Have you ever felt stuck? You have every intention of making some changes and putting your best foot forward, but in about two weeks, old habits and emotions begin to creep back in. You opt for the familiar instead of embracing the new. It’s like you are staying safe in the shallow end instead of taking the plunge into the deep unknown. Trading big adventures for a small life.
This is where my brain has been the last couple of weeks as 2018 comes to a close, and a new year of possibilities begins. How many times have I said, “Today I am going to… (fill in the blank)” only to let my circumstances dictate my reactions. No matter how bad I want to start each day with anticipation and expectancy, my reality becomes mediocre, and doing what I need to do to just get by. The end result is a life stuck…unable to move forward.
Reasons people get stuck
So let’s start peeling back the veneer and identify some reasons people get stuck. This is the first step in being able to let go of our anxieties, our disappointments, our past, and move forward into new experiences, new expectations, and new life.
It is crippling when we let the uncertainties of life become the dominate factor in our decision making. We worry about making the right decision…”Is this the right person for me?” “Is this the right job?” “Is this wrong for my family?” The questions and the “what if’s” can seem unending, and we become overwhelmed by not only making the right choice but making the wrong choice.
THE ROOT OF WORRY
When worry takes hold of our life, we are dwelling on our difficulties and usually trying to control the outcome. The fear our worries produce causes us to only see our immediate situation and become blind to what God is doing in our midst. We become stuck as we wallow in our worry.
Disappointment can take the shape of many different realities. The relationship you thought would last a lifetime unexpectedly comes to an end. You experience economic downsizing in a job you were relying on to provide for your families needs. A debilitating disease brings unwanted changes to life plans. The life choices of your teenage or young adult child is in direct opposition of the dreams and hopes you had for them. Life’s disappointments can usher in a deep sadness of unfulfilled expectations.
THE ROOT OF DISAPPOINTMENT
When we experience disappointment, often it is because life is happening outside the parameters we have set for ourselves. We are scrambling to regain control of our lives by looking for something to fill the void. Or, we throw up our hands in despair as life passes us by. Either way, we are stuck living in the pit of disappointment.
Oh man, this can be a big one. Somebody says something or does something that offends us, and we react in one of two ways. We sweep it under the rug for it to only come back bigger than the original offense. Or we sever the relationship, inhibiting any opportunity for the conflict to be resolved.
THE ROOT OF UNRESOLVED CONFLICT
At the core of unresolved conflict is broken trust. We no longer look at the person the same and we begin saying things like “I will never let someone hurt me like that again.” Trust issues not only affect the hurt relationship but all other relationships. We become stuck because we keep everyone at arms length, and our interactions with others stay on the surface.
- How do we move forward in the middle of our difficult circumstances?
- What is the catalyst giving us the ability to truly lay down our burdens?
The answer is the Gospel. Our loving Father made a way for us (Isaiah 43) and set things right through His Son (Romans 3:24-26), and we find rescue from the circumstances that cause us to remain stuck when we enter into a relationship with Jesus.
The question we need to ask ourselves is, have we let the Gospel affect every part of our life? Not just our eternal security but letting His truth go deep and embracing the transformative and regenerative life only God can offer. Only then can we truly lay our burdens at the foot of the cross, trusting Jesus with all of our circumstances, because He is in control and drives out all fear.
Let’s make 2019 the year we finally let go and enter into the life God created us for with arms wide open.
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect, but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. —Philippians 3:12-13 The Voice