When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned

It was a beautiful Saturday morning in June. Anna, Mary, and I were exercising in our home gym. It’d been a long time since we’d enjoyed a work out together since most mornings, either Anna or Mary was at Christopher’s helping get the kids ready for the day. We were near the end of our workout, and I was on the back extension machine. I’ve done it many times before, but this time, with great exuberance I went forward too far, and I hit my head on the metal post. Really hard. I got a concussion.

Some accidents cost a little, some cost a lot. This happened in the midst of my Learning Lessons project, and I had deadlines I wanted to meet along with keeping up my normal work responsibilities.

What followed were headaches, dizziness, pressure in my head, and an overall awful feeling. My doctor thought perhaps a 3-6 month recovery. By January, I had mostly good days.

Enter last Saturday. I hit my head again, in a different way. This time, I stood up under the edge of a cabinet, hitting the top of my head—hard. My fast-paced life filled with work, ministry, and activities suddenly tail-spun into slow-pace.

God has been so gracious, and in the midst of this, I’m learning to accept challenges that haven’t been the norm in the past. I’m learning to rest when needed. I’m learning to rely on God’s strength and not my own. And I’m learning to accept limitations. This wasn’t in my plan. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

The doctor said what I’m doing now for self-care is good and helped me with headache management.

But I think in all of life, we have opportunities to accept challenges and accept them with thankfulness.

Perhaps cutting back on outside activities to heal may just allow the time needed to push forward on Hill Top Adventure’s Book Three outline. Who knows. Last time, being at home helped me write and edit Learning Lessons. Our God is always good–ALWAYS.


“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore
will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of
Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

53 thoughts on “When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned”

  1. Oh, poor Sarah. This is hard! I am praying for you and wish you healing and new strength in the quietness.


  2. I’m sorry to hear that Sarah. We will pray for you. But we sure would love for you to be able to move forward with the next Learning Lessons book! As soon as my daughter finished the newest one she was asking when the next would be available!

  3. Sarah, our family learned similar lessons 4 years ago. My husband, Mike, used to ride his bike to work. I was in the habit of having my prayer time right after he left, and had just finished praying, specifically for his protection and safety, the morning of Feb. 3, 2017, when the phone rang. Mike was calling me from the hospital to say that he had been struck by a hit and run driver. Our family of 12 went from a “normal” Friday morning, to the expectation of a morning at the hospital, to the potential for surgery and a longer stay at another hospital, and then to coming home and learning to care for Mike’s needs while he recovered. A week later he had developed a blood clot in his leg, which changed our plans to get to him to church.
    In March, we learned that our septic system was failing. We had to work around that for 8 months.
    In April, our the engine in our 15-passenger van died. It was the only car we owned. For 3 months, we got around in a caravan of 3 borrowed sedans.
    We got used to not knowing what a day would bring, that’s for sure! Through it all we learned to say, “Lord, I don’t know what this day will bring, but it’s all in your hands.” Even our youngest children learned to trust God for His daily provision.
    While none of us wants to relive the events of that year, we wouldn’t change any of them either, because of the way we were privileged to see God work and the lessons we learned from walking through those trials.
    I’m praying for perseverance and patience for you, Sarah, as well as for complete healing. May you be open to the lessons God has for you in this season of rest.

  4. Oh wow, that must be so hard! Thank you for sharing about how you are trusting God through this! This post is such an encouragement!

    If you don’t mind my asking…where did you get your dress? It is beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Rachel, for your sweet comment. I’m glad to know it was an encouragement.

      I bought the dress from Amazon in 2019. I don’t see they have my size left in that same style/color combination anymore (I purchased a medium). But here’s the link anyway as they do have some different colors.

  5. Sarah, I am so sorry you have had these recent accidents. Will be praying for complete healing. On a lighter note, one of my daughters just said yesterday “she better hurry up and write Book 3 of Hill Top because I’m almost done and I can’t wait another year.” HAHA

  6. So sorry to hear about your experience! I had some similar things happen as well. Some people are able to recover from concussion symptoms by doing a program backed by research that uses brain retraining. It is called DNRS. Dynamic Neuro Retraining System. It is backed by research and helps a lot of people with chronic conditions. Not sure it is your case by you can always call them to ask. I have benefited myself from this program a lot.

  7. Oh Sarah! That is so scary!!!! So sorry to hear about this!!! I do hope you will rest and let your body heal!!! Please don’t rush the process! It seems sometimes people can’t wait to get back out there and then hurt themselves again, therefore making the recovery even longer! We care about you out here and want you well!!!

    1. Karen,

      Thank you. Yes, it’s been a hard week physically, but I’m grateful for good-enough times in between! I’m being careful and have cut way back on things. Thanks for caring!


  8. Sarah-You have a healthy, positive attitude. I am sure sorry for your mishaps. Head injuries are such a mystery. It makes me wonder how soccer and football players can participate in such hard contact repeated hits and come out on the other side with everything functioning. I will pray for you that you make a total recovery.

  9. Sarah,

    This post is exactly what I needed to read. My family and I love to exercise, and I love training for races. We have all been training for half marathon which we will do in a couple days. Yesterday at work, I twisted/sprained my right ankle very bad. I couldn’t believe it! After all this training I’ve done, how could it be that I hurt my ankle? I still don’t know how I am going to run a half marathon, as I can hardly put any pressure on it now. But like you said God is always good. And he has a plan and everything! This is certainly not what I was expecting, and even though it is very hard to except, I know god has a plan in it! And I can rest in that!! I have been elevating and applying ice, so we’ll see. 🙂 i feel like I need to talk a break from running-even though I don’t want to at all!! I love exercising and staying fit. I think god is teaching me a lesson on this. Thank you again for this post-it goes along perfectly what is happening to me now!! Love and hugs my friend!! -Jesse B.

