Now, more than ever before, I am connecting with so many women who are feeling stuck in their lives, unable to move toward the thing that they want and the thing that God calls them to do. They are terrified of what the future may hold.
I get it. We are all trying to adjust to a new normal.
But adjusting is often soooooo hard because we feel stuck.
Stuck because we just won’t let things go. Old ways of thinking. Old habits. Sometimes even letting go of people who were in an old season. Sometimes we stay stuck because we are continuing to CHOOSE stuck on a daily basis.
Because when we are terrified, it’s easier to claim, “I’m stuck” than it is to gather courage and say, “I’m trying again.” Or “I’m breaking free.”
And now more than ever, you need to break free. Pivot. Move. Change. Get unstuck.
The thing about a woman being stuck is that it not only affects us, but everyone around us.
When I am stuck, my husband pays for it. My kids pay for it. My business suffers. I am not the kind of friend I want to be.
I have to fight staying stuck for them too.
We have the strength to break free from the flimsy ropes that are holding us in place, but too often we have grown comfortable in our stuckness. We carry it around like a toddler’s favorite blanket.
Friend, what you are doing, the words you are using, the wrong thought patterns that you are playing over and over in your mind, they are not serving you well. And in order to get you from stuck to free, we have to be able to recognize our own stinkin’ thinkin’ (thank you, Joyce Meyer, for that terminology). Let me give you an example.
As a mom, I show love to my kids by helping them see when they’re acting like knuckleheads. And real love is helping them work through why they do what they do so they don’t do it again.
For example, one of my boys has a friend who is a complete flake. There is just no other way to say it. The kid says he will come over and does not. He makes plans and then cancels, or worse, just doesn’t show. He dumps plans with my son if a better offer comes up.
As a mom, it makes me want to say, “Hold my earrings.” Can I get a witness?
One day I told my son he needed to stand up for himself with this kid. But even as I was talking, God reminded me that I have never been good at letting people know when I’m not okay with how they treat me. I have stayed in relationships, both personal and professional, that I shouldn’t have, and have always had trouble standing up for myself. I generally make decisions that keep the peace and don’t ruffle any feathers. Peace at all costs has always been my go-to emotion.
And then it hit me . . . oh my gosh, my son is acting just like me!
In fact, one of the reasons this manuscript was hard for me to write is because I wanted to be bolder in my writing. I wanted to write the things that I know to be truth, even if I don’t have the courage to say those same things out loud.
I am praying God will give me that grace, but I’m not there yet. I might sound cocky on paper, but I still struggle with hard conversations. I can shrink down and behave like a wounded middle schooler in a hot second. I don’t say what I so badly want to for fear of upsetting people. And now I have to ask myself, is my son doing the same thing? Is he not telling his friend that his feelings are hurt, or that standing him up is not okay, because of me? Did I hand my son “being a pushover”? Did I hand him “just take it”? Because that isn’t okay. That is NOT what I want to hand any of my children.
These kind of aha moments will change your life if you let them.
When God shows you how you are behaving and then is kind enough to lovingly show you why you behave in that way, it is a game changer.
This, my friend, will get you unstuck.
I need for you to understand that you are not defined by the awful things that happened to you. That traumatic childhood, that abusive boyfriend, that cheating spouse, that friend who betrayed you . . . those experiences are not all of you. Certainly, a part of you, but not all of you.
They are not who you are.
You are a grown woman, capable of healing, capable of being whole, capable of doing hard things, capable of moving forward. God does not mark your life by one event or tragedy or a series of them, for that matter, and you should not either.
It’s time to stop replaying the old tapes and the old mistakes over and over in your mind. You are not who you were back then. You aren’t who you were last month. You are not even the same person you were yesterday if you did any sort of reflection, prayer, or anything to grow yourself in the last twenty-four hours.
You may have failed, but you are not a failure. You don’t have to stay stuck. Try again.
It’s time to break free of all that is holding you back and getting out of your own head so you can live the life you were made for.
Jennifer Allwood is a passionate cheerleader of women who adds biblical truth to the modern day “dream big” mantra. She’s the author of Fear Is Not the Boss of You: How to Get Out of Your Head and Live the Life You Were Made For and podcast host of The Jennifer Allwood Show. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook.