With all of life’s ups and downs, have you ever felt stuck? I’m not talking about a little stuck, I’m talking about feeling like you’re trapped in quicksand stuck. Stuck is pretty much how I spent my whole 2019. Life wasn’t horrible, but it sure wasn’t great. I’m not even sure how to accurately describe the feeling of stagnation in my mind, body and spirit. I honestly couldn’t pinpoint an area in my life where I felt progress. I wasn’t where I thought I’d be in any area of life. I was in a job that I wasn’t crazy about. I had some chronic pain in my body that’s progressively healing, but my active lifestyle has been on hold. My finances left me frustrated. My thoughts circled the same mountain for months. I do a great job at coaching other people on how to get unstuck and yet when it came to my own life, I had the hardest time of figuring anything out. Isn’t that usually the case? It’s far easier to help someone else than it is to help ourselves. I tend to want a perfect solution that leads to a perfect outcome that’s wrapped in a perfect bow. Toward the end of the year, I just got fed up with being stuck. The Lord gave me some ways out, as He kindly does. And then He graciously encouraged me that progress will always win out over perfection. God is not interested in perfection. His heart is for us to constantly grow and become like Him. His Holy Spirit gently reminded me of a couple of truths I easily forget.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. John 15:1-2 (NASB)The Lord is in the fruit-bearing business. Everything we do and say produces some sort of fruit. Often, when we don’t see fruit, we panic and worry. It is in those times that He prunes us. He could be breaking some toxic thoughts or establishing new habits. He could be teaching us to rely solely on Him as our source. He could be stripping away pride and self-reliance. He prunes us because He loves us. He prunes us because He is a good Father. He always has our best in mind. Sometimes His best comes in the form of stuck. All we need to do is stay connected to the vine and the vinedresser will do what He does best — nourish and strengthen branches that produce much fruit.
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (CSB)I’ve always loved the part of this verse that says from glory to glory. It reminds me that there is one glory and then another and then another still. But it doesn’t end there. Until Jesus returns, there will always be new levels of glory that can be experienced. This glory is never about us. It is about us gazing at Christ Jesus and becoming more like Him with each passing day. This transformation isn’t designed to happen overnight. It is designed to be a relationship and a journey with Him. It is designed to happen in the intimacy of the secret place with the Lord. One thing I learned coming out of a season of feeling stuck is that whether we see movement, it’s happening. God is always on the move. He is always at work for His glory and for our good. May we learn to trust Him in seasons of feeling stuck and standing still. May we be grateful for slow and steady progress toward who He is calling us to be and what He is calling us to do.
Karina, you are singing my song. 2020 has begun movement after that intentional pause you describe above. and I’m looking around thinking, What’s different??? Hopeful for your journey in Christ. Hopeful for the work He’s doing in me.
I feel like I have spent the good part of my adult life searching for a place and space to put down roots. I have spent the past two years extracting myself from an unhealthy relationship with my daughter’s father. I thought a move away from him would help me to feel more like I had found my place but that hasn’t been the case. I have so many questions. Am I in the right place? Am I working the right career? Am I doing all I can for my daughter? I am eager for God to show me where and how we can thrive.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I know that when you come out of a toxic relationship and break free, your mind goes to what now, Lord? I wear a bracelet that a friend gave me that quotes Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God. Maybe this is a time to focus most on the God who brought you out of Egypt. Career and everything will fall into place, but concentrate on Seeking God first. Ask Him to work the truth of His love deep into your heart. Just enjoy being with Him, in freedom. Abide in His presence for awhile and let Him then gently lead you to where you need to go. Be still and get to know Him. He’ll take care of the rest…
Blessings and prayers sweet sister,
HI Elizabeth, seven and half years ago I uprooted myself and two children from OR to CO after my divorce. I KNEW God had led me to CO, but the process of healing (for myself and my kids) and making friends with whom I felt I truly connected was long and lonely. And don’t get me started on “career”. I finally have felt movement & been given clarity as of late Dec 2019. I can look back now and realize that God had me in the right job for the right duration with the right people to learn the things I needed to learn to get me on my career track.
My reliance on God as my friend as well as my Father and the intimate relationship with Him is what kept me going, knowing and trusting that at the right time he’d bless me with those that I needed. And he did! Five years later…but he did! Let it just be about you and your daughter and God and healing.
Writing these words makes it sound easy. It is not. It can be soooo difficult. Crying in the closet was not a rare event. I just hope you keep the faith and try trusting even when it seems so confusing and so hard (I still have moments of struggling with this). Praying for you to find your peace and that God gives you clarity while he guides you.
Penny Cobb says
This hit home! My 2019 was a season of visible growth in that God brought me home from a job that was not serving me well and gave me a business of loving on people. Since January, I have not seen much growth in my business but now I see the pruning. Thank you for this encouraging word.
Thank you! I needed this.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I know that God has allowed me to get “stuck”. He knows me so well. He knows that’s the only way He’s going to get my undivided attention. Boy did I squirm through those seasons, but like the gentle vine tender, He pruned back what wasn’t healthy and tended to what needed to grow…my faith in Him. If I hadn’t been allowed to get “stuck” I would have merrily bounced along in my own self-sufficient way. The only perfect that God acknowledges is the perfection He see’s when He looks at us through the blood of Christ.
Praying for you, Karina, that this would be a year of gentle pruning and beautiful new growth.
