Wednesday, 30 January 2013

When I feel stuck

I remember being in labour with my first born at the doctor's maternity clinic 19 years ago.

I had checked in early that morning, and the contractions were slow and gentle in coming throughout the day. Then at 4pm, they started getting sharper and I was thinking: It shouldn't be too long now. I couldn't be more wrong; the ordeal had barely begun!

By 6pm, the pain had gotten worse and the nurse checked to see how much I had dilated. "Only 1cm; still a long way to go," she said in a matter-of-fact kind of way. I couldn't believe my ears! How long would this pain last? It seemed to be getting sharper with each contraction and I wasn't sure how long I could take this.

The next time the nurse came to check again after what seemed like hours (actually, I think it was a few hours later), the dilation was 4cm and I was in so much pain I didn't think I would be able to get through the whole thing. Again, she said there was still a way to go.

I felt trapped, like I was caught in the middle where I could neither make things go any faster to get past the pain nor turn back time to where I was before the pain began. I was completely stuck and there was nothing I could do about it except to just go with it. It was a horrible place to be in.

But like all things good and all things bad, nothing lasts forever. Despite whatever misgivings I had, the ordeal finally ended shortly after midnight. I held my newborn son in my arms, marvelling at how perfect he was and how the pain had miraculously ended the moment he arrived. Great was the joy shared by my husband and me in that magical moment!

Since that time, I have found myself in similar circumstances where I feel stuck. Sometimes, it's a little kind of stuck that lasts only momentarily; sometimes it's a bigger kind that takes a longer time to work itself through. Then there was a really huge one that lasted a few years. But the steps to getting through such times for me are the same:

* Pray and hand the whole situation over to God, asking Him for peace and for practical help.
* Get the necessary information to find the right support or service and do whatever is needed to get the help that I require.
* Cease struggling by letting go. It's easier to let the current take me to where it wants me to go rather than fight against it. Rest in the arms of Jesus and purposefully make a decision to trust that He will get me through this, no matter what my feelings tell me. 
* Recall the previous time(s) that He has gotten me through and let thankfulness, praise and faith arise from within.
* Declare that He will come through for me again, standing on the promises in His Word which I need to fill my mind with constantly.
* Keep walking; don't lie down in 'the valley of the shadow of death'! Often times it's a matter of pushing past the pain. When it feels impossible to walk anymore, just stand, leaning hard on Him if necessary.
* Know that this, too, shall pass and believe that something good will come out of it.

It is important to believe that to every problem, there is a solution. And that every trial does come to an end.

God always comes through for us. Sometimes it just takes a while to get there....

But eventually, we will get there....

And there will be something to make us smile at the end of that trial....something worth giving God praise for....

Like the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow....

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." ~ Psalm 23:4 ~

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