stuck

I was stuck for two years.  I was carefully wedged in-between a series of unfortunate events.

It is no man’s land, a scary place.  I did not know what God wanted to change in my life…how many parts He wanted to remove…what He wanted to renew…

I did what I had to do to keep my life afloat.  I worked like a crazy person and tried to hide the fear and exhaustion as well as I could from my two children.  It was hard not to focus on my feelings.  I felt abandoned, angry, shocked and tired.

I didn’t know what to do.  I kept breathing, going through mechanical motions.  I could tick the box that I was alive, but I was not living my life.  I couldn’t turn back to my former way of living.  I was done trusting people and my abilities.  I was done with hope.

Getting stuck can be the best thing that could happen to us, because it forces us to stop.  It halts the momentum of our lives.  We have no choice but to notice what is around us, and we end up searching for Jesus. (Michael Yaconelli)

Amanda meant to move, but somehow her feet didn’t do anything.  They were like Quebec, determined to be independent. (Erin McCarthy)

Once I realized that I had nothing figured out, I was empty enough to turn to God.  He allowed great discomfort in my life to help me to grow.  He made critical changes while I felt stuck.  He also taught me to wait…He didn’t give me clear direction immediately.  I had to surrender my will, my thoughts, my time, my earthly belongings, my children and my life.

Waiting on God is difficult, especially if you are an achiever.  I had no strategy, my risk analysis was useless.  I couldn’t rely on previous experience, because I was certain not to repeat old patterns.

You will find that it is necessary to let some things go simply for the reason that they are heavy on your heart and soul.  Let go of them.  Don’t clamp shackles to your own ankles.  It is incredibly easy to enjoy more of your life now, no matter what the situation.  It’s just a matter of letting go of the layers of nonsense that are weighing you down.  (Melchor Lim)

I became unstuck five years ago.

At first I felt unsure; I had to test my wings.  As I gained momentum, I felt my enthusiasm for life return, long lost passions were ignited.  God filled me with hope for my future.  As joy bubbled up inside, I knew my time had come…God was opening a door that no man could shut.  God turned my mourning into joy!

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7)

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God… (Romans 8:28)

Ask and it will be given to you… (Luke 11:9)

There are many reasons why I got stuck.  At first I was overcome by disbelief.  How could this happen to me?  I felt like I didn’t deserve what was coming my way.  Furthermore, I was a Christian; I wasn’t trained to handle the warfare that I was experiencing in my heart.  I was not supposed to feel depressed.  I handled the discord by blaming everyone around me.  It was hard to look inside myself…the secret thoughts…the despair…

The chains that keep you bound to the past are not the actions of another person.  They are your own anger, stubbornness, lack of compassion, jealousy and blaming others for your choices.  It is not other people that keep you trapped; it is the entitled role of victim that you enjoy wearing.  There is a familiarness to pain that you enjoy because you get a payoff from it.  When you figure out what the payoff is then you will be on the road to freedom. (Shannon L. Alder) 

I tried to please everyone around me.  I constantly felt indebted…that I owed people respect, time, allegiance and my silence.  I felt worthless, managing the effects of other people’s decisions, without regard for my own well-being.  I surrounded myself with people with a conditional love system.  I had to perform to be accepted.  I remember long days, balancing work, my children and the responsibilities imposed onto me by family members.

All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.  Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.  There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:12-18)

Fear and isolation kept me stuck.

If we stay where we are, we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there.  We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with manure up to our chins.  If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying.  You’re saying: leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rat hole.  It’s warm and dry.  Really it’s fine.  When nothing new can get in, that’s death.  When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die.  But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had it all figured out, and now we don’t. (Anne Lamott)

I needed courage to change my ways.  I had to leave my comfort zone, and thereby evaluate the cost of what I had to give up.  I was scared.

Going a little farther he fell with his face in the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Valuable lessons I learned while being stuck. 

Christ is the anchor of my soul. (Hebrews 6:19).  I had to examine my own anchors that were keeping me in a rut.

There is none like the LORD.  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  For there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)

I have experienced tough battles, but I can still exalt God.  I had to take my eyes away from my troubles and look to God.  I had to guard my heart, knowing that my outer nature was wasting away, but God was renewing my inner nature day by day.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:3)

Affliction prepared me for the life that God intended for me.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

God never let me go.  It doesn’t matter what I am going through, Christ is better and I could draw near to Him. He knows my name, my life has a purpose. God released me into this world at this specific time and in a specific place. (Jeremiah 1:5)

And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all of the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and their dwelling place. (Acts 17:26)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:14-15)

God has great plans for my life but my soul needs to be aligned with Him.  He cares about my spiritual well-being, and if I surrender my will and let Him have his way with me I can enter into a close relationship with God.

So as the Holy Spirit says: “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.  That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways’.  So I declared on oath in my anger, they shall never enter my rest.” (Hebrews 3:7-11)

When all is said and done…

It is funny, looking back, none of it seems to matter now, those moments of yearning, craving to belong with people I thought mattered.  No more fragments of glass, pieces of a broken mirror you can’t put back together and wouldn’t want to even if you could. (Rebecca Harris)

We look back on our life as a thing of broken pieces, because our mistakes and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have accomplished and attained. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

As years passed away I have formed the habit of looking back upon that former self as upon another person, the remembrance of whose emotions has been a solace in adversity and added zest to the enjoyment of prosperity.(Simon Newcomb)

Looking back, I realise I had to grow up and be responsible at a very tender age. (Andie MacDowell)

I don’t know where you find yourself, but when circumstances have done wrong to you, don’t quit…fight for your life.  If you are in an abusive situation, resist with all that you have.  When evil comes into your life…find a Biblical way to escape your difficulties.

Explore corrective steps with courage and confidence and move forward.  If you found a reason to walk away, keep walking – get lost while you are moving forward, don’t get stuck looking back.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (2 Ephesians 2:8-10)

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