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  • Sarah Mascarello

Shaken Up

Have you ever had someone jump out at you and scare you? Or had someone unexpectedly come around a corner and startle you? Do you know the feeling that seems to wash over your body in an instant, literally feeling like it rattled your actual bones?

I have three sons. Two of them used to think it was funny to scare me. One time, my son Micah shimmied up a narrow hallway so that he literally had his back to the ceiling, arms on one wall, legs on the other to secure his spot up there. He knew I was doing laundry and would be coming around the corner at any moment. As I walked around the corner to enter the hallway, basket filled with laundry in hand, he simply said, “Hey.” I dropped the basket, jumped back and let out a yelp. I can still remember the fear that washed over me as my spine seemed to go weak and my stomach felt like it dropped completely out. I mean, who would ever anticipate a person on the ceiling??? Although we got a good laugh about it, I was shaken up to my core for quite a bit. Boys...smh.

Every time one of my boys thought it was funny to scare me, we would end up laughing about it eventually but it would usually keep me in a state of being “shaken up” for quite some time after it. My face would go pale, my hands would shake, etc. I would have physical signs of being rocked to my core and emotionally it would leave me watching out for them to do it again, which would make me approach corners and closed doors a bit differently for a while.

The worst part of being shaken up is that it always happens when we least expect it. We are just bee-boppin around, living our best life and then BOOM! When we find ourselves in that situation, we are given a choice.

1. Retreat. Give up. Go to bed and stay paralyzed in the fear. Get angry and frustrated and react in a way that will leave things worse than they started. Or…

2. Push through. Feel the shake up and move forward anyways. Maybe even find a lesson or a giggle out of the situation.

Well, when my boys would scare me, I would choose option 2. Sometimes, I would sit with option 1 for a matter of seconds or minutes because instantly I may run the other way or get frustrated for a minute, but I always came back to number 2 and their one sided game would go on to see another day.

Well, guess what? Our faith can experience a very similar situation. Recently, I experienced a bit of a “faith shake up.” It was unexpected and rattled me to my bones. It was over something seemingly insignificant in the grand scheme of life issues, but for me it was EVERYTHING. It made me question certain things to my core. I love the Lord and will never turn away from him, but I was asking him questions that I have never had to ask him before.

As I was talking to my friend about it, she said two things that really struck me that I want to share with you because it has really helped me find my footing.

  1. Just worship. I asked her what I should do with all of these questions swirling around in my mind and she said, “Just worship. Put on some Christian songs and sing out to him.” When I got in the car, I told myself that was exactly what I was going to do. As I started to attempt to sing, only a feeble whisper came out. I was NOT feeling in the mood to do this. WHOA. I rarely if ever feel like that when it comes to worshiping the Lord, so I knew that was exactly what I needed to do! And I did. I sang and sang until my heart was in it. Was this a magic cure? No. But it inched me one step closer to the heart of the Lord, so I declared that a win.

  2. “The teacher is always silent during a test,” she said. I felt like I wasn’t hearing from God. He knew I needed him RIGHT NOW! Why was he not making things more clear? When she uttered those words, I was convicted. She was so right. And God, in his perfect timing and perfect way was speaking through her in this moment. My husband had just spoken to me about Job that morning and when I paired what he said with what she was saying, I knew that was God’s way of telling me that he was still right there, just silent for now.

None of us will get through this life without being tested, and they usually come when we least expect it. These tests will reveal the depth of our faith roots and if we choose to continue to walk through them, they will develop hope, character and perseverance. (Romans 5:3-5)

I am still feeling the effects of my recent shake up. But I wake up again today and accept God’s new mercy for me. I chose him again today. I accept that he is not a human sized God and I cannot comprehend his majesty and grandeur. But I will love him with every breath I take. I will continue to pray to him and worship him even when I don’t feel like it… ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel like it! I trust that he knows things I don’t know and is working things out for my good… somehow, some way. I choose option 2!! I will find a way to push through, find the lesson and maybe, just maybe find a giggle out of this one day.

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