Ever feel like you are falling down a rabbit hole? Alice found wonders, maybe you will find wonders disguised as wounders. Is there such a word? Lets make one up. Wounders is something that will give you wounds. A wound can hurt you physically, emotionally or spiritually. I think the hardest are the emotional wounds you can’t see but they feel more real than a physical hurt. These may seep into your spirit causing damage there.
My son lost his dad at a young age. He always missed his dad, despite having a great step dad. He would not let him in to be a father figure. He suffered from depression and addiction. He self-medicated himself to numb the pain. He told me this himself, though I already knew. I saw it demonstrated many times in his life. He would say he wished he had a physical disease so people could see and understand what he was going through. He looked normal on the outside but inside he was shattered.
When my son was a teen he began acting out. I felt the hopes and dreams I had for him ebbing away. Then when he died in an auto accident I experienced not just the death of my son but the death of the hopes and dreams which every mother has for her child. I was the one that was shattered as I took a trip down the rabbit hole. God reassured me He was with me. Even though I felt like I was falling, He was there to catch me. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27a.
A friend of mine fell down the rabbit hole of infertility. She had hopes of raising many children. After a miscarriage and hysterectomy came menopause. After that depression hit. Years later, she and her husband adopted and began fostering kids. They are making a difference in many lives and finding fulfillment in her dreams of parenting.
Recovery from the rabbit hole varies with the width and depth of the hole, the circumstances surrounding the event, your coping capacity, the extent of the wound and the damage it creates. Each individual’s journey and recovery is unique. Some have more scrapes as they bounce off the walls. Sometimes it takes longer. Unreal as it sounds some may jump down the hole! Physically and emotionally they have become unstable, lose their balance and totter into the hole. Choosing ways to help and cope can avoid the calamity and chaos. Speaking of choice, it’s a perfect time to talk about three things you can do to survive and thrive in what ever rabbit hole of devastation you encounter.
- You can avoid injury on the way down, avoid the scrapes and bruises, tuck your arms. Make the best of a bad situation and be safe.
- Plan for how you will land, on a solid foundation with feet planted first. Or better yet, choose to crawl back up the hole and out into the sunshine. Crawling out of the darkness (or depression) requires much effort as you grasp on to the tiniest root (or hope) and scramble up and out. But it will be worth it.
- There may be blessings to come out of your situation as you impact those around you. You may not see it now, but it will happen. After my son died, we raised his 18 month old son for 5 years, impacting his life for the positive, despite the tragedy.
- Talk to someone as you are teetering or falling. Seek out a professional counselor, or a friend or family. Someone who has been down a similar rabbit hole can understand your journey and recovery.
- You may be a social person with connections all over the place, but are you stuffing your concerns and pain? Are you laying them one on top of the other keeping them in the shadows or are you laying them out there in the open so they can be dealt with and receive healing?
- There is power in the proper perspective. It’s amazing how your mind can set the stage for success in any area.
- Counsel with your Creator who gives you life and strength. He answers prayers for help and guidance.
- After my first husband died, my counselor encouraged me to journal. I found it was a great way to get your thoughts and frustrations out there so then you can find answers and resolutions. I still journal on occasion today.
- Read the Word of God and fill your thoughts with love and life, so other negative thoughts are crowded out. Then feast on the treasures of the heavenly realm providing peace and joy. (Colossians 3:2)
- There may be twists and turns when you least expect them. Oh no! Here we go again! Don’t give into discouragement, but be determined to conquer this rabbit hole and any detours involved.
- You can successfully overcome whatever weakness or problem that is keeping you at bay. Don’t be afraid to move your anchor into deeper waters where the result is beautiful and thrilling.
Finally solid ground approaches. Land with your feet firmly planted like the gymnasts do at the Olympics. Go from squatting to standing with your arms raised in a victory sign. As horrible as it was while you were tossing through the rabbit hole, you will come out a better person. The bruises and wounds are fading, the rejection is rejected, the depression is denied, the gift of grief is given as life is lavished on you by the One who loves you and gives you true life and radiant health. (Proverbs 4:22) Turn your wounders into wonders and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!