Expectations, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Stuck: When We’re Stuck

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—STUCK. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

STUCK

I was happy for her. Really, I was. When the latest friend eagerly told me of her pregnancy, I tried on a smile for her. I was thrilled for her. But that hole—the unmet desire in me—filled with a bit of sadness. When would it be my turn? 

When a friend who has been writing for less time than me announced her first book contract, I was happy for her. I rejoiced with her. But on the inside? I hurt a little too. 

Why was God choosing to let me stay stuck in the same place while others moved on to their next chapters? 

There can be such a dichotomy of emotion—of thoughts—when someone moves on and we stay where we’ve been for what seems like going on forever. 

I’m coming to see that what I called “Stuck” God called “Opportunity.” What I saw as being held back, He saw as refining.

God has lessons for each of us to learn in our stuck places. 

The question is, are we willing to look beyond what we want and what others have . . . can we have eyes that see past our perceived holding pattern to the Lord? 

When we see others getting what we thought we would also have—or what we want—it can be so hard. Jealousy moves in. Discontent. Dissatisfaction.

Stuck places stir up all the ugliness that God wants to scrape away in the refining process. 

We must come to the place where we acknowledge the envy, the ugly in ourselves, and bring it to the Lord. 

When we look beyond our stuck place and fix our gaze onto the Father? That’s when we can trust His plan and His timing for our lives. We can relinquish those things we think we need and realize the main thing keeping us stuck is our own expectations. 

When we can gaze beyond these and into the Father’s face? That’s when we begin to live beyond the stuck place and in the freedom of trusting Him. 

What about you? When have you felt stuck in your life? What helps you keep an accurate perspective when you feel stuck?

Click to Tweet: There can be such a dichotomy of emotion—of thoughts—when someone moves on and we stay where we’ve been

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Stuck

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30 thoughts on “Stuck: When We’re Stuck”

  1. First, I just want to say that I love your blog!

    I feel like I’m stuck right now. This time of year the school districts are posting jobs for the Fall and there are many of us vying for the same positions. It’s one thing when you don’t know who is applying for a job, and another when it’s a friend. Sometimes it seems that I have to do things the “hard way.” I went back to school to become a teacher, then a friend of mine is hired to teach without a certification–twice. I’m a substitute teacher now but don’t make any more than I did when I quit my paraeducator position two years ago. But I’ve “been around a while” and know that sometimes when I don’t get what I think I want as fast as I want it, God does indeed have something better in mind. If I believe that God has brought me this far, then I need to believe He has a plan for me and my path isn’t going to look like my friend’s path. I have to keep reminding myself to seek what He wants for my life, which seems to involve a lot of things I find very hard to do. So I guess I would say that what helps me to keep an accurate perspective when I feel stuck is remembering that God is ever faithful and I need to trust in Him.

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    1. Gail, I love your heart. And I feel your struggle. It is hard to know a friend gets something we thought we should have. But, you are right. God’s plans for you will be perfect for you. And they will look different than His plans for your friend. Keep seeking Him and trusting Him to fulfill His plan in His way in His timing. So hard sometimes. But, when you’ve done all you can do, you continue to seek and trust, right? I love what you are choosing to remember. That’s truth right there. I’m praying for you, friend!

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  2. “I’m coming to see that what I called ‘Stuck’ God called ‘Opportunity.'” Thank you for this reframing – although I often don’t realize it until after I’ve become unstuck. Maybe the question I should ask is not “Why am I here,” but “What would God have me learn?” FMF 31

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    1. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need something to be reframed so I can see it more clearly. 🙂 The question you are asking is a good one. Our Father is good at teaching us effectively, isn’t He? Have a good weekend!

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  3. This is so good. We all have places where we’ve felt stuck. I love thinking of those stuck places as opportunity. A gift! I’m in the 6 spot this week.

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  4. Beautiful post, dear Jeanne. Both examples you shared are ones I can relate to well–one in the past–one in the present. I love how you handled today’s prompt. Stuck can be a blessing in disguise when we trust our Lord who is loving and wise.
    Blessings on your weekend ~ Wendy Mac

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  5. Jeanne, I kinda wish I had read yours before I wrote my own. What popped to mind is the idea of “stuck vs. rest.” How are we resting in God’s plan rather than feeling stuck or mired down? Remembering to first turn toward God’s promise of freedom before feeling overwhelmed…

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  6. This is wonderfully encouraging, Jeanne! Why is it that what God sees as for our good, we usually see as anything but good? I love retirement! So much so that I fear I have let myself become complacent, comfortable, stuck……I pray that I begin to see the “opportunity” God is offering me at this time in my life. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! It touched me today, Cindy

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    1. Cindy thank you for your kind words! We have to learn to look at things through God’s lenses and not our own, don’t we? SO much easier said than done. I wonder if, when one first retires, they let down because their bodies and minds and spirits need rest? I can see how it might be tricky to establish new good habits when making such a big life change. I’ll pray you see God’s plans for you… Thankful for you, friend!

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  7. So true, Jeanne. I know the emotions you describe here very well. Often God has something really important to teach or show us in the seemingly-stuck places. It’s really all about perspective, as you have said.

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  8. This is a timely and inspiring post for me right now. I just prayed this morning— Lord what are you doing with me and how do you want me to respond?
    Is it action? Is it waiting?
    So I’m doubling down on my scripture reading and now I’m calling it an opportunity too. 😍 Thank you for your wise words.

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    1. I’m so glad you found these words encouraging! God does have ways of bringing us the things we need to hear or see or experience at the perfect time, doesn’t He? Good for you on doubling down on your Scripture reading. May He reveal what you need to know soon! Thank you so much for stopping by. I always appreciate your visits!

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  9. jeanne, i love this. it’s so true. so often we feel stuck. i love how you talk about it as being refining for us. i think this is what faith is too…it’s not nearly so much gooey and sentimental as it is trusting GOD that He knows best at times when we feel stuck and His plans for us look much different than the ones we have for ourselves:( thanks for this post!

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    1. Martha, I hadn’t thought about faith being something God uses to refine us. I can certainly see it though. God gives us opportunities to practice faith–trusting Him. He brings up the dross in our lives as we walk through hard seasons WITH Him. Refining us. Strengthening our faith. Thank yo use much for sharing this thought!

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  10. Stuck is a good word. It aptly describes our feelings when we see the the other shore and eagerly desire to be there. But yes, when God is our sovereign Lord, we can rest in knowing how much He loves us; He will always do the best for us. With a sigh we agree and bow down to the King of Kings worshiping Him.

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    1. Yes, Mom. God will always do what’s best for us. I’m thankful for His patience when I chafe in those stuck times. 🙂 May we always have hearts that bow down before our King of kings!

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  11. Hi Jeanne: I appreciate your honesty here and am so glad you talked about this sticky topic. I too have a hard time in the holding patterns of life, but then I get a handle on other areas of my life that may be fruitful to the Lord and that may be what God would have me do. Lately, my writing and some intense topics of conversation in the Christian publishing circles has me exhausted, and why not say it– stuck. But I am hopeful that the tide will turn, that I may not be the called for certain things. Again, thanks for realizing a deep hurt and bringing it to God in full submission.

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    1. Erendira, you bring up a good point. Sometimes (maybe often times?) when we’re in a holding pattern in one area of life, God works in other areas. I hadn’t thought about that, though I suspect I’ve lived it. There are lots of hard conversations going on these days. And they can be disheartening. And yes, leaving one feeling stuck.

      I’m praying for you over the next couple of days. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here!

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