I am generally not good at gauging compass directions. Even my left or right can be problematic at times – I often get it wrong more than I get it right, and when left should be right I am saying right instead of left…now you work that one out, right! Now don’t even ask me where North or South is right now as I sit at my desk – ask my dad and he will always know – but one would hope so as he is a pilot.
Sometimes I need to use the navigator on my phone, hoping to be guided with absolute clarity to my intended destination, but it says things like head 20 km West on Route 27. Okay, great which way would West be then??
You know the saying that if you don’t know where you are going chances are you will never arrive – so true. For a long time in my life I had some idea about where I wanted to get to in my life , but without the understanding of which direction my destination was in it was going to be quite interesting trying to find ‘X marks the spot’. It was as though I was searching for treasure with the wrong map on the wrong island – and so instead of discovering the treasure chest full of gold it ended up looking like an Easter egg hunt on Valentine’s Day.
There have been so many moments when I have felt completely depressed and let down by life as I surveyed the hurricane damage experienced along some of the paths taken. I have felt enormous despair and hit the bottom like a rock wondering what I had done that was so terrible to allow this ‘stuff’ to happen to our family and when or if it was ever going to get better.
I am sure you can relate to what I am saying – you may even be having one of those moments right now. I think it is relatively normal to have these moments but you have to know it’s not very productive in reaching your destination. Now growing up as one does when faced with challenges of this kind, has taught me a few things. I am determined to learn the lesson the first time around from here on – otherwise it’s like deja-flippin-vu and these lessons just keep recurring like a low budget movie, that and the next light bulb moment is that the rock bottom moments can actually be used to refocus you.
Hitting rock bottom is a bit like get a jolt from a tazer and it can actually dislodges some of that toxic thinking and can allow the fog to lift a bit. In that moment you need to choose to be honest, because when you really face your stuff, when you look at it head on – no Photoshop allowed, you can deal with the things that are confusing the little inner compass preventing you from finding your way.
So let’s get practical.
Here is what I have learned not to do when the rock hits my bottom:
- Don’t get into a negative and over emotional head-space
- Don’t put on depressing music and eat 2 gallons of chocolate ice-cream on your own (it;’s far better doing that with a friend)
- Don’t allow depressing lies about your future or lack thereof take over your heart and your head
- Don’t blame everyone else, the government and your electrician for your current co-ordinates
- Don’t over react
- Don’t ignore this space and pretend it will be over in the morning – it won’t – it may be hiding under the rug with the other dust balls but it won’t be over if ignored
Now here is I try doing to redirect:
Get practical and consider what you need to learn from this. If you have been here before chances are you did all of the above the last time instead of getting real, facing your stuff and learning from this route.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Be honest and take responsibility for getting yourself to this place. The more honest you are with yourself the sooner you will be able to shift your attitude and make the personal decisions that will bring fresh and productive results. Oh, and avoid the ice-cream it will just give you stomach ache, chocolate is so much better in these moments.
Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’
Take hold of the lies – God has promised you a hope and a future. The fact that Yeshua died for you means that there is a future for you. You are good enough, you are worth it and most importantly you have what it takes to be victorious. You are not alone, even in your darkest moments.
Jeremiah 29:11‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.’
Check your response and avoid being impulsive. Rather step back from a situation for a few moments to get perspective. Sometimes a little bit of distance can show us what is really going on and gives us the space to calm down and approach the situations or circumstances with an alternative route.
Galatians 5:22-23 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’
Face your cul-de-sac. You got here because of decisions you have made along the way, the only way to get out is to understand why you are here and what you need to do to find your way back to the right road. What do you need to do differently to avoid coming back here? God doesn’t want you to remain stationary in this place, there is always the option to reverse and recalculate.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
You can find your way on this path – just be ready to learn. It is the only way to move forward instead of dancing around in frustrating circles. Get through this lesson – put on your big girl or boy pants and make some changes, grow and be victorious. The wonderful thing about doing this is that no matter what anyone says or does or thinks about you – they cannot take away your victory or the wisdom you will gain from tucking a lesson learned into your belt.
Be blessed, be strong and courageous, the lessons are not bigger than you, they are yours for the taking.