Today’s blog is written by Kacey Bolin, ROOM Missionary serving in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Kacey’s responsibilities with ROOM are numerous. She is a dependable team-player who always strives to help the people around her meet their fullest potential. She most embodies this through her role as a Foster Mother to Jesús, one of the many children served through ROOM’s Scarlet Project. In today’s blog, Kacey speaks candidly about how helping someone reach their potential also means creating a safe place where they can fall.
Recently Jesús has been busy. He has places to go and, with his walker, he is getting there. He has one phrase that he says without ceasing, “I want to go walking.” He means it. He knows what he is talking about and he doesn’t just mean walking in the house. He wants to go outside; he wants to walk down the road. He wants to feel the scorching sun on his shoulders and the sweat stream down his cheeks. He wants to wear holes through his new shoes and to feel the breeze as we turn the corner near the park. He wants to move. He wants to put one foot in front of the other and listen to those wheels roll. He wants to walk and he has been busy doing just that.
The other day Jesús learned a valuable lesson about walking. I am still thinking about it today and would like to share it to encourage you as you walk through this day, this season, and this journey of life.
It was a bright and sunny morning. Jesús and I were taking our second walk of the day. Jesús was walking with tremendous enthusiasm. I smiled as I listened to the rolling of his walker’s wheels. Walking with Jesús brings me so much joy because every step is an answered prayer. I have been praying for him to be motivated to move, to seek independence, and embrace his potential.
When he walks, he is doing just that.
Unfortunately, our morning walk took an unexpected turn when the front wheels of Jesús’ walker dropped into a little rut. Before I could stretch out my hand to lift the wheels out, Jesús confidently pushed forward, leaving me to watch him fall face-first toward the road beneath him.
Thankfully, the way he fell left him without a scratch. His head didn’t even hit the ground and he showed off his awesome reflexes when he stretched out his arms to brace his fall. Before he knew what had happened I pulled the walker upright and there he was standing up again, wiping the dirt off his hands.
I could see the shock, the fear, and the frustration in his eyes. Tears welled up as his senses of safety and security shattered before him. He fell and he was mad. As he looked at me I could see his thoughts. He wanted out. He was done. No more walking. He wanted me to carry him home and he wanted to throw that walker in the trash. He said it himself, “no more, no more.”
I, in all my love for him, did the unthinkable (in his mind, and maybe yours too) I stood there with him, hugged him, explained to him what happened and said, “you’re up, you’re standing again, now you need to keep going. Walk forward.” With every step he hesitated. He could just barely put one foot in front of the other. He insecurely continued down the road until we reached our home. It wasn’t until that moment when I picked him up that he cried. He cried, and cried.
Jesús was faced with the reality that walking brings the risk of falling.
That fall left him feeling vulnerable, unsafe, insecure, out of control, dependent, needy, and afraid. As he was seeking to understand all this, I told him to get up and go forward.
I was prepared to sort through these emotions with Jesús; but, before any of that, I knew I needed to get him back on his feet and keep moving.
We could have stopped right there in the middle of the street, sat down, and sorted through it all. We could have weighed the risk, evaluated what happened, sat there upset and cried, we could have talked about the importance of getting up and walking again. I could have carried him home. I could have taught him that when you fall you stay down but there was a much more important lesson to be learned.
Jesús needed to learn when you fall you get back up. You keep walking. You go forward, one foot in front of the other. I had to tell him, “sure, you fell, get up and walk forward anyway.”
You get up and think about the rest later. You don’t stay down. You take action.
Life knocks us all down sometimes. Scripture contains many references to falling. Sometimes we get knocked down spiritually, sometimes we take an emotional tumble, sometimes we have a physical fall off our bikes or a horse, and sometimes we wall face forward in a walker. We all fall.
Psalm 145:14 says, “The Lord helps all who fall” and Proverbs 24:16 says, “Though a righteous man falls 7 times, he will get up.”
Jesús only fell once, and he didn’t want to get up. But he had to learn to get up. He had to learn that it’s the Lord that helps us get up, whether we fall once, twice or seven times. We get up.
The mission field has a knack for knocking people down. I often feel like I spend more time getting up after being knocked down than anything else. But there is something to be said about standing up and walking forward. It is here we experience the help of the Lord and his righteousness that covers us.
When we get up, we are taking action. We are declaring with our actions and not our thoughts. Getting up is where the overcoming takes place. When we stand after we fall we are better equipped to be an outstretched hand to a brother or sister that needs to get up. When we stand we can walk forward more determined than before.
Falling is going to happen, but the important thing is the moment after the fall. The moment you stand and walk forward any way.
As Jesús’ foster mom I have to help him see the importance of getting up. Now that he has fallen and gotten up, I get to help him see how he can be the hand someone needs out-stretched to them. We all have to know what it is to fall, so that we can stand and be there to help lift someone else up.
I hesitated to share this story today because I am still beating myself up a bit for not catching him. I felt like the worst caretaker ever because I didn’t keep him from falling. However, as the days pass and now that he is back into his routine of asking to go walking every five seconds, I see the value of this experience. The idea of falling is not a new concept to any of us, but I want to encourage you today to evaluate where you are. If you are down, get up, walk forward. If you are up, look around, it is very likely there is someone near you that could use a hand. We all fall, I pray we all also, get up and help those around us when they need hand.
ROOM is passionate about taking care of one child at a time. We are a ministry for the one. We recognize the tremendous worth of every child and we seek to become part of their story. If you are interested in Becoming Part of the Story in the lives of children served by Reach Out Orphanage Ministries please visit https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Reach-Out-Orphanage-Ministries to learn more. Or, check out our website.