There are days when the mud seems to rise too high for us to fight it back. Maybe we have become entangled in a net and can’t get loose. Stuck, trapped, snared, and unable to move. We have forgotten what light looks like anymore and we fear we may never see it again; if we ever really saw the light in the first place. It is a hard place to be and even harder to explain it to another.
I can remember those times all too well in my life. I would lie curled up in my bed and ask myself: “how on earth did I ever get into this mess?” Sometimes I knew it was because of the decisions I had made, other times I wasn’t as sure. You know that feeling: your stomach churns and the tears flow and you hide from your family and friends because you don’t want to be a burden? Those are the days when we don’t even want to see our counselor or hit a meeting because we are so sure that even they would never get it.
What if you could see just a sliver of light? Would you be willing to take advantage of that sliver of light and believe that maybe, just maybe there was more where that came from? For me it started with a prayer. Oh, I couldn’t pray it. I had to ask someone else to pray it until I could. Yes, that meant I actually had to answer the phone or the text!!
I needed a rescue. No one I knew could give it to me; however, there were people who would help me to find it. I didn’t want to feel the way I was feeling forever and the only way out was to send a distress signal out to a friend. That friend needed to be someone I could trust and someone who I knew would send up prayers on my behalf. I knew my eyes needed to be on God to get out of the mess, but I just didn’t have it in me.
Slowly, I was able to look forward because looking back did no good. I couldn’t change what had happened but I could change the present and thus the future. Those prayers eventually became my prayer. Psalm 25 became my strength. I couldn’t read it all but I kept asking God to show me what to do next, even if next was only getting up and going to work. Hours became days became weeks became months became years.
My ability to stand up and let go of the pain did not come overnight. It came by having someone else help me cut the net from my feet and pull me out of the mud. And once out, it took my commitment and motivation to change. It is a daily struggle, because life is a daily struggle. Today I get out of the mud a lot faster. I tell others quicker. I pray before I slip into the mud bath and I don’t get tangled up like I used to.
Please, please; reach out today if this is your story. If there is no one you know, look up a church with a prayer line and call them. Just tell them you hurt and you need prayer. Get up and find a counselor whose name you like and give them a try. Go to a Celebrate Recovery meeting or other 12 step and meet people who have walked where you have walked. Look up. God is there and you will find his love and his strength until you have your own.
“My eyes are always looking to the Lord for help, for he alone can rescue me from the traps of my enemies.” Psalm 25: 15
2 replies on “Stuck”
I think everyone has those times. When I do I try to remember that the way out of quicksand is to relax – the more you tense and fight, the more it drags you down. But sometimes, taking a deep breath, maybe doing something different, like taking a walk in the fresh air will enable you to start to relax and go with it. Then the mud starts to release its grip on you and you can begin to float above it. It sometimes means having to lie down down face first in it before you can bring yourself out of it. But by then you know what the mud looks like, smells like, tastes like, and you can work with it until it begins to slide off you. The more you understand what is holding you down or back, the more likely you are to be able to think rationally through to a solution.
Does it take prayer? For me, as an atheist, I have struggled with the concept of prayer. Why? because it works. And for me, it works two ways: The prayers of others give me reassurance that someone cares. Prayer may not work in that transactional way we often think of it, but it’s good to know that others are willing to give me a thought from time to time, to donate a little bit of their time in this world – and time is part of their life. The other useful function of prayer is that it enables us to reach deeper within for those resources we never knew we had in us and find that inner strength. Some call that reaching out for a deity, but I think it often has more to do with calling on those inner reserves for one more push.
Thank you so much for your comment Jerry. I agree with much of what you said about prayer. For me, as a Christian, I see prayer as a way of coming into a deeper relationship with God or Jesus. It is the time I get outside of myself and recognize that I don’t have all the answers and can use some divine assistance in sorting things out. It is also a way of coming into agreement with God’s plan. Jesus said to ask and we would receive, to seek and we would find, and to knock that the door might be opened (Matthew 7:7). The answer may not be what we would like and we might not find the answer right away, however, in prayer we can begin to accept those things out of our control and continue to move forward. Prayer does indeed work. It brings me peace. It gives me time to slow down and discern the best approach going forward, or not as the case may be. I do agree, it is a time to reach deeper and discern the best road ahead. For me it is more than leaning on the universe or something I can see to bring me energy or strength. For me it is leaning on the creator of those things and trusting that just as he has surrounded me with these majestic things on earth–he surrounds me with his love. Now that is more powerful than anything I could imagine for myself. Keep praying my friend. You are always in my prayers and I so appreciate your honest comments as they always give me pause to consider my own faith. God speed.