Why You Feel Stuck
Everyone has been there. Going weeks or months at a time feeling stuck, like you’re going nowhere and amounting to nothing.
Disclaimer: Sometimes you really are making progress, but Satan - the accuser of the brethren and father of lies – is good at making your extraordinary sacrifices feel worthless. In those cases, you’re not dealing with *actually* being stagnant or lacking purpose, but you’re dealing with the lie of the enemy. Your response to those lies is to keep moving forward and don’t throw in the towel. Mother, wife, student, saint, you are making a difference!
Disclaimer aside, there are times when you truly are struggling to find purpose. Maybe you have a good job, a stable home, regular church involvement, but you still feel like you’re not going anywhere. What do you do then? Keep trudging along because this is all that life has for you? I don’t think so. Here are just a few reasons why you may be feeling stuck:
- Your routines are not serving who you want to be in 10 years. If you want to be an astronaut, your habit of putting off your math homework and sleeping during science class isn’t serving who you want to be in the future. If you’re feeling stuck, it may be that your daily routines and habits that feel so miniscule and unimportant are not bringing you any closer to the Big Dream for your life.
- You’ve lost sight of the Big Dream. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than someone who has lost the ability to dream in the Holy Ghost. What do I mean by that? Do you remember when you first started your journey as a child of God - maybe during a personal Bible study or being mentored by a leader in the church – and it felt like the whole world was full of opportunities? You felt as if you could do anything, take on any challenge, overcome all odds, go overseas for missions, open up a school, see big prayers answered, teach 1,000 Bible studies...the sky was the limit!! Sadly, many lose that sense of awe and excitement as they continue on their journey. Daily life becomes ordinary and mundane; they have lost the ability to dream.
- You’ve disconnected from the Source. By the source, we mean THE Source. The King of Glory, God of wonders. When you become disconnected from the Life-Giver, life loses its wonder. Your heart, your desires, you, you, you… Self becomes all-important, which the Bible clearly shows us always amounts to nothing.
What to Do
When you’re in a rut, shake things up!
I don’t know who originally told me to do this, but changing small things can help you get un-stuck from your norm and help you re-examine where you’re at (even something as simple as where you always put your keys when you come home). When you re-examine your routines, habits, and values, you’ll see what big things need to change.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What am I placing my value on the most? Hint: look at your time “receipts” and your money receipts. Where are you spending your time, energy, and resources? Is it always on self and entertainment? Are you giving or are you always in taking or conserving mode? It’s a tale as old as time: two people at the same age, same stage in life place their value on different things. One is focused on basketball and sports heroes; they spend their time on YouTube watching clips from games, spend their money on going to games or the latest gear. The other is focused on becoming a neurosurgeon. They spend their time working on their hand-eye coordination, studying, applying for scholarships. They spend their money on extra courses, to go listen to lectures. The basketball fanatic will not become a neurosurgeon, the science-obsessed student will not be in the NBA draft pick ever in his life. What they are focused on is what they will become. Maybe you want to be a phenomenal homeschool teacher, but you spend all your time on Instagram looking at other peoples’ homes and lifestyles and you spend all your money trying to be like them. You’ll never be a top tier homeschooling ninja if you don’t put some effort, time, and value on it.
- What is the vision for my life? If this question is hard to answer, it’s time for a meeting with the Lord. Something my pastor shared with me as a young high school student years ago that truly shaped my life was this exercise here: Make a circle and write down all the things you love to do. Organize, paint, read, write, teach, sing, etc. Then make another circle like a Venn Diagram and write down all the things you’re gifted at. Leading, encouraging, researching, creating, etc. Then make a final circle with all the things God has put into your heart over the years; homeschooling your kids, teaching Bible studies, leading, being an excellent wife, etc. Where those three intersect, that’s the vision for your life. Where your natural giftings, interests, and callings touch – that’s where the extraordinary takes place.
- What is bugging me the most about my life right now? This is less spiritual, but what are some things that are bothering you when you go throughout your day? Maybe it’s waking up to a messy kitchen or never having a plan for what food you’re going to cook. Maybe it’s something as silly as feeling like your hair is always unflattering and you want to put in more effort every day. It sounds silly, but picking one thing and focusing on it is a good catalyst for the things that matter even more. You get in the practice of beautifying and strengthening your life, and watch how God will give you clarity in your next steps. You’ll make the most of your time and God will honor that. There is extraordinary in the ordinary!
This week, THIS WEEK, this week– what can you focus on and change? Is it a spiritual habit or a physical habit that needs to be implemented or changed? Put a time and date next to it. For example, “At 6:45 every morning I will wake up and do the following three things before I start my day”. Or, “when I come home from work, I will immediately change clothes and take a walk.” Whatever it is, and you know what it is, make a plan for this upcoming week for how you will make progress on it. While you’re working on the mundane, make sure to take time for a dreaming session. Close your eyes in prayer and ask the Lord to stir your heart again for those big dreams. They make the mundane, extraordinary.