“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him — then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.” Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (NIV)
You want to know one of the worst feelings in the world to me? Feeling stuck.
Stuck in a situation where I can’t see things getting better. I look at the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, and all I see are the same hard things being repeated over and over and over.
I try to give myself a pep talk and tap into that part of me that chooses to see the bright side. But it isn't there.
Life suddenly feels like it will be this way forever. Impossible. Hard. Beyond what I can bear. And a dark funk eclipses me. I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. But what if I just feel hopelessly stuck in the very dark middle? The place where the end can’t be seen yet? And I start wondering if it ever will.
This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when Ashley was born. I was thankful for these two amazing gifts. I loved them very much.
But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor's appointment or in conversations with other mommies.
In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came.
This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Middle-of-the-night cries.
One night I went to the drug store. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the store and stared inside. There were normal people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations.
I looked at the worn-out woman staring back at me from the rear-view mirror and cried, thinking, This is my life. Forever.
Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away. Far away.
Then guilt slammed into my fragile heart, and I cried until I could hardly breathe.
I often think about this when I find myself feeling stuck in difficult seasons. Those times when my mind teeters on the edge of that dark funk as my heart tries to convince me my season of struggle will never end.
But then I remember that night crying in my car. Those days of diapers and no sleep weren't forever. They were for a season.
It’s part of the rhythm of life. The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.
During one particularly hard season I closed my eyes and whispered, “Lord, what will fix this? What will take away this feeling that I’m going to be stuck in seasons of darkness the rest of my life?”
Three words popped into my mind: Turn to Me.
This sounded good in theory. But, in reality, turning to God felt a bit like trying to hug air.
Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my mind around something I can’t wrap my arms around.
So I picked up the only piece of God I could physically touch: His Word. “If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him — then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23).
I love how this Scripture says "hold fast" to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow — to make God the last thing I try when I'm stumbling and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, "God …" at the utterance of His name He will "dispossess" things trying to possess me.
In the midst of struggles, He is there … I just have to acknowledge that reality. “Dear God, I love You. I don’t love this situation. But I love You. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and walking through until I get to the other side of this.”
Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. I don’t have to run. I can turn to Him. And in doing this, I see His flicker of light, and a pulse of divine hope courses through my heart.
Dear Lord, thank You for helping me see that while this difficult season is a part of the tunnel, it’s not the whole journey. It might be dark in this section, but it won’t be dark all the way through. Keep reminding me that even in the darkest parts, I have immediate access to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (NIV)
Do you long to more clearly recognize God’s voice in your life? Hear the Lord speak intimately to your heart by learning how to seek His direction with the help of Lysa TerKeurst’s new devotional, Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close. Order your copy here today.
You can follow along with Lysa — as she follows after the heart of God — at her blog and on Instagram.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you in the midst of a difficult season that feels unending? How does it help you to know the Lord is there with you? How can you purposefully “hold fast” to Him this week? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
© 2018 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.