"Help! I'm Stuck" Pt. 1: Community
I am so excited to begin the "Help! I'm Stuck" series! I am going to start off by sharing my personal experience of how choosing to be in community propelled me out of being stuck and into feeling like there was movement and hope in my life again!
I am a really high introvert, so my ideal world would look like a blend of spending time with friends and having plenty of alone time. I have found that when I am in distress, the desire to be on my own increases and I naturally pull away from people and retreat in an unhealthy way. When I would start to feel stuck in life, this pattern of withdrawing eventually became my default and ultimately was not helpful.
Recently, I began to see this pattern as I was pulling away from my friends and constantly retreating to my house after work and on the weekends. I found that I was content thinking about my life in silence from the comfort of my sofa. In this place of solitude, I started to contemplate the things in my life that weren’t so positive and my thoughts soon began to spiral into bigger problems. I would feel like I wasn’t able to breathe and it became even harder to find hope for the future. I questioned if I was depressed or if I just needed to move on to something new in life.
As I was questioning why I was feeling stuck, I took some time to talk to God. To do this, I love using a technique that I learned from Mark Virkler called two-way journaling. Basically it is like a text message conversation between me and God. I will ask a question or share a thought with Him and then quiet myself down to hear what He has to say in response. Anyway, as I was talking to God, I felt like He said “being in a relationship changes things, you get to discuss and process what is going on, all while getting an outside perspective.” As I wrote that down, I realized that was exactly what I was doing with God.
Based on that conversation, I started a 21 day journey where I was intentional about spending time with God daily in order to talk with Him about all of the things that were swirling around in my head. It was helpful because I got to say everything that I was thinking out loud without the worry of being judged or viewed as crazy, because He is so kind, compassionate and gentle.
After processing my feelings with God, I felt like I could begin to share with my close friends what was going on in my life. It took a lot of courage to talk about feeling stuck and emotionless, but after opening up to one friend about how I was feeling, it started to become easier and easier to process what was going on with others. I no longer wanted to close myself off and go into introvert mode; I genuinely desired to be in community and I actually wanted to leave my sofa! Choosing to be in community was the first step that allowed me to feel like I could actually have movement and hope in my life again!
If you are reading this and can relate to feeling stuck in life, I would encourage you to find a safe friend and be open about your thoughts and feelings. When you find a friend to talk to, ask for their perspective on your current situation and see if their insight changes your outlook on life. This step is what propelled me into feeling like myself again!
[Note to readers] - I know that not everyone who reads my blog is in a relationship with God, so you may not be able to relate to my experience. If you are open to being in a relationship with God or have any questions, thoughts or comments about this, feel free to email me! I would love to hear from you! <3