Humpty Dumpty

by Laura on May 4, 2012

It takes guts to step out, to begin the adventure. It takes a certain amount of bravery and courage to first look for the risk, and then to be willing to push off the shore.

Water is scarier than land, after all. But, it’s oftentimes more thrilling, too.

And it takes guts to climb the tower, too.  To stare up at the ladder that has grown much higher than it appeared from the other side of the dock, to put bare toes to rickety metal, anyway. To climb.

And, then, that look. down.

Terryifying enough to make you crouch at the top instead of stand with straight knees.  And you see the watchers– those observing from the safety of their benches, in the cool of the shade, over sticky rice and cokes. Quick to cheer, yes, but quicker still to laugh at the white kids who might not have what it takes, after all.

And the pressure mounts. The expectation, the follow-through, the eyes looking up. The gravity of the smaller steps you’ve made that have lead you to this colossal jump begin to weigh heavier with each moment your heart pounds in your ears.

So, you muster courage, close your eyes, and you leap. Flail through the air, limbs and lungs screaming.

And it’s adrenaline-pumping victory, for a few glorious, petrifying seconds. . .

But what if, what if.

After all of that, you hit pavement? You smack cement. The water was a mirage, and you find yourself shocked and shattered into a million different pieces, like glass on marble. What if there is no confident kick to the surface, no cheering crowd to greet you when you suck that first breath? No high-fives. No sighs of relief. No heroic story to tell on the boat ride back.

What then? Where is God in that? How is that fair or good? To have the courage to leap, but to be blindsided with epic failure?

Maybe, maybe, in that case, broken is what he was after all along.

And shattered becomes the path to greatness, instead of the heroic fanfare you expected.

Perhaps the real danger lies in the assumption that an unsuspecting leap to cement speaks of a God who isn’t able to put all things back together again,

better, and stronger.


Related. Jumping, Not Falling  |  God the Cosmic Bartender  |  When Following God Doesn’t Work Out


  • how to buy gold

    What type of amazing thing are there. I think you people had really good experience. I love to do adventurous activities. They make me very healthy and young.

  • Denise Overholt Aludo

    Laura, first let me say I just found your blog yesterday and truly enjoy the writing .  Your direct questions, sense of  humor and unflinching honesty have made me laugh, cry and nod my head in agreement. I’ve been a missionary to Kenya since 2006….. and  “adventure” definitely describes the journey! 

    Last year was my Humpty Dumpty year. Like hitting a wall at 100mph, I shattered into a million pieces. Stunned and terrified that I was “loosing it” (my sanity, my witness, my life). I blamed myself (I took my eyes off Jesus and was overwhelmed by the culture, a growing ministry, the demands of life)…… I blamed my husband (he was emotionally abusive, distant). Alone, isolated and feeling like a total failure I ended up on the doorstep of a friend blubbering and barely able to speak. 

    No high-fives….no heroic story. Just crash & burn……just a big old mess.

    “Maybe, maybe, in that case, broken is what He was after all along.”

    Indeed. And so it was…and so it is. The walls came down… the debris has been (is being) hauled off…and the King of Kings is putting the pieces back together again. Better, stronger…. less of me, more of Him…the story is no longer mine to tell. 

    • lauraparkerblog

      Wow, what a story. Thanks for visiting and for your honesty and for your service in Kenya– wow, you have logged a lot of years overseas already!
      It was a powerful thing for me to read your honest story about your humpty dumpty of a year. Sounds so intense. But I love, i LOVE, how you are able to say that the “big ol mess” eventually speaks even more loudly of Him.

  • Teri Miller

    That is so. great.
    Gonna actually print this one out & give it to someone.  Someone who is really, really afraid of jumping right now.  And utterly imprisoned at the top of the diving board; terrified, paralyzed.
    Okay, and maybe I need to print it out for me too….

    Thanks for that, Laura.
    Yeah, I’m scared.  The time has come to jump.  And I have this sense that it won’t all be warm, inviting, smooth-sailing waters.

    Brokenness may be just where we’re heading.
    And that, as you so eloquently put, is okay.

    • lauraparkerblog

      Oh, Teri, praying for your family and your journey. I think I am learning that true faith is jumping even if you expect the cement. And maybe lots of times he allows us to think we see water, but it’s harder to jump to cement, to brokenness, but what a measure of trust in a God who is bigger than even that.

      love you friend. and love your faith that lives out loud.


  • Jeremy McKemy

    Wow, beautiful.  

    So often we stick to the mediocre…afraid the jump might hurt too much.  And like you said, sometimes it does hurt.  My friend wrote a beautiful blog on this topic that I just finished reading.  I think you might enjoy it:

    • lauraparkerblog

      oh, fun . . . heading over to check it out. thanks for posting . . .

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