This post is part of our Lenten series, journeying the Stations of the Cross. In this reflection on the Ninth Station of the Cross, Jesus Falls for the Third Time, Alyssa shares the “falls” she has experienced this Lent. It’s hard to get up again. But God doesn’t call us to be perfect; He calls us, to the best of our ability, to serve with love.
Do ever fall and just want to stay down? I know I do. Just thinking of the amount of effort it will take to get back up and continue on exhausts me, and I just want to stay here. Whenever I emotionally and spiritually fall, you’ll find me dragging my feet to get back up again. This can look like disconnecting myself from the present, just going through the motions of life, or even shutting down completely.
In this fourth week of Lent, I feel very deep in the desert. And as I reflect on the Ninth Station, Jesus Falls the Third Time, I feel like I can relate to the Lord’s emotions in these times of trial.
How Falling Hurts
Of course it hurts to fall. We witness others and ourselves falling and see how painful it can be. We could finally be in a healthy routine, feeling like we’re on the right track, and all of a sudden life happens and everything changes. You get into a car accident, your whole schedule changes for a job, or your father is sent to the hospital… all things life has thrown at me in the past 5 months.
If you haven’t already read about my car accident, I was hit and broke a bone in my left dominant hand. I underwent surgery to have it fixed, followed up with 3 months of physical therapy. I was finally discharged this month, and now have 90% functionality; I still need a little more at home practice to get it fully better. Even though throughout this experience, my attitude was gratitude, it still hurt to fall.
While I am almost fully physically recovered, my mental health is not. I was blessed with a new car last month, and I have been slowly starting to drive again. I’ve always loved driving, and I didn’t think getting back into it would be a huge hurdle, but it’s turned out to be. I experience moments of high anxiety and panic while driving in certain situations. I end up crying, exhausted, and full of worry. Even so, I am getting up each time to try again.
Getting a new job is a blessing, and I am very grateful for this opportunity. However, this job has resulted in major life changes, heavily impacting all aspects of my life. I am grateful to have this full-time job as a Social Media Coordinator, doing something I like in a good company. When making the decision to take the job, there were an overwhelming amount of pros vs cons. Pros being an annual salary to help save up for a place of my own and pay off student loans, professional experience in the job I want to continue on with, and with a boss I already have a great relationship with.
Now being 3 months into the position, I realize how many changes I’ve made in my life because of it. Mainly, the change in schedule, working from 8:30am – 5pm is still taking time to get used to. Before, I was on my own freelancing schedule, doing my work when I wanted to. Now I’ve been more physically and emotionally tired being on this rigid schedule. On top of this job, I’ve been continuing my work with Little with Great Love (as you can see) which has been my work after work on some days, continuing my social media coordinator role feeling like an 8:30am-10pm job. Even so, I am getting up each time to try again and keep working every day.
This month I became caretaker of my home when my father was admitted to the hospital. My dad was experiencing a lot of pain in his abdomen, and I had to drive him to the hospital before work. The doctors discovered an infection and had him go through a procedure to drain the infection. This same week my father was hospitalized, my siblings flew home from college for spring break. My mom, having a new crazy teaching schedule with new classes and taking care of my dad, was physically and emotionally drained. This was where I had to step in.
While working from home during the day, I tried my best to take care of my siblings and in my free time in the evenings spend time with them and try and make it a fun spring break. I also needed to take care of my home, clean the house, buy groceries, and take over the duties my father usually does at home. I am even more tired, physically and mentally, from now having to drive a lot more, while I’m working, already drained. Even so, I am getting up each time to try again and keep going.
Faithful, Not Successful
Throughout the three falls I’ve had this Lent, I have tried to remain faithful like the Lord, getting back up each time. Am I successfully driving without worry? No. Am I successfully managing my workload? No. Am I successfully taking care of my home? No. But I am remaining faithful in the Lord as best I can, trusting in God’s plan.
After sharing all of this with you, I can’t help but think of the Agony in the Garden, Matthew 26:36-46. Jesus pleads with the Father, “if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
In the midst of His agony, His closest friends fall asleep, when all He asked was for them to stay up while He prayed. Even so, the Lord understands and says, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We continuously fall in our lives. No matter how big or small, the Lord knows and understands us because He, too, was one of us. He fell 3 times in His final moments, and got up again each time for us.
Reflecting on the first few lines Caitlyns words from our Journey the Stations of the Cross in Art and Poetry ebook for Station 9:
“I want to surrender my life to You
But haven’t yet learned how,
How to bend lower than You have stooped,
As You stoop even now.
I want to surrender that doubt and fear
That I am not so strong
To carry my cross to Calvary,
To show that I belong”
I want to surrender that doubt and fear. I want to be faithful. I am going to continue praying to the Lord for the strength to remain faithful this Lent. I pray this for all of you too.