Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Whiplash

Want to share this with someone?

In the fall of 2021, my family and I were involved in a car accident in one of our first weekends in Athens. The airbags went off. But we were all ok. We had insurance. We walked away with only minor bruises and aches. The urgent care doctor I saw after the accident told me I would be sore for a bit. He called it our word of the week: whiplash.

Whiplash: to jerk or jolt (someone or something) suddenly, typically so as to cause injury.

Beyond a physical experience of pain in an accident, whiplash is something we can experience as an emotional or spiritual condition as well. The pandemic. A life-threatening diagnosis. A death. "I don't want to be married to you anymore."

All whiplash moments.

Whiplash leads you to question everything you knew as true. Whiplash keeps you from making many plans for the future. Whiplash can bruise you in places you didn't know could hurt so badly.

I have friends-- and maybe this is your story-- who grew up in very rigid faith traditions yet later find themselves deconstructing their faith as part of their healing journey. It's great, but the process often comes with the feeling of being tossed to the wind, questioning everything, not knowing what is "home" anymore. Whiplash is so unsettling.

Where is the good in whiplash you might be wondering?

Well, like any experience, whiplash also has its gifts.

For whiplash can be THE jolt you need to get to the place where you need to be.

Maybe, just maybe whiplash is the only way you could get there. Your life is just too stuck otherwise. Your living with whiplash teaches you much about where you want to go and what is more important to you-- what you want to put your energy toward creating when you find solid ground again.

If you are currently experiencing whiplash, this is what I most want to say to you: keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Do the next right thing. Go through the pain. And do all of this with HOPE!

I want you to have hope that even though you might feel lost or alone or overwhelmed in the whiplash of now something else is also true. Your spirit, your heart, your soul KNOW the way to healing. They just do. So give yourself some time. Rest. Be around people that encourage you. Goodness will find you again.

Whiplash never lasts forever.