Getting Up Again When Life Knocks You Down

One of the worst days of my life was when I heard the words, “What would you do if I wasn’t around anymore?” Having been an optimist up to that point I didn’t understand what I was hearing. Then it came out. “I am leaving you.” Suddenly I knew what it meant “when life knocks you down.”

I was young at the time and didn’t realize that life usually hits you hard more than once. Now that I am older, I have learned that we should expect the unexpected and be somewhat prepared.

Have you been knocked down by life? Do you need to know how to get back up again? It can be done so let’s take a look at how that can happen.

When life knocks you down

There are some life events that can knock the wind out of us. They can make us feel like we are “down for the count” and leave us wondering if we will ever be able to get back up again.

When life knocked me down

I felt knocked down when my husband abandoned me. Not only did I lose the one I thought I would grow old with, I hadn’t worked outside the home in years. I hadn’t paid the bills, purchased health or auto insurance, and barely knew how to change a flat tire.

I felt totally overwhelmed and unprepared for the new life thrust upon me. My parents took me into their home to make sure I was eating, exercising, and taking care of myself. I sometimes sat and stared at the walls.

Numb. Flat. Empty. That is how I felt.

Has life knocked you down?

What about you? Has life knocked you down? Have you gone through an unwanted divorce? Did your spouse die? Did you lose a baby or have a miscarriage? Did your fiance break your engagement? These are some of the more common events that leave people reeling back and forth, wondering if life will ever stabilize.

Loss and grief knock us down

When life knocks us down, there is usually some kind of loss for which we grieve. Such losses could include:

  • death of someone you love
  • your house burns down
  • you get fired or layed off from a job
  • your character and reputation is ruined by false accusations
  • the promotion you hoped for is given to someone else
  • death of a dream
  • loss of your health
  • many other losses too numerous to list here.

Most of these losses are no fault of our own. Let’s face it. Life isn’t always fair. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people and imperfect circumstances.

Mother nature isn’t always so helpful either. Hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential rains, flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, or prolonged droughts bring grief and heartache to many people every year.

There is no getting around it. Sooner or later, in any number of ways, life will knock us down.

Preparing for when life knocks you down

I am surprised that I did not require psychological counseling when I look back at when I was abandoned by my husband. But I had a lot of support from friends and family, as well as a church that was very helpful. I also had a close relationship with God and believe that was paramount in my healing from a broken heart.

Since we should expect the unexpected, there are things we can do to prepare ourselves for the inevitable when life knocks us down.

  1. Make sure we have a strong relationship with God
  2. Develop friendships with others who love God
  3. Make Bible reading a priority
  4. Pray about everything
  5. Memorize Scripture
  6. Develope a sense of gratitude
  7. Learn the importance of forgiveness
  8. Keep a journal. Some of it can easily become our story of hope to tell others in the future.

Getting back up when life knocks you down

Getting back on our feet when life knocks us down is much easier when we have prepared for it. If this concept is new to you, and right now you are feeling numb, flat, and hopeless, then you may need psychological counseling. There is nothing shameful about getting help. We go to medical doctors when we are physically ill and in need of physical healing. In the same way, counseling helps us heal emotionally.

That being said, there are some things to do to get back on our feet when life knocks us down.

  1. Remember
  2. Connect
  3. Pray
  4. Do the next thing that has to be done

1. When life knocks you down, REMEMBER

What should we remember when life knocks us down? First, we need to get out our journals and read our past entries. For starters, it will help us remember all the good things about God. He is faithful when others are not. He will not leave us when others have. He will not hurt us when others do.

We also need to remember that God still loves us and there are still many things to be thankful for.

Finally, we need to remember that God has given us many promises to hang onto, such as Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, and Isaiah 40:31.

2. When life knocks you down, CONNECT

The greatest temptation when we are feeling “down and out” is to isolate ourselves. We may feel embarrassed about the situation, or wonder if others will understand. We may think we can’t express how we are feeling. But the Bible is clear that we need each other.

In times of war, isolation is used by the enemy in times of war because it is well known that people crumble much easier without a support system. With that being said, we should connect with God, friends who love God, our church, and supportive family members.

3. When life knocks you down, PRAY

One of the best parts about talking to God is that we can use Scripture to pray back to Him. It is easy to do this when we have memorized some of God’s promises from the Bible.

For example, when we know Romans 8:28, we can tell God that while we don’t understand why something has happened, we are thankful that He will work it out for good.

If we know Jeremiah 29:11, we can thank God that His plans are always good, even when we don’t see it yet.

When we know Isaiah 40:31, we can thank Him that He will give us the strength we need to get through what we are facing.

We can also pray that God will give us the opportunity to share what we are learning with someone else. As we begin to focus on others, we lose the grip of self-focus and all the negative feelings that can go along with it. Little by little, we will be planting seeds of a powerful life story we can tell some time in the future.

4. When life knocks you down, DO THE NEXT THING

It is common to feel overwhelmed when life knocks us down. We may feel like giving up, sitting down, and doing nothing. The situation may seem too big, too complicated, and too difficult to move past.

Just remember that God is not asking us to tackle everything at once. He knows life can be hard and overwhelming at times. In fact, God often does not reveal His entire plan to us. He may give us a vision of the future, but not all the steps in-between.

While we don’t have to tackle everything at once, we still have some things that need to be done right now. Maybe we need to get our kids to school. Perhaps we need to go to work, or any number of routine responsibilities that have nothing to do with what is troubling us. We maybe need to do something as simple as eating lunch or brushing our teeth. These simple tasks help keep us healthy so God can continue to use us.

With each “next thing” that we do, we begin to feel a little more ready to handle more. Every step gives us strength for the next one. So do the next thing.

A prayer for when life knocks you down

“Dear Father,

I can’t believe what has happened. I feel so ___________________. This is so difficult I am not sure if I can survive. Yet your word says that I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength. Help me to hang onto that promise.

Please guard my heart against anger and bitterness. I know that you will make something good from this situation, but right now I can’t see it. Help me to trust your promises.

Please give me the strength to be the person you want me to be and learn what I can as you walk with me through this difficulty. I am so glad that you have promised to never leave me. I don’t know what I would do if you were not helping me.

And Lord, I know that I still have many things to be thankful for, so help me remember those many gifts. I know that all good things come from you. Help me to think about the good things so that I will have your peace.

In Jesus name I pray, AMEN

You can download this prayer here.

Final thoughts

Few, if anyone, makes it through life without being knocked down more than once. Yes, it hurts, and we may want to give up. But God gives us tools to get through the hard things that come our way. Part of those tools includes professional counseling if needed.

When like knocks us down we can get up again by preparing, followed by remembering, connecting, praying, and doing the next thing.

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