You want to know one of the worst feelings in the world to me? Feeling stuck.
Stuck in a situation where I can’t see things getting better. I look at the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days and all I see are the same hard patterns being repeated over and over and over.
I try to give myself a little pep rally of sorts and tap into that Pollyanna girl that’s inside me somewhere. The part of me that knows the glass is half-full and chooses to see the bright side. But Pollyanna isn’t there.
Life suddenly feels like it will forever be this way.
And this dark funk eclipses me.
This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when I gave birth to Ashley. I was thankful for these two amazing gifts. I knew they were blessings. I loved them very much.
But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor’s appointment or in conversations with the mommies that had gone before me.
In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came. This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Needy cries.
One night in between feedings I went to the drug store to get some baby Tylenol. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the drug store and stared inside. There were normal people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations. They had on cute outfits and fixed hair-dos.
I looked at my reflection in the rear view mirror.
This is my life. Forever.
Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away. Far away.
And then guilt slammed into my already fragile heart and I convinced myself God was going to punish me for feeling this way and take one of my babies. Teach me a lesson. Smite me for being so stinkin’ selfish.
I cried until I could hardly breathe.
I thought about this the other day when I started feeling stuck in a different situation.
A situation that felt so big and made me so sad. I felt myself on that edge of the dark funk thinking this is the way it’s going to be forever.
But then I remembered that night crying in my car. I realized those days of diapers and no sleep weren’t forever. It was a season. A season that came and went. And this would play out that way too.
It’s the rhythm of life. The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.
I closed my eyes and whispered, “Are you here God? Hold me. Breathe courage into my weak will. Help me.”
And in that moment I realized all that God ever wants from me is to want Him. Love Him. Acknowledge Him.
In the midst of struggles. In the midst of my victories. “God, I love you. I don’t love this situation. But I love you. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and walk through until I get to the other side of this.”
One step at a time. With the full assurance God is okay with me even when I’m not okay with me.
“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to hold fast to Him – then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23)
I love how the Scriptures say, “hold fast” to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow. Make God the last thing I try when I’m stumbling and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, “God…” at the utterance of His name He “dispossess” things trying to possess me.
Then I can see this is a season. This isn’t how it’s going to be forever. Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. And if my mind can rise above, my heart gets unstuck.