How to Get Out of the Mud

Zoom calls. Distance learning. Social restrictions. Quarantine. Anxiety. Fear. Stress. Hopelessness.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year of pandemic uncertainty. 

Remember at the beginning, neighbors waved from across the street on their walk. Families spent hours doing activities they never had time for before. Everyone was baking. I loved those cookie deliveries! What started out as a “we’re in this together” mantra, shifted to a “why bother” groundhog-day reality. For those at home, it’s gotten harder and harder to trade the pajama bottoms and sweatshirts for jeans and sweaters. It seems pointless to muster the motivation to get up and get moving, literally or figuratively. And don’t even get me started on the kids. We can barely keep ourselves motivated, let alone make the monotony of online classes more exciting than Minecraft and Robolx. 

We’re Stuck!

You feel it.
Your kids feel it.
Your spouse feels it.
We all feel it.

For some, this feeling is new. You’re physically stuck at home, unable to do the things you love, go places you enjoy or spend time with your friends and family whenever you choose. You’re used to being active and the past several months cooped up inside are taking a toll. 

For others, this feeling is an old, unwanted companion. It’s the feeling of bubble gum on the bottom of your shoe on a hot day. No matter how hard you rub, it never fully goes away. It’s a sticky mess. The more you try to clean it up, the more it seems to stretch & spread. 

Sound familiar? 

So what do we do? 

How do we break free? 

How do we get unstuck? 

For me, it starts with prayer. I can’t do this alone. I desperately need God to help refocus my thoughts & give me a different perspective. Romans 12:2 is one of my go to verses when I need to shift my thoughts. I have to get out of my head. I have to replace momentary emotions with words of truth. I have to be intentional; and sometimes I have to do it several times a day. It’s a process, like pushing a car out of the mud. You can’t push just once and it’s done. You have to get others to help push and keep pushing until you’re on solid ground again. 

Let today be your first step out of the mud. I’m cheering for you!

Here are a few tips that have helped me:

  1. Admit you’re stuck. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.
  2. Give yourself permission to be _________. It’s healthy to feel your emotions for a time. It’s not healthy to live there.
  3. Ask for help. We were never meant to journey alone. People can’t help if they don’t know you’re struggling.
  4. Get out of your own head. @jennieallen has written a great book all about it. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way, have courage and take the first step.
  5. Most importantly, invite God into your stuck places. He created you for a calling and a purpose that can’t be fulfilled if you’re stuck. He desires to help set you free, but He has to be invited. 

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