“Satellites Not Found” my GPS rudely informed me as I drove towards the exit of the parking garage. I could feel anxiety swelling in me, almost like a wave of worry ready to consume me as I pulled through the ticket booth. I’m definitely not one to explore unfamiliar city territory alone without the benefit of my GPS. And, that afternoon I wasn’t up for an adventure, I just wanted to get home. My mind raced. How was I going to find my way? Just then “turn left” broke my thoughts. My GPS came through! Now I could confidently continue on my journey. I knew without it, I’d certainly have gotten lost!
Today when I was reminded of that day, I was struck that while I remained parked in the garage, I was unsuccessful in gaining direction. I needed to move first. I needed to set myself in motion in the general direction I knew I needed to go – towards the exit, and then, only then when I was moving could I find the specifics of how to continue to my desired destination.
As crazy as it sounds, I needed that memory to realize I was getting stuck. Sometime in the past weeks or months I had pulled into a bit of a spiritual and emotional parking garage. Maybe it was all of the political negativity of late, or being incredibly busy at work, or simply no shortage of life challenges…but somewhere between the streets of overwhelmed and uncertainty, I curled up on the comfy couch of life and began feeling a bit lost. Unfortunately, none of us are immune to feeling that way. We all seem to have our moments or seasons like this. In fact I’ve talked to several people recently who said they’re dealing with the same feelings. Maybe you are too?
But, when we park there – in our spiritual and emotional parking garage, the road in front of us begins to feel more like a mountain than an exit from our stuck place. We want God to show up and not just give us direction rather give us jet propulsion in the direction we need to go. Have you ever noticed that when we find ourselves tucked in a spiritual fetal position, God is unlikely to push us into movement? He seems far more likely to show up when we do. When we commit to taking a step, He’s faithful to guide it.
So what do you do when you find yourself overwhelmed, or realize you’ve stopped pursuing your purpose, or your stuck in a an emotional or spiritual parking garage minimizing your impact and effectiveness? I found these five steps can get us back on track:
- Decide you do not want to be stuck. Are you ready to commit to moving forward? Are you done being stuck? Mark your calendar, write it in your journal, or put a sticky note on your mirror. The first step is decide you’re done being where you are, because only once you decide you are finished being stuck, you can press “go” and begin your journey.
- Pray. God already knows right where you are so why not ask Him for help? Ask and it will be given to you (Luke 11:9 NIV) Where are you struggling? Be real with Him and listen for His whisper. He will answer.
- Connect with friends. Connect, really connect with friends or family. Don’t just write on a friend’s Facebook wall or send a messenger note, but find time to connect in person with someone close to you, someone you can be real with. There’s power in genuine connection. It breaks the sense of isolation that “stuck” tries to burden us with.
- Take your first step. I’m willing to bet that you may already know what your next step is but you’ve been afraid to take it. Insecurity has robbed you of your confidence to follow through. Now grab hold of your faith and refuse to be deterred. If you don’t know what you need to do next, pray, listen, then follow through.
- Repeat. Life is a journey. You need to continue to take one step after the next. “Stuck” will try to call you back to where you just were. Instead repeat all of the steps until you are firmly on your journey leaving your “parking garage” behind.
Now go have a great week! Get out of your parking garage and enjoy the journey.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you been struggling with being overwhelmed or stuck? What has worked to help get you moving, or what from today’s blog do you think will help you the most? I’ve heard from so many people feeling overwhelmed just now – Why not share today’s post with a friend who might need it too?
With this post, my Tuesday blogs are back! Join me again next week for inspiration from everyday life. And be sure to watch out for my November giveaway. God’s given me a powerful image for what He can do with our brokenness. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more about that and having a giveaway! Stay tuned.
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