Getting unstuck

At that perfectly naive, curious age of 15, I sat next to the cutest boy in a red pickup truck on a dirt road. In the dark. On a cold winter night.

Stuck.

We had genuinely been doing nothing wrong. Just driving around back roads, listening to Tori Amos, enjoying the rain, when suddenly the truck stalled. The mechanical trouble seemed sudden and confusing, like a downpour in the middle of a hot summer afternoon.

But it wasn’t hot, and it wasn’t summertime. It was winter, and it was cold in the cab of the truck. And it was 9 p.m., and I was supposed to be home at 10 p.m.

We both started mentally sweating.

“Your mom is going to kill me if I can’t get the truck started” and “What are people going to think if we’re stuck out here in the middle of nowhere?”

After trying relentlessly to start the truck, after checking wire connections, after lifting the hood and examining the possible metallic reasons we might be stuck, the cute boy finally had an epiphany.

“Hey. Let’s pray.”

So we did. We held onto one another’s chilly hands and begged God for help.

The cute boy turned the key. The truck started. We were unstuck.

And we were relieved. So relieved we laughed and laughed as he drove me home, thanking God and acknowledging what we’d experienced wasn’t just an answer to a prayer but an actual miracle.

I thought about this beautiful moment in time today when I was feeling emotionally and mentally stuck about something I’ve felt frustrated about for several years. I’ve checked all the parts. I’ve examined options for repairs. I’ve attempted to seek expert help. I’ve tried interventions. I’ve communicated my thoughts and feelings.

Yet here I am, feeling stuck.

I don’t have many answers about why we often remain in the hallways of struggle or stuck-ness, but I do know this: through recovery, I’ve been given some valuable tools which help me get unstuck.

  1. Other people calling me to action.
  2. Other people inviting me to serve.
  3. Turning my eyes from my own self-pity to others’ needs and to God Himself.
  4. Practicing gratitude.

Then there’s #5. When at a total point of desperation, ask Him for help. He has a track record of getting people unstuck.

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