I am a huge fan of tobyMac. He is my absolute favorite artist, and my definite vote for best live show. My wonderful amazing husband doesn’t agree, and that’s ok. He can love Casting Crowns – and admittedly, they are great. But tobyMac just has something very special to say to me.
This weekend, the weekend of the Women’s Retreat, it was this song, “Get Back Up”. It wasn’t really so much of a spiritual message as it was quite practical. I spent a good portion of the weekend on the ground. I fell, repeatedly. Seven times if my count was right. The first few times I was more embarrassed than anything, trying to recover quickly as people came running to see if I was hurt, brushing dirt and debris off of myself, laughingly saying “Oh, I have Parkinson’s. I fall a lot”.
But as time went on and I continued to fall, it got harder to jump up. I got weaker and more worn out, and more hurt where I had landed. My good friend Dorothy had been at my side all the time but she still couldn’t stop me from tumbling over.
As the second day went on, the lovely ladies there were really good to care for me, and make sure there was a chair for me close to the entrance, or easily accessed near the closest breakout group so I didn’t have to walk far.
After lunch the second day, I chose to go rest in my room. Dorothy was heading for the rope climbing and bungee-cord jumping, so I knew I was not supposed to be there! (40 feet straight up a pole in the air… I don’t THINK so!)
Katie, another dear friend, offered to come with art supplies. I would normally have loved to do them, but I just needed to crash (the sleep kind, not the falling down kind!) Katie went to the drugstore and came back with a brightly decorated cane for me.
The cane was a great help, but still wasn’t quite enough, as the last day on our way out, I took the hardest fall yet. There happened to be not one, but two young ladies who were EMTs, and they weren’t letting me get away with any nonsense about being fine. They took my boots off, checked my ankles, checked my elbows, everywhere that I even gasped a little, they said ‘Oh, did that hurt?” They finally decided I wasn’t in immediate need of medical care – but still had someone get a wheelchair from their car and bring it to me so I could get wheeled to my ride home.
The important part of this whole ordeal is that I started off trying to just minimize the falls, laugh them off, say they weren’t important. Actually, I started by trying not to let anyone be aware of them at all. Then I went to minimizing. When I couldn’t do that any longer, I reluctantly let people help me – and somewhere along the way, i realized that not only was I not putting people out, but that they were being blessed with the opportunity to help me.
The tobyMac song says “So get up, get up, you’re gonna shine again, It’s never too late to get back up again, You may be knocked down but not out forever”
It’s ok to be down but not out forever. It’s ok to open up and receive, because next time, you might be the one doing the giving. Get up, get up – you’re gonna shine again.