I’m gonna break my neck. That’s all I had time to think as I fell headfirst toward the ground.

I had done this move dozens of times at gymnastics practice. How did it go so wrong? Moments

before, I was so confident and excited. I signaled my bases and told them I wanted to do a back tuck out

of a toss. “Five, six, seven, eight…” I heard the count and jumped into their arms. I was flying through the

air and began to rotate around, but then I stalled.

As I fell toward the ground, I heard gasps from all around the room and I knew things were going

south. I closed my eyes and prepared for impact … but it never came. All I felt was strong arms wrapped

around me. I opened my eyes and saw I was just inches from hitting the ground. After being set down

safely, I noticed everyone was looking at me. It wasn’t until then that I felt the pain in my face. Looking

into the camera on my phone I saw my eye was swollen and turning black and blue, and I felt very

light-headed. Even though my bases caught me, I got a black eye and a concussion. I was safe, but still


As I look back on this story, it reminds me of how our journey with God can be. I’ve experienced

when everything seems to be going well in life and then all of a sudden things change. This last summer,

I had a close family member get sick out of nowhere and be hospitalized while I was out of state. In

those moments, it was hard to feel like God was going to catch me. We all have ups and downs on our

journey, and sometimes we make decisions that lead us off the path God has for us. As we fall, we can get

hurt along the way.

Maybe the decisions you made put a strain on your relationships or made you feel like you

weren’t worthy enough for God anymore. You may even close your eyes and get ready to hit the ground,

but God isn’t going to let that happen. He promises, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I

will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4, ESV).

He will always be ready to catch you even if you get bumps and bruises along the way and feel

like you can’t go on. He will pick you up and put you back on solid ground.

Mary Freeman is a senior Communication major at Union College. She has been on the Union College

Gymnastics team, the Gymnaires, for all four years of her college career.