Have you ever found yourself in a situation that just wasn’t quite working? Something isn’t clicking, and you’re not sure what it is.
It may be time for a course-correction.
A few years back, I had an interesting scenario arise in the post office. The line was really long, and there was only one postal worker helping a group of very impatient customers. People were sighing and tensions were rising. Waiting in line was starting to get boring.
Until the older lady in front of me started talking.
I must have a face that people can trust, or maybe I smile too much because random people talk to me all the time, and oversharing from strangers is a common occurrence.
“It must be so nice to be young,” she began.
“This one time,” she continued, loud enough for the room to hear, “I was driving on the Turnpike, you know that one on the other side of town? And I had a funeral I was coming from and I was wearing those Spank.”
(For those of you unfamiliar with Spanx - they are both a blessing and a curse. They are women’s undergarments that basically suck everything in and give a smooth appearance. And yes, she called them Spank - singular.)
I smiled as people in line turned to see what she would say next.
“I was just about dying - I felt like a busted can of biscuits. So you know what I did? I grabbed a pair of scissors while I was driving and just cut down the side so I could breath! Thank you Jesus!”
What does one say after that? I wanted to ask how she had a pair of scissors in her car, and was able to grab them and do this deed while driving, but I just smiled and nodded, and the line finally dwindled until it was my turn.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a rut, or maybe you are feeling stuck right now, it can feel like an uncomfortable pair of Spanx. Something needs to change - and quick!
But what do you do? You may not even know where to start.
Sadly, some people will wait out a rough situation just hoping it will magically change over time. The odds are not in their favor.
One psychologist I know who did our premarital counseling shared a sad statistic: married couples will wait an average of 7 years before finding help for a major problem. 7 years!
7 years of the same struggle, the same challenge, the same difficult situation, and they wait until it is imploding before they seek help. I fear this statistic applies to many situations, not just marriage. Maybe you are facing one of the following scenarios:
- A negative thought-life
- Strife in your family
- Health struggles
- Bad habits
- Unmet goals/desires
- Financial hardship
You don’t have to wait until things are boiling over before you course correct. Here are some things that may help:
The Road Map.
- Realize you can be proactive. You can decide to make changes. Start by facing the Truth of your situation. What does God’s Word say about this? Come into agreement with that. Then, start exploring some options for your situation. Gather information. Seek some wise counsel. My husband and I are believing God for some specific things. We want to be proactive about it and not let these faith projects get lost in the shuffle of daily life. We need to DO something about it.
- Make a plan. Once you’ve figured out what you need, make a plan. You may need to include others in the planning process. Create a road map so you know where you are heading in your situation. We decided that a set prayer time during the week would help us remember the things we are believing God for.
- Take steps. Try something new. If after awhile, it doesn’t work - no worries! It wasn’t working before anyway, and now you can try a new approach. I usually start to really get a feel for what I need to do once I start moving in a direction. We started having a short time of prayer on Sunday evenings. It ended up cutting into Blake's prep time for the work week, so we moved it to Saturday nights.
- Keep moving forward. As you take steps, clarity will come. It won’t always be easy. Challenges will arise for sure, but keep moving forward. It’s about progress, not perfection. Some weekends we are busy, so we pray for our specific requests in the car while we are driving. We make it work and try to be consistent!
Are you facing a challenging situation? Don’t passively wait for something to happen or for someone else to change something. Have the courage to be proactive, make a plan, step out into something new, and keep moving forward. God will give you grace to journey in step with Him.
For further reading, check out this post on how small changes can have big impact.