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For When You Feel Stuck Here.

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Everyone is leaving.

Everyday I catch word of someone who is able to get away, escape to Italy, fly to Hawaii, road-trip down the West Coast, or just head to the beach for a day.

Oh what I would give to explore the streets of the French countryside, stick my toes in the sand, soak in the sun with a good book, pack up the car to discover hidden gems and hiking trails with just my husband, or spend hours painting and writing and practicing piano.

Everyone is traveling, going places and getting outdoors, and touching the stuff of dreams, and I’m stuck here.

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Staying in the muck of my normal routine, standing with my hands full of diapers, sweeping up dirt in the middle of my house. {Don’t worry it’s not a full blown pity party quite yet.}

Here I am, the girl who talks about adventure all the time, but isn’t really living it. “I’m stuck here,” is the lie I see mounted above me like a banner each day, telling me I’m a hypocrite, and my life is going nowhere, and God is holding out on me.

You aren’t taking any real risks. Where’s your faith? You aren’t saying yes to new challenges or being brave. You are scared, you are afraid, you are silent. Who are you to call yourself a follower of Jesus? God isn’t really with you.

The enemy pokes me with questions, taunting me with the realities of my season.

Isn’t it true though?

***

For most of us, including myself, we idolize the wrong kind of adventures. We gloat over everyone else’s overnight success and courageous living. We throw our hands up in disgust with our days and only see the limitations and ugliness all around.

We have always wanted to publish a book, spend a year traveling the world, sell all the things and go live in Africa, or…{ insert your idea of adventure here} Then, at last, we’d really be alive and flourishing, influencing others, and serving Jesus.

But what happens if that’s not happening for you? Are you a washed up, boring, uninspiring person with little to give or share with others? Are you not really living to the fullest?

What if you find yourself juggling business and bedtimes with three young kids? What if physically you aren’t able to carry a back pack and trek through different continents? What if you don’t actually have time to publish, let only write the book that’s been marinating in your mind for so long?

What if the time isn’t now?

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***

If I could, this is where I’d invite you to come over to my house and sit down in my living room with a hot cup of tea as my kiddos build airplanes with their blocks and crumble cookies on my couch. I want to be vulnerable and real.

I want to look you in the eye for what I’m about to share. It’s difficult to hear and even more so to live out, but it’s truth that sets me free, and hopefully you too.

The time doesn’t have to be now. Did you catch that?

I know we know this. But really how hard is this to swallow every day without feeling all bitter and bent out of shape?

Everyone else is getting to travel to exotic places, birth dreams and babies, and tell cool stories.

But what about you and me… we’re stuck here. That’s what we think anyways.

This is where I’m telling you and myself, but wait, listenwe’re not stuck here.

It might look and feel and seem that way compared to everyone else who’s leaving and loving and learning in more visible ways. But you and I, we’re not stuck, we’re just sinking deep. 

We’re driving roots, glorious roots, into the soil of our season, into His love. {Ephesians 3:16-19}

We’re sinking aren’t we? And sometimes it feels like no one cares or sees. Am I right?

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***

You and I we’re in a harsh, wild, wintry season, the wind is whipping our hair up and the chill cuts through to the bone. Or we’re at least in an awkward place of not knowing or understanding what God is doing in our lives. We hate admitting it because these seasons are stark and not so stunning. These seasons don’t make for a lot of glamorous pictures or words. It feels like most of our energy and inspiration goes directly to staying alive.

Or so we think.

What if we could be okay with living in the seemingly invisible soul-quieting, root-growing, silent-praying, long-waiting seasons?

I find it hard to do because our world is so visual and noisy and fast. We’re caught up in a world of insta this and snap that.

Trust me, I’ll be the first to say I’m intrigued and delighted by all the information and loveliness that is available at our fingertips.

But I’ve been realizing God is so much more mysterious and messy. I want to get beyond this fingertip-type of living, and roll my sleeves up and sink into the dirt and stand in the muck and stay here in my season, even if it kills me.

I want to be stained with the grime of daily living from head to toe. When I look in the mirror I want to smile at the black under my nails, the messy hair, the sweet smell of sweat coming off me, and even remnants of tears on my cheeks.

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If this season is teaching me anything, it’s this:

Adventure is not out there, it is here, when you and I choose to sink into our season, offering all we’ve got to God and those around us even if it feels meager and minuscule.

But can we remember this too:

Let’s not to get lost there, letting the season squish the life out of us, but instead let’s let loose with spontaneous songs of praise to gain His perspective.

Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.

Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. {PS 51:15-17, MSG}

Let’s not allow the season to shrink or silence us, but to let it stretch us out of our comfort zone and stir up a hunger and thirst within our soul that keeps us reaching and running forward for more of Jesus.

***

Perhaps the time isn’t now for you to leave and travel, or go and do.

But guess what friends?

We can swallow hard and then we can celebrate too. We can have a party in our places, unwrapping this season with expectancy and excitement! Contrary to what you might think you are being brave, taking risks, and exploring the unknown it just looks a little different than the way she’s doing it.

The time is now for you and I to stay.

To sink our heels into life and stubbornly refuse to wish we were somewhere else. To be fascinated with our season and captivated by the God who stands with us there. To get beyond our neat fingertips and dig our hands into life where we are at right now.

Stay friends, even when it’s uncomfortable. Be brave enough to redefine adventure as slowly, sinking yourself into your season and unearthing all the treasures there. 

Your time to leave, travel, go, and do will come soon enough, for now see the adventure here.

Staying with you, 

Charissa

 

Travel Deeper//
John 15:1-17, Luke 17:20-21, Philippians 4:11-13, Colossians 3:17, 23-24, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, James 1:22-25

PS: I’d love to hear what kind of season you are in, is it difficult for you there?
How could you start celebrating your season?
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