In September 2012, I collided with an SUV eleven miles into a fifty mile route of an organized ride through New Jersey and New York City. The ride was called, “Escape New York” and was billed as the last ride of the season. After colliding with the SUV, in fact even as I was still sitting in the middle of he street, two ride marshalls approached me. Their first questions were: “Can you get up?” and “Can you finish the ride?”
There was a part me that just wanted to lay there prone on the ground until someone came to lift me up and carry me home. But that’s not the type of care or service I receive in life. I’m a big woman and I’ve noticed through life that people expect me to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. When you’re treated like that throughout your life, you learn to do just that. So, I got up.
After getting checked out in the Emergency Room and checking my bike out of the Tenafly Police Station, I got dropped off on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge and rode across into New York City to finish the last five miles of the ride upright and peddling.
The people who heard of my ordeal that day and in the days that followed were impressed with my fortitude. Which stung even more, actually, because they made it sound like I had a choice. Like, I could have chosen to wait for someone to come and rescue me. Like, I could have chosen to wait for a helping hand to appear before me. Again, that’s not the type of care and concern I receive in life. Had I chosen to remain prone in the middle of the street, there I would still be. No one was coming for me. There is no one to claim me or speak for me in my infirmity. That’s a harsh and hard reality I had to come face to face with…and yet, here I am.
Lesson of the season: Our true strength comes from within – from the indwelling Spirit of Christ sustaining us. What you cannot do for yourself, the Holy Spirit will guide and carry you through. This was by far one of the loneliest physical moments of my life, yet I had never been more sure of God’s presence being with me. In that regard, it was by far one of the most enlightening moments of my life.
We fall down…and get up.
A saint is just a sinner who fell down and got back up.
Donnie McClurkin wrote/performed a beautiful song about the process of overcoming – it’s just a matter of getting up and continuing to move forward. Receive your blessings through your trials.