Last week, I asked the question, "Do you feel stuck?" Along with comments, I got quite a few emails from people telling me about how they are "stuck." I'd like to share some of these emails (with permission) and address them.
Lauren writes: "I really enjoyed reading your recent post. I am definitely feeling stuck. I really thought that once I got out of this abusive situation (marriage) and finished with court that I would be able to start to thrive. But, I am struggling much more than I anticipated. Part of that, no doubt, is losing the amazing church community that I had established. I felt we had to move away in order to be safe. I really want to feel peace and freedom to set down roots for my daughter and myself."
In my previous post, I gave the "car sliding off the road" analogy. Lauren's car has slid off and landed in the ditch of doubt, despair, and disbelief. In other words, life is not meeting her/your expectations and you/she begins to wonder, where is God in all of this? What should I be doing? Will I ever get "un-stuck"?
The biggest thing needed when stuck here is ENCOURAGEMENT.
The first source of encouragement needs to be from God so that we can remember Whose we are and Who is in control. GET IN GOD'S WORD.
"I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - the fruit that will last..." (John 15:16)
We are CHOSEN. Forgetting we are chosen leaves us stuck. Claim your inheritance. Even if you don't "feel" it, "choose" it.
In addition, call upon the Lord. He's listening. Here is His promise of encouragement for those who are stuck. God's heart is FOR you...
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
(Psalm 40:1-3 ...my life verse.)
Getting "un-stuck" is a work that the Father will do in us and for us if we ask...He hears our cry! Our pleas will not go unanswered.
When I lived outside of Chicago, I was traveling along an icy two lane road with ditches on both sides. Even though I was going slowly, I hit a pure patch of ice and I soon realized I was going off the road and right smack into a snow bank.
I was definitely stuck. I tried, unsuccessfully, by myself to get my car out of the ditch. Thankfully a couple of drivers stopped to come to my rescue. One had a big 4 wheel drive truck. He had a cable that he hooked to my car from the hitch on his truck. The other car had two carpentry fellows heading to a job. They had wood planks in their vehicle.
Between the tugging of the big truck, sand underneath my wheels to give them traction, and wooden planks being shoved under my wheels, for leverage, as the two carpenters pushed my car from behind, it wasn't long before I was back on the road again. But, it took a team of encouragers.
When we're stuck we can't go it alone. We need a "team."
Who is our team? The body of Christ
Who is the body of Christ? The Church which is made up of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Even if we need to swallow our pride and admit that we need help, we need to run to those who can come alongside us and cheer us on. This may require hard work on our part - like putting ourselves out there to join a small group or a Sunday School class. Ask God for the courage.
When I was going through my divorce, I told a few close friends that I REALLY needed their help because I was struggling. They became my "Perseverance Posse." They didn't allow me to stay stuck. They prayed me through. But I had to make myself vulnerable and lose the self-sufficiency way of thinking. This is healthy dependence.
Getting un-stuck means setting aside our pride.
Why do we need this team of encouragers?
The enemy of our soul is always prowling about. He wants nothing more than to isolate us from the pack. That makes us easy prey. If he can isolate us, he can more easily destroy us. He can pour his lies into us and when we're stuck, it's harder to refute them.
A team of encouragers will remind us of God's Truth and help us hold it up against the enemy's lies. Being stuck is most definitely a spiritual battle. One we are bound to lose if we go it alone. There is safety and comfort in the pack.
Back to my starting point of needing to be in the Word.
When stuck in a spiritual battle, we need the sword of Truth. We need to know Whose we are and that God is in control. We need encouragement.
As I told my new friend Lauren...if she is coming out of an abusive relationship, she could, most definitely, use a Christian counselor, pastor, or mentor. Though she was physically removed from the abusive relationship, the baggage from years of abuse had not yet been removed from her.
Sometimes the weight of our "baggage" keeps us stuck.
** Sisters in Christ, if you are in an emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive relationship or marriage, God DOES NOT expect you to submit to this person. God does not want His precious daughters being used as doormats. Seek help about getting out if your husband shows no signs of changing...REAL change not empty promises. **
Dear Heavenly Father, please turn to me and hear my cry. I'm stuck in the mud and mire and I need You to lift me out with your righteous right hand. I claim that I am chosen by you and dearly loved. If you are for me, who can be against me. Help me to set aside my pride and seek encouragement in your Holy Word and in the body of Christ. Give me a safe hiding place there. Hide me underneath your wings and keep me safe from the enemy. I wait, expectantly and thankfully, for the miracle you are about to perform and the way out you will open for me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
What about you? What is God calling you to do to get "un-stuck." How can you be an encourager to someone around you who is stuck? Are you struggling in the stuck and need prayer? Please feel free to Comment or contact me and I will pray for you.
ps. If you'd like to read more of this "Stuck to "Un-stuck" series, go to the SUBSCRIBE tab above and enter your contact information to receive my weekly blog post (and nothing else). Be Sure to check your email inbox for a CONFIRMATION LINK that you will have to click to finish your subscription. Thanks for reading...