My three-year-old has been obsessed with going to his room and dressing himself multiple times a day. Recently, I heard a bloodcurdling scream in our living room. I ran to Will as he yelled, “I can’t ge-t-t-it. It’s stu-u-u-ck!” He couldn’t pull the zipper up on his shorts – it was stuck on the fabric. Tears streamed down his eyes.
“Mommy can help you. This isn’t as bad as you think,” I said.
I zipped up his shorts and dried his tears. He ran off to play trains and I was thankful for a drama-free resolve that didn’t include blood or else I would’ve passed out.
In our own lives, what is it about being stuck that makes us feel like we’re screaming inside? Maybe you’ve found yourself sitting on the sidelines waiting to get in the game. You’re not progressing like you want in parenting your children, career success, marital health, in-law issues, finances, weight loss, and more. You’re simply unsure of what to do next.
I don’t know about you but when I’m not seeing the completion of a process, I feel like a failure and that I’m not doing enough. Is it even okay to be in the in-between?
Lately, I’m remembering a four word mantra from author and spiritual mentor, the late Elisabeth Elliott: Do the Next Thing. To which I translate: Do something. Just show up. Don’t stress about a future that isn’t here yet. Be obedient to God’s word and to prayer. Be present and available in the tasks he has before you right now. Don’t detest those baby steps.
“Doing the next thing” is an action that means moving forward. God is working in the still spots and He isn’t aloof to your desires. He’s here. He’s more concerned about your contentment and trust in him than the outcomes you want.
This season of “stuck” for you? Maybe your next thing will be to seek the support of a trusted friend, join that financial peace class, schedule to meet with a counselor, begin writing that book burning wildly in your heart, create a business from scratch, download a good fitness app to keep your health on track, or pursue healing in your relationship with your spouse.
As I was there to help my son’s zipper situation and calm his tantrum so he could get on with playing, God will come to your aid in just the right time and lift you up in the perfect way He sees fit.
Let Him take your stress, and transform your heart to trust.
Blessings to you,