That feeling of gut-dropping panic – and then its abeyance

I’ve always heard to “wait on the Lord.”  That those who do will run but not faint.  They will rise up on wings like eagles.  I never understood any of it.  But then I heard this story about how mother eagles teach their young to fly.  Eagles nest way up there in the mountains, on cliffs and crags.  You can’t just throw the babies over the edge and hope they learn on the way down.  Except, that is exactly what mother eagles do.

Then, something amazing happens.

No, the babies don’t magically fly on the first try.  Because, like everything in life, you can only learn by doing.  What does happen is even more cool:  the mothers catch them.  On their backs.  They fly up under their young and catch them.  Then they fly them back to the nest until the next series of flying lessons.  (I’m not crying – YOU’RE crying!)

In this scenario, we are the baby eagles.  Falling and terrified.  Because how is this possibly going to end well?  I’m dying.  Right now.  I’m falling and dying and no one cares.  My own mother pushed me out of the nest to fall to my death.

And then: a swoop and a save.  A gentle catch.  And I’m rising again, impossibly alive.

That’s what happened to me today.  I’m not going to lie.  I’ve been pretty suicidal these last few days.  I felt the ground rushing up to meet me.  Financial stress, loneliness, the divorce, living in a rental with lots of mold, not much mental bandwidth to focus on a larger purpose, not knowing what to do with my life or where to live or even if it’s all worth the effort.

Things have happened today to make me think that all these problems are conquerable.  As I was on my knees thanking God for His Providence, I realized that this is exactly what we are waiting on when we wait on the Lord:  his awesome Providence.  His swoop and catch.

It has been so tempting the last few days to rage and demand.  To try to force things to work.  My car is in the shop.  I’m low on groceries.  Low on funds (less than a dollar in the account yesterday evening with the electric bill due today).  The trash needs to be taken to the collection point.

I told my friend Quinn, “I need to take my trash out, but I don’t have my car!”  He said, “So just wait until you get your car back.”  As a person of action, I found this answer annoying.  I mean, I could call and impose on my neighbors, couldn’t I?  Shouldn’t I?  But I decided to wait.

And now today, I got an offer not only from the Honda dealer of  a loaner car, but also an offer from my mom of a ride to take me to the Honda dealer (which is over an hour away from me, two and half from her) to pick up said loaner car.

It’s not just that.  Plans for the future are taking shape and coalescing out of the swirling darkness of nothing that I thought was my future.  Ways of making them happen financially are kind of becoming clear, too.

I feel like God let me fall an exceptionally long way this time.  But I also feel like I had the most practice at learning to fly.  I mean, I can’t fly.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not over.  I may be on God’s back right now, hanging out, enjoying the ride, gaining a little altitude.  But I know I’ll be dropped – over and over and over.  And it’s going to suck each time.  The ground will rush up to meet me, and I will probably panic every freaking time until this life is over.  Except.  Maybe?  Maybe I won’t.


3 thoughts on “That feeling of gut-dropping panic – and then its abeyance

  1. I was a single Mom for eleven years. I remember counting pennies so I could take my kids to the movie. This is how we did it. I popped popcorn at the house, plus got the soft drinks, and the candy. We went to the dollar movie and when the lights went out, I brought out the bag I had all the stuff in and that was our snacks at the movie. I was never on welfare nor food stamps. I worked two jobs, during the day I worked at a doctor’s office and on weekends I checked groceries. When my kids became of age they had to work. We made it and kids are doing great today.

    Divorce is hard, but it does not “kill” unless we let it. My ex liked the “bottle” also. How wonderful it was for me not to live with a drunk anymore. How wonderful it was for the kids as well. I gave everything to him and never looked back. The night I left I was two weeks out of a hysterectomy. I left in a nightgown and robe, because of the stitches I could not wear clothes.

    I also, before I worked at the grocery store, cleaned nightclubs on weekends. Nothing like a bar after Saturday night drunks. 🙂

    I asked God for one thing, “Lord never let my kids go hungry.” They never did. Some bills were late and some got paid. Sometimes I had a car and sometimes I did not. I never gave up and I never gave up on God. It was hard, hard work, but I never had a better time in my life. Peace was everything to me. So hang in there. Sit down and decide what you want for your life, and get up and do it. You are actually free to do that now, you know! God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. The strength it takes to leave an abusive situation is unfathomable by people who haven’t done it.

      I was first suicidal at age 5 – it’s something I’ve always struggled with. It’s a mental illness – severe bipolar. Bipolar has a high mortality rate, and when adverse life events hit, it’s a dangerous time. It’s difficult for people to understand.

      I think I’m going to make it, though. I mean, so far my success rate for survival is 100%!


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