    1. Jesse,

      I’m so very sorry about this. I can understand how disappointing it is. I love to run too, and I had been hoping by summer to be at last summer’s mileage. But it’s pretty doubtful.

      Praying for peace and for you to rest in the Lord. He knows all things, and NOTHING is a surprise to Him! May these quiet moments be ones for healing and learning that special place of rest. I’m praying for you!


  10. God is working good things for you more than you can count! Psalm 40 to you. A ‘new song’ can be sung to the Lord as we see His faithfulness and deliverances through each and every trial, without exception.

    His thoughts toward us are more than can be numbered (verse 5).

    Your post has been a huge encouragement to me today as I face a sudden health issue. But we can laugh at the future! Because He said ‘do not be afraid of sudden fear… for the Lord will be your confidence and He will keep our foot from being caught.’ Prov. 3:25

    May you enjoy the result of the restrictions in ways and get real rest in His grace. I wonder how your car sickness has been going too? I periodically remember that in prayer.

  11. Sarah,

    This is the encouragement I needed to hear today. I’ve been struggling with some curve balls myself. Thank you for sharing. I wish you all the best for your recovery.

        1. It’s from Amazon (in 2019). I don’t see they have my size left in that same style/color combination anymore (I purchased a medium). But here’s the link anyway as they do have some different colors.

  12. Oh, ouch! I’m so sorry all this has happened to you, Sarah. It’s too hard to try and figure out why things happen the way they do sometimes but I guess if nothing else, we know that whatever happens or wherever the Lord places us, we can continue to trust and REST in Him, knowing that He is always with us through it all. I pray you will have a time of good rest and healing. I’m sure your family is taking good care of you. I love your positive outlook on the situation and I also want to say that is such a lovely picture of you!

  13. Wow, Sarah! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I love your attitude though. Keeping focused on Christ is so key.
    One of my classmates at college recently hit her head and got a concussion. I know it’s really hard to deal with the effects, but God is always there helping step by step.

    1. Thank you. Yes, concussions are a real deal. The interesting part is someone can look at you and have no idea that you’re feeling so awful. 🙂 Praying for your friend!

  14. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Sarah. I’m glad you’ve been practicing good self-care, and thank you for sharing the insights you’ve gained through this experience. Resting and caring for ourselves, just as we would a cherished loved one, is so important for our wellbeing, but can be so hard for those of us who are more “Type-A” and tend toward always doing “more.” (That’s definitely a lesson I learned myself this year anyway!)

    Sending love and wishing you continued healing.

  15. Ooo, Sarah! Owww, girl. That’s awful. I personally have a very hard time when our routines are out of whack. But, you be sure to get all the required rest! We don’t want you to get worse. I’m sorry you have to go through this, especially when you have projects that are important to you. But your health is even more so.

    Rest, my friend, and get well. I hope God will provide other ways for you to reach out and bless others through this while you’ve had to change up some things.

    Will be praying for you. Love, Rebecca

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. Yes, these times of rest in between work are good, even when it’s hard to set things aside. I now have notebooks to work on my outline. 🙂

  16. Sarah, I am so, so sorry. Praying for complete healing in ever way and for it to be swift.

    Do you mind sharing what you are doing for self care and headache management?

  17. Sarah,

    I’m so sorry about your injuries. I’m a chiropractor, not an expert in concussions by any means, but I’ve worked with many post-concussive patients. I wish I could be there in Kansas to help you! I hope and pray you have a really good local chiropractor. I will be praying for a full recovery for you. Thank you for all you do for the blog – it is a huge encouragement to me. I’m grateful! Hang in there 🙂

  18. Sarah~

    Ouch!! I’ve hit my head more times than I can count.

    Maybe those of us who are prone to doing that should just wear a helmet 😉


  19. I’m so sorry this has happened to you, but admire your trust in the Lord, and your commitment to doing the self care you need. Praying for a full and speedy recovery.

    1. Thank you, Roseanna! Yes, I use the computer a lot, so it’s been difficult for me to learn to limit it, but it’s good. Learning Lessons (my own book title :)), is a beautiful time of learning to give up my desires.

  20. Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear of two incidents of injury to your head. I also had two skull fractures and concussions on different occasions. The Lord is amazing in the ability for our bodies to heal. I could not navigate walking through a doorway without running into the side and had terrible headaches. I know that I was receiving a message to quiet the will and not force things and to be open to new perspectives upon my life. The Lord worked amazing miracles as I turned that corner. Be open to things the Lord has for you. Take care and be still and know that He is God…Your sweet soul comes across so in your correspondences. Prayers and love are being sent your way!

  21. Oh, Sarah…I am so very sorry you had a concussion and then hit your head again. Praying for complete healing for you.

    Your attitude is a wonderful testimony to your walk with our Lord. Rather than complaining, you’re seeing how this time to heal and slow down can actually be a good thing!

    I am praying for you, sweet Sarah.
    Love, Mrs. Patti

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment! I was blessed by it! Earlier this week, I was doing so much better but took some steps backward yesterday. Slowing down again!

  22. I’m so sorry Sarah! I have had to deal with one since having a car accident. A few weeks later, I got way to tired and it caused a reinjury and was much harder to heal because of it. As a mama of 9 it was hard getting the rest I needed, but so grateful the Lord brought me through it. I’m sure it is difficult with your work to stay off of screens which was so important to do with healing. May you be able to heal COMPLETELY and in a timely manner.

  23. Praying for you, and understand a bit what you’re going through since I’ve been going through similar for almost a year now. Also still praying from time to time for your parent’s health and Anna Marie’s health.

    God Bless,

    Scott J.

    1. Thank you! Yes, concussions are rough. I find it interesting, though, once you go through something like this, you find out how many people have experienced the same!

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