Blessings sweet sister,
I have felt stuck in 2019 too. On May 27th my daughter in law gave birth to a 8 mo th still born baby, Uzziah. It had been a normal pregnancy until then, he just stopped moving inside her.
Both of them were strong believers in Christ, attending church, small groups and actively involved in the youth program at their church.
In fact my son was going to Baptist seminary to become ordained….then Uzziah died, and with his death, their trust in God died.
So, I feel stuck. To let them grieve in their own way, or get involved and try to steer them through the grief. That is the question.
When ever any thing remotely tinges on this event, or going to church, praying table prayers,they get very big and puffed up and defensive.
They have a 3 year old who is very smart and he is not learning the significance of God or having the blessing that comes out of being brought up in a Christian home. And an 11 year old daughter ( from my son’s first marriage) who is left wondering why did we stop going
To church and no longer pray at meals?
your sister in Christ, Betty
Yes! I feel like I have been stuck or waiting on The Lord, as I prefer to say, since that sounds less harsh to me! . My ex-husband left 13 years ago & I have been waiting on The Lord to restore our marriage. My ex is now back after several years of separation with the woman he left me for. During the time he was not with her, he got saved, we were attending the same church sitting in the front row, with our 2 children, now 16 & 13. I was expecting a miracle during that time. It didn’t happen. Now since my ex is back with the other woman, he doesn’t attend our church. He is very rude & non communicative to me, not kind to my daughter, 16, because she has verbalized her dislike for this other woman. My ex & this woman are planning on getting married this summer and closing on a house soon. Two elders from our church were supposed to talk to him, I do not know if they have. Recently a retired pastor, whom my husband respects found out about this and is planning on talking to my ex.
I feel as if we are running out of time! I am desperate for The Lord to do a work in my ex’s heart!
Thank you for your post!
Kellie Johnson says
While I haven’t put the label of “stuck” on myself yet, I definitely can relate to this. In 2019 I had writing goals, fitness goals and a few dreams I was journaling about but our family suffered loss after loss through the year and each time, I had to hit the pause button on my “list”. By fall, I realized my timeline was not my Father’s and each loss presented an opportunity to lean closer to Jesus, something that will eventually take me closer to my goals. So here’s to trying again in 2020 and pouring what I learned in my seasons of pause in this new year. Thank you for the encouragement that comes in hearing about someone else’s stuck season.
amen to all of this!!!
Just what I needed to read! Hadn’t been able to put a name to it, but stagnant is exactly what I have been feeling not just spiritually, but in every area of my life for the past few months. I’m 65 years old, married and been retired for about 5 years. Hopeful that God is pruning me to use to serve Him, it has been my prayer. Maybe I need to have more patience and trust God.
Katrina thank you for sharing this, I too love the part about from glory to glory and the reminder that God is still and always on the move in our lives and in the world. I am 73 years old and still on the move
Wow, so many others out there. I have felt so alone in my struggles lately. I am trying to look at the “pruning” part. This has been scary for me as I only began my real relationship 8 years ago. Things are not going the way I would like them too and I feel I have been trusting God, but lately have been “stuck.” I am working on “letting go” of my dreams and just being and let Him work in his time. Again, trusting that He knows what is right for me better than myself. Thank you all for sharing.
Jan McMinn says
This is exactly what I needed today. I’m in the season of being stuck where I currently reside. It’s been a roller coaster since I moved in. I’m renting from a private landlords. She has assulted me and my family verbally. I have set boundaries with her but it hasn’t helped. I’m praying the Lord will open a door for me to move in 2020. I’m on a fixed income so I don’t have many choices.
Nancy Ruegg says
Praise God for the new levels of glory he has planned for us, “designed to happen in the intimacy of the secret place with the Lord.” You’ve given us the gift of anticipation, Karina, for what will the next level look like!
anny everaert says
Dear christian friendanny
l am stucked my husband is 84 has alzheimer and kidney failure my 3 kids are very busy they are docters not much time and
2 of them abroad and 1 to far off l am 83 so please pray for me that l can look after my husband as long as it takes he was a
fine beautiful soul real christian fellow it makes it all so unrealistic how can that happen? how can l cope with the difficult situation?
We are almost alone in our enviremont there are not many christians (evangelical) so please pray .
I just said a prayer for you this morning, praying for strength and encouragement and for a way to receive help caring for your husband to be made evident to you.
Beth Williams says
Praying for you in your tough season. May God gently prune you & guide you on this journey. God will find ways to prune His children & bring them back to Himself. We tend to get busy with life & often forget God until something bad happens. “Stuck” is His way of getting our attention. He did that to me for around 12 years. I was helping care for aging parents. Couldn’t move away or start a new job. In the process I found myself being pruned & saw new growth. On the other side of that I more readily trust God & have a stronger faith than ever before. I feel I have a little bit of a testimony now to share with others. Being in stuck mode is never fun, but well worth it in the end.
This is helpful to read; my 2019 was a year of struggle, too. My relationship of eight years ended badly: it technically never did, and yet he’s got a new girlfriend, and the dog. I can’t seem to breathe, much less move on, no matter how hard I try. My health is paying a hefty price. I am nearly homebound now. I can’t find my footing- just stuck. I keep praying, and keep staying put. I just pray that whatever good is meant from this is being accomplished. Thanks for your words.