This post is a continuation from yesterday.
Be sure and read Part I first…
…And then I dared to look. I raised my foot while still in the shoe. There was nothing on the shoe. With my foot still in the shoe, I lifted my whole foot up and looked around for a tree to lean on. With one three feet away, I kept the foot lifted and hopped over to the tree. Feeling a slow terror rise from the pit of my stomach and squeeze through my esophagus, I slowly peeled back the flip-flop and looked at the bottom of my foot.
Did I mention that this path also had a lot of frogs on it?
Yes. That’s right. Frogs. The little kinds of frogs that have made it out of the tadpole stage but haven’t quite matured to the larger version that sit on lily pads…FAR from sandy paths!
That poor baby frog was barely recognizable but there was no mistaking it. It was definitely a frog. I just saw head, arms, and legs – definable but flattened. The body parts were glued to my foot by all the goo that used to be on the inside of that recently living thing.
My beautiful idea of a morning quickly reduced itself to a crisis-management operation. I racked my brain trying to figure out how I was going to get back to our room on one foot. Come on now. You know I wasn’t going to WALK on the littered foot and exacerbate the situation! Hopping up that hill wouldn’t be easy and it wouldn’t be cute but neither would scrapping off frog guts with my index finger.
I opted to hop.
I compensated the best way I could but even my best was awkward, tiring, and definitely not optimal.
Why did I wear flip-flops? Why didn’t I do a better job of protecting my feet? Why did I leave myself open to an incident like that? How did I end up in this situation on what should have been a fantastic few minutes to myself?
These are questions that many women ask everyday. How did I end up in this situation? Why did I put myself in this position? How did my perfectly planned day end up being so stressful? Why did I leave myself open for that man to take advantage of me? Why didn’t I do a better job of protecting my heart? I know better than getting into debt! How on earth did I gain all of this weight?
Have you ever asked yourself a “Why” question? We all have I think.
Many of us are guilty of walking unaware, unprotected, or unconsciously into situations were we step into circumstances (or on in my case) that we wish we would have seen clearly. And then we have to walk, or hop, or even crawl to get back to home base.
You name it. Either I, you, or someone you know has a been there – there in some kind of sticky, yucky, mess that we wish we would have done a better job of avoiding. Maybe it’s debt or the wrong man, or gluttony, or maybe it’s overcommitment, chemical addictions, or emotional distress. The list could go on and on.
We get into a jam and then wonder W-H-Y?
For most of us, we set out, at some point in our lives, to have things go well. We may not have had a plan for the whole kit-and-caboodle but the parts that we did think through we intended for them to go smoothly. Then life happens, we aren’t aware of where we are stepping or what is going on around close to where we are walking out our lives. So we are surprised when hurt happens, difficult days arrive or when disaster strikes.
Would it be better for me to have never stepped on the frog? Of course. Even thinking and writing about that experience gives me the “eebie-jeebies”. But it happened. I had to hop back home, clean off, and then keep living my life.
And that’s what you need to do. In your life and in your situation, whatever mess you have found yourself in, hop back home, clean yourself up, and then keep living your life.
And by the way… I needed help from a family member to make sure that I got all that goo off of the soles of my feet. It was hard for me to see in that spot. And it’s OK if you too need help getting cleaned up. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see everything that’s causing us trouble.
I assure you that now when I walk down that path I am more attentive. More attentive. More conscious. I really don’t want that situation to repeat itself.
I learned that where I travel matters. That paying attention matters. That leaving myself open to messy situations isn’t worth it (when I can prevent it). I’ve learned that living fully awake and fully aware is worth the extra effort.
But most importantly, I learned that even when I step in the mud, I can walk, hope, or even crawl home. I can get cleaned up and keep moving forward.
And because a loving God is willing to help me, I can regroup and start again.