Stuck In The Middle

More often than I like to admit, I find myself in a place of feeling stuck. I start strong, I’m holding onto dreams and promises that have have grown in my heart, and then I hit the middle.

Stuck happens. Regularly. So don’t quit. Instead, we can use those middle moments and quiet seasons to evaluate where we are in life. What do you want to change? Is God charting new territory for your life? Are there new opportunities on the horizon? Have you been playing it safe or avoiding taking risks because you are comfortable where you are at?

Here are just a few things that have helped me navigate seasons of life where it seems like I’m stuck.

1. Persevere. Life is a long road. Determine to be in it for the long haul. Have long term vision. See beyond just this season of life and learn everything you can from it.

2. Ask for help. Tell someone; a trusted friend, family member, coach, mentor, pastor - that you feel stuck. I wish I would have sooner. After experiencing two back to back miscarriages, I spent two years spiraling down a tunnel of despair and anxiety because I didn’t know how to bring it up. If people ask you how you’re doing use it as an opportunity to tell the truth and ask for help. You aren’t the only one going through hard times in life. They will offer wisdom, perspective and encouragement to help you keep going.

3. Do something. In one particular time in my life I was frustrated in my job and felt stuck. There was nowhere for me to grow; no positions I could apply for within the company, no promotions to work toward, so I started applying for jobs with an organization I had always wanted to work for. I didn’t get any call backs, but it challenged me to stick it out where I was at and keep learning.

4. Settle in. This might sound totally contrary to what I’ve written so far, but sometimes what we view as being stuck is actually an important part of our story. Think Moses on the backside of the desert for 40 years, Joseph in captivity for years, Hannah waiting for her promised child, kind of waiting. It’s the middle of the story between the promise and the fulfillment. We often struggle and fight through these seasons not fully understanding that God wants us to ride it out with Him. Instead of asking ”why am I in this place” or ”why is this happening to me”, try listening for what God wants to do in you during this season.

5. Rest. Rest doesn’t mean we’re giving up. Take a cue from Jesus’ words in Matthew 11: 28-30 MSG “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Walk with me, work with me, watch how I do it. Jesus modeled for us how to be patient in the process, and let the plan play out. He could have rushed it. He could have jumped the timeline. But he didn’t.

6. Hold on to hope. We live in a world that is a lot more likely to say “don’t get your hopes up” than to cheer you on. We’re more likely to discourage people than encourage them. We say it’s never going to happen, when God says, “Today could be the day!” In the Psalms, David often encouraged himself in the Lord, and even challenged his own soul to hope in God. Abraham’s storyline changed forever because he chose to hold on to hope when everyone else was telling him his situation was hopeless. We can anchor our hope to His word over our life. So give yourself a pep talk if you have to and remind yourself of all God has done, and what he will do.  

“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” (Philippians 1:6 AMP)

Kristina Sabestinas

Kristina lives in Spokane, WA where she enjoys drinking really good coffee and raising her three boys alongside her husband, Justin. She has spent most of her career in government and political work, and has recently transitioned to working with her parents at the church they have pastored for over 25 years. You can hear some of her messages at: victoryfaith.org/faithcast.

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