Hope for Ugly Days: When Life Hits You Upside the Head

I’m not the only one who’s had life hit them upside the head, right?

My 30s have definitely topped my 20s for learning who God is and who he created me to be. Once I let go of expectations others had for me, I dove head first into the freedom that Christ gives us. But, now, I’m literally on the brink of 40 and it seems that I’m taking a leap off the highest diving board into various health issues.

Recently I realized that some of these issues are related to my zest for life. I plow through life at lightning speed, never slowing down. Between my husband, 8 children (7 at home), responsibilities at church, and work I don’t stop. Ever. Apparently, not even while I’m asleep.

After many months of concern, my husband convinced me to see a sleep doctor. I was grateful but seriously self-conscious when I left the office. Diagnosed with sleep apnea, I would soon be wearing a face mask to sleep every single night. Granted, I looked forward to better sleep. But that mask! It made me feel old and unattractive. I looked like a fictions creature from Star Wars. How would my husband see me?

Hope for Ugly Days Do you have to wear a sleep apnea mask and feel like a space creature at night?

This is me in my new mask. (I spared you the original!) I just look like a robot being from Dr. Who!

Recently I started one of my dream jobs – a Barista at Starbucks. My first full shift was a nightmare–unparalleled to any job in my past. We opened the store with a serious water leak problem. While trying to save a co-worker from a falling pastry tower, I turned my foot. Best guess and treatment: a torn tendon and a huge boot. Now I’m looking a bit like a character from The Disorderly Orderly.

Compared to Who When Life Hits You Upside the Head

Boots are very cute. (Okay, not this kind.)

As if I wasn’t already feeling pretty enough, the following week I literally ran into a 4×4 post sticking out of a friend’s truck. In my defense I was looking down to hold the hands of my twins girls. But WHAMMO and next thing I know I have a goose egg and huge cut on my head. The Three Stooges anyone? Oiy!

Life hits you upside the head when you don't feel pretty Compared to Who

At least my ice pack is stylish, right?

Sleeping next to my sweet husband that evening I looked like a wreck. I felt like a wreck. But, he just loved on me.

Do you feel like hunkering down in your pajamas with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s when life hits you? I feel ya!

But, can I encourage you? Just put one crippled foot in front of the other and press on! I lost a Sunday in church following my injuries and I felt like I had missed a month. I felt silly going to church looking such a mess, but I felt worse later because I need my people!

Remember this: Christ already knows the emotional and physical ways your life will be interrupted. He loves you right where you are.

Don’t let these earthly obstacles prevent you from meeting with others. Be honest about the things you are struggling with and let Him use you through them, not in spite of them. Vulnerability is good and what helps us connect to others. It also serves as a good reminder that everyone we are tempted to view as “perfect” is going through or has already been through similar circumstances.

So if, like me, somedays you feel like you look like a creature from a zombie movie . . .let me remind you today. Ask yourself: Compared to Who?!


Compared to Who Christian women and body image contributor Christine SalinasChristine Salinas is a lover of life, crazy pants, and big earrings. Jesus girl. Wife. Mom to 8. Homeschool mom. Public school mom. Barista. She has never met a stranger and loves to sing, dance, and ponder big things and future projects. Read Christine’s posts here.

1 Comment
  • Wendy Herrmann Smith
    March 9, 2017

    Hope you’re healing and sleeping better, Christine. Great post. P.S. Thanks for being a public school and homeschool mom. Inclusiveness is a good thing.

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