Taking a Tumble

Finally. After weeks of pain shooting up my spine and into my neck, I was finally getting some relief. I had been okay with makeshift back-cracking mechanisms—over my desk chair, bending over with my arms pushing against the wall until I felt a crrrriiiickkk go up my back—but that could not go on any longer. My body needed actual help. 

A few weeks earlier, I had fallen down my stairs. It was a classic case of the slippery-socks-plus-moving-too-fast conundrum. As I rushed around my house to get a few things checked off my list while my tiny human took a (way too short) thirty-minute nap, my feet slipped out from under me, and with all the gusto of a landslide and grace of a sack of potatoes, I thudded down the stairs on my back. I thought that surely I was going to die. I could’ve survived a global pandemic but what got me was the stairs–my ultimate demise. My body hadn’t felt the same since. Each day, my back grew stiffer and stiffer, and the pain crept up until it wreaked havoc on my head, leaving me with crippling headaches. 

Needless to say, my massage felt ah-mazing. One whole hour to myself, devoted to self-care and healing. The next morning, I went to therapy–counseling–for the first time. It had been a long time coming. I started my search for therapists about a year ago, but then, as many of us have learned to say, COVID hit. My search, like much of our lives, was put on pause as I pivoted my priorities to focus on the upcoming *cough cough* two-week lockdown, and as I discovered that I was, in fact, about to welcome a baby into the world in eight months.

As it turned out, I never looked back. Until now.

We might collectively say that 2020 was one of those years that started off okay. Then we crashed down the stairs in dramatic fashion and just kept falling. When we landed and stood up for the first time, our backs and necks and arms were sore, some even broken. Nevertheless, it’s one year later, and while we’re not quite on the other side yet, we walk a little bit differently. We’re different. We’re changed. 

You could say we’ve had a wrestling-with-God moment, and we’ve walked away with a limp. Maybe for many of us this limp was a long time coming. Maybe the turmoil of the year highlighted some junk we were already dealing with. Maybe it escalated those things. Or maybe those things went away. For me, the year’s events were a reckoning sort of experience that led me to seek healing. Falling down the stairs was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, forcing me to evaluate where I needed God’s healing in my life. The soreness of my muscles and the limp I had afterwards were a sign of God’s blessing, even as I seek to sort through the pain and heal the wounded parts of myself. 

Haley Wiggers is passionate about discovering how the messy, painful, and unexpected gifts that come with being human connect and relate to and offer understanding of how God relates to and cares for us. She’s been married to her husband Tyson for 4.5 years, and together they just welcomed their first little into the world. His name is Theo, and he is the cutest. United by undeserved grace, they’ve created a life centered around table fellowship with others and long walks with their puppy.