I Fell Off A Cliff (Literally) And Into My Life!

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They call it Meditation Rock, I call it Miracle Rock. Beautiful, serene and the perfect place to sit quietly, read and pray. That’s just what I did – until I fell off it. It was a twenty three foot drop with a rock-solid landing. Ten broken bones, three broken teeth, four years and a whole new life later I’m ready to tell my story.

Long ago I knew I wanted to be a camp counselor in the spectacular mountains of Colorado. I wasn’t a big fan of my college. The only thing I liked about it was the giant bean bag chair that I crashed on in my dorm. I had to get out of there. I applied to the perfect camp and sat by the phone for weeks waiting for my acceptance call. Rejection was not what I expected, but it is what I got. Angry at God I begrudgingly headed to a smaller camp in Maine – a state I hadn’t heard of since my 6th grade geography class. Little did I know I would fall in love…with Maine, with Matt and with the Lord. Let’s start with the Lord. We met at Chop Point camp. We had been acquaintances for a long time, but it was there that our true relationship began. I’d wake up early, drudge my way up a windy path and crawl under Meditation Rock. There were a lot of jagged rocks under Meditation rock but there was one smooth, flat rock that was perfect for quiet times. That is, of course, when the tide was out – otherwise it was covered in water. It was there, on that special rock that I discovered the Word was living and active and that, it applied to my life! I visited this special spot regularly over the next four years. Speaking of special, a particular young man caught my eye one summer at Chop Point. One that I just knew was the one for me. I’m told I called his name out over and over when they found me broken beneath the rock. He wasn’t the man, however, that drove an hour every day for a month to visit me in the hospital. No, I broke up with that man long ago. He wasn’t the one for me. I knew best.

So there, I lay beneath Meditation rock bleeding and murmuring this other young man’s name over and over again. I’m told I whispered “help me sweet Jesus” a few times between the painfully embarrassing displays of emotion. Over an hour later I was life-flighted to the Central Maine Medical Center where I under went 18 hours of surgery. I remember none of this. The first thing I remember is my friend Matt, the one I’d broken up with long ago, sneaking me a sip of water when the doctors were looking the other way. I was dying of thirst and they would only give me ice chips! I spent more than a month in the hospital. I was blessed to be alive. Somehow, miraculously, I did not land on the dangerously jagged rocks, but on the one flat rock I had spent so much time on. Not only that, but the angle of the rock I landed on leaned toward the water. I managed to roll up the rock. I should have rolled off and drowned. I did however, shatter my knee, break my femur in three places, destroy my hip, crush my wrist and spit out a few pieces of my back teeth (into Matt’s hands). But, I was alive and had no damage to my head, neck or back. The recovery period was still quite the process. It took years. People thought I would get depressed right away, but I didn’t. I was surrounded by loving family and friends for months. Then my world began to fall apart. The reality of the recovery time hit me and in the meantime life wasn’t giving me any breaks. That special young man got engaged (and not to me), my grandfather passed away and my uncle committed suicide. I was a wreck. Totally and completely depressed. I did find a job I had wanted all my life – a youth director. But, I was so discouraged that I couldn’t keep it up. I had no idea what to do with my life. Once again I found myself questioning God.

I began to make lists of things that I loved. A funny thing came to mind. Bean Bag Chairs. I was infatuated with the huge bean bag chair I had in college. I even got a job selling them my sophomore year. Every time I thought about what I wanted to do for a living the word bean bag popped into my head. Though it felt crazy, I decided to call my old boss and tell him how I was feeling. He suggested that I start selling his bean bag chairs in Maine for a 20% commission. I gave it a try. That Christmas I decided to sell the bean bags at a small strip mall. I set up a tiny little business in a back corner. The business consisted of one employee (me) and three bean bag chairs. Then Matt came along. Again. He just happened to be an artist and somewhat of a perfectionist. He encouraged me fix up the corner, build http://www.heavenlybeanbags.com, print business cards and pricelists. He also began (or maybe I should say continued) to pursue me relentlessly. Over time I noticed some pretty amazing qualities in Matt. These qualities won my heart. We have been married for two years now and I’m still not sure when the honeymoon is going to end. As our love grew, Heavenly Bean Bags also blossomed. Eventually we started making the bean bags in Maine and adding all sorts of new features (like removable, washable covers). We set up at the same little strip mall every Christmas Season. Although the business venture kept us incredibly busy, we knew that Matt’s art was a talent that we did not want to let go of. Matt and I saved some money and made prints of his work. We rented 40 feet of space from the same little mall and started something totally new. We gathered the work of local Christian artists, including potters, photographers, jewelers, painters, stained glass artisans, and furniture makers (bean bags included) and sold them on consignment. We fell in love with the idea of supporting Christian artists and now we are going to pursue it full time. Tomorrow, we’re signing a contract with the biggest mall in Maine, the Maine Mall. We are opening our own store, Genesis Guild. Genesis Guild will specialize in Maine Crafted Home Decor items made by Christians!

So here I am at two o’clock in the morning thinking over what God has done in my life over the past four years. I had it all figured out. I was going to a camp in Colorado, working with youth and marrying “the man of my dreams”. But God had a different plan. I went to a camp in Maine, fell off Miracle rock, married a wonderful (but real) man, started a bean bag business and am about to open a store in the biggest mall in Maine! Although it was incredibly hard at times, I thank God that I fell off a cliff and into my life!

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