 We are scared to take the leap, but I know that if we take the leap of faith God will sustain us and be there to uphold us! Life is a journey to be enjoyed and with God we can HOPE for a brighter and better future!
Sarah, all I can say is WOW!! I live my life so cautiously because of all my kids. I am terrified to leap because I can’t afford to fall (in my eyes). Leaping means trusting God a little bit more. Stretching. It’s a scary thing. But thank you for challenging me because I know HE will catch me, float me or carry me and even be there to pick me up. Thanks 😉
this post touches me SO deeply…that…
even now as i pause over the keyboard, i fight back
i’ve learned to NOT fight tears…to let them come…
for my tears are true speech from my deepest heart.
i think i agree with Mark that God does not always
catch us…but He always SAVES us…
when we call out
for what ONLY He can & WILL do!
like Peter sinking, like blind Bartimeas calling for mercy,
like the multitudes wandering as sheep without shepherds…
Jesus hears our heart’s cry for mercy, for the help we need…
He always moves to our truest, deepest rescue.
i could no more see the princess of my heart sink
into the pond
than i could cease breathing…so, if…
i…a limited, very imperfect daddy…would rescue my girl,
how much more will Jesus come to fill up the deepest holes
in our hearts?
you write TRUE words, dear one!
all my love,