Have you ever sat there with a book in hand and found yourself reading the same line over and over and over again? No matter how many times your eyes have scanned left to right over those same series of letters and words, you just couldn’t process them? Or, have you ever stared at the blank screen of a laptop or the empty lines of a notebook, unable to put a single word, line, or equation to it? Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?
But in all seriousness, the book and laptop analogy has been my life lately, it seems. Being a stay at home mom is great… most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, even on bad days it’s really the best thing I could be doing, but day in and day out it’s more of the same. Wake up, feed, clean up, feed, play, feed, clean up, feed, until I go to bed (or try to) to be awoken from broken sleep to do it all over again.
Since I’ve embarked on this epic quest of parenthood, I’ve found myself battling writer’s block worse than I’ve ever experienced before. Lately I can’t seem to get a word on a page without questioning it for several hours (or whatever time I can spare with a cranky baby), or figure out for the life of me what word goes next. I find myself staring at the blank screen before me, as if it were a mirror reflecting my empty mind.
In short, I’ve been stuck. We all feel stuck from time to time, whether it’s because we do the same thing day in and day out without giving it a second thought, or we have no idea what to do with our lives. Feeling stuck can be frustrating and depressing, and sometimes it feels impossible to get free. But believe it or not, being stuck is sometimes exactly what we need.
Hebrews 12:1 reminds us to rid ourselves of sin and distraction, and to look to Jesus, “The author and finisher of our faith.” It’s easy to fall into thinking we are the authors of our lives, and existential “Writer’s block” can be frustrating, but we have to remember it’s not really us at the keyboard and to not get in our own way with superficial earthly desires such as the desire for fame and wealth.
Random fact: I’ve really been into container gardening lately. Or rather, flooding my boards on Pinterest with ideas I likely won’t follow through with. From what I’ve seen, with certain plants you start them in a small container, keep them there until they grow to a certain point, and then transport them when they’re ready to grow to their full potential. This process can take some time, and it’s tempting to rush, but if you try to move it before it’s ready, the plant likely won’t be as strong or as healthy as it could have been. The same could be said about us.
God has prepared good works for us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10), and that might mean being “stuck” for a little bit so we can grow in order to move on to the next step. Feeling stuck is frustrating, but these are the times to reach out to God for direction. I’ve found comfort in Romans 8:28, which says all things work out for those who love God, and out according to His purpose. Maybe this chaotic quiet of my mind is God’s way of saying I need more time with Him. If it is His will that I follow through with personal projects, great. But if He has other plans for me, they will be better than any graphic novel I could ever come up with.
If you’re feeling stuck right now, you’re not alone. Try to look at this moment as a checkpoint, a save spot, if you will, to check in with God and look to Him for the next step. Be patient. God’s plans for you are perfect.