Monday, September 24

I Want to Run Away

You want to know one of the worst feelings in the world to me? Feeling stuck.

Stuck in a situation where I can’t see things getting better. I look at the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days and all I see are the same hard patterns being repeated over and over and over.

I try to give myself a little pep rally of sorts and tap into that Pollyanna girl that’s inside me somewhere. The part of me that knows the glass is half-full and chooses to see the bright side. But Pollyanna isn’t there.

Life suddenly feels like it will forever be this way.

And this dark funk eclipses me.

This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when I gave birth to Ashley. I was thankful for these two amazing gifts. I knew they were blessings. I loved them very much.

But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor’s appointment or in conversations with the mommies that had gone before me.

In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came.

This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Needy cries.

Forever.

One night in between feedings I went to the drug store to get some baby Tylenol. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the drug store and stared inside. There were normal people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations. They had on cute outfits and fixed hair-dos.

I looked at my reflection in the rear view mirror.

I cried.

This is my life. Forever.

Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away.

Far away.

And then guilt slammed into my already fragile heart and I convinced myself God was going to punish me for feeling this way and take one of my babies. Teach me a lesson. Smite me for being so stinkin’ selfish.

I cried until I could hardly breathe.

I thought about this the other day when I started feeling stuck in a different situation.

A situation that felt so big and made me so sad. I felt myself on that edge of the dark funk thinking this is the way it’s going to be forever.

But then I remembered that night crying in my car. I realized those days of diapers and no sleep weren’t forever. It was a season. A season that came and went. And this would play out that way too.

It’s the rhythm of life.

The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.

I closed my eyes and whispered, “Are you here God? Hold me. Breathe courage into my weak will. Help me.”

And in that moment I realized all that God ever wants from me is to want Him. Love Him. Acknowledge Him.

In the midst of struggles. In the midst of my victories. “God, I love you. I don’t love this situation. But I love you. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and walk through until I get to the other side of this.”
A prayer to keep you from becoming unglued in our reactions and relationships. www.lysaterkeurst.com

One step at a time. With the full assurance God is okay with me even when I’m not okay with me.

“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to hold fast to Him – then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23)

I love how the Scriptures say, “hold fast” to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow. Make God the last thing I try when I’m stumbling and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, “God…” at the utterance of His name He “dispossess” things trying to possess me.

Then I can see this is a season. This isn’t how it’s going to be forever. Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. And if my mind can rise above, my heart gets unstuck.

Discussion

  1. 106

    Thank you! Needed this today. As all of the posts stated. I feel as someone else said maybe this season has gone on longer due to me not fully trusting God… He can and will we just have to trust, believe and have faith… Everything is in HIS timing. Thank you for your openness and kind words…. Love this!

  2. 107

    What I needed to read today!

  3. 108

    I can’t tell you what an encouragement this is to me. I feel like I am in a dark hole and needed the reminder, its all for just a season. Thank you.

  4. 109
    alicia diaz says:

    Thank you! I needed to be reminded of this too as I await the imminent birth of my second daughter (who will be 16 months younger than the first). Satan has already attempted to dig his claws in my heart and make me panic with all the memories of long nights, endless cries and overwhelming sense of failure. I’m going to print this out and post it on my fridge as a reminder to hold fast to Him who sees me through!

  5. 110

    Hold fast to God. Love those words!

  6. 111

    This was perfect for me. I have been in one of those “dark funks” for the past several days. I’m slowly coming out of it now, but it is definitely hard to see past the swirling darkness and hold onto God’s promises. Thanks for this!

  7. 112

    The most basic thing I hold onto in rough times…Because He lives, I can face tomorrow!!!

  8. 113

    Feeling stuck is all I can feel right now. My 2 year old is fighting cancer and it’s hard not to think that the next 54 months of treatment will not last forever. And how I remember the season when I was in the parking lot crying with her Tylenol in my hand… And how I wish that was “my season” intend of this one. Thank you Lysa. I needed this today. Please pray for me and our daughter. Although the odds are not as much in our favor as we wish they were, we trust that the Lord will completely heal her but the road to her healing is plain hard. We need all the prayer warriors to intercede for us. I need to remind myself that just like Lysa said this is a “season” and it will pass. Until then I will borrow her prayer: “Are you here God? Hold me. Breathe courage into my weak will. Help me.”

    • 114

      Lidia,
      I am so sorry for what you an your daughter are going through. I pray for you both. My weak worries seem pale in comparison to your challenges. May the Lord be with you and grant you strength, peace and joy in the smallest of successes and triumphs. Love to you both from afar and from the many people that I am sure are surrounding you right now, lean on God and them.

      • 115

        Thank you Nancy, and I am praying for your worries. Don’t think they are not important and He does not care. They are affecting you and because they do, they are not pale and He will use them to His glory.

    • 117

      You are in my prayers

    • 119

      Lidia~
      I prayed for your precious daughter and your family today after reading your post. God will keep her tiny body strong throughout her treatment and will give you the will to fight along side of her! I’m sure he has great plans for her life!

      • 120

        Thank you Molly. If you or anyone wants to keep up with her progress, I have a Facebook page where I post regular updates so people can pray for her specifically. My personal page is Lidia Adkins. I appreciate your prayers more than words can say!

  9. 121

    Please pray for me, I am in a very dark hole and don’t see a way out. I am praying and trying but the darkness continues and makes me want to give up.

  10. 122

    Thank you, this is what my heart and head needed to hear.

  11. 123

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been feeling like I’m suffering from “Mommy Burnout” lately. My boys are 10, 8 and 4, plus I babysit a 2 year old and a 1 year old (part-time). I often feel like my own boys talk constantly, and that most sentences start with “Mom,” and then a pause for me to answer “What?” Even when we’re the only two people in the room, or even when we’ve been talking for the last few minutes, or all 3 boys are talking over one another and I’m saying what every 30 seconds. I know it’s a small thing, but it gets irritating and feels like it’s been going on forever. Thanks for the reminder that this is a season…I’ll probably be begging them to talk to me in a few years!

  12. 124

    Thank you for sharing this. It gives me hope in my current situation. I am “unemployed” from homeschooling my boys as they are in a great school now. However, I am struggling with an empty house and lack of purpose. I have tried to volunteer places and keep having “the door” closed on me one way or another. I am out of sorts so it is good to be reminded that it is a season. Thank you.

  13. 125

    I am also in that dark hole and feel I will be forever.It’s been three years and my heart can’t shift and although I cry out to God, nothing seems to change.

    • 126

      M

      Dark holes don’t last forever, they may feel like it, but just stay hopeful. I am trying too. Hearing someone else is hurting makes me realize none of us are alone!

  14. 127

    Are you reading my mail? :)

  15. 128

    Thank you for first mentioning the dark side of mommy-hood. I wish more women were open about it. There should even be a birthing class on it so that when you do have that feeling of walking out the door after months of no sleep, leaky diapers, and spit-up you would realize you are not alone.
    Also, thank you for the reminder that life is filled with seasons. Right now I am stuck in a funk feeling like this is the way it will always be and resenting others who have it ‘easier’. I know that God will get us through this and that in the end it will all be worth it.

  16. 129

    AMEN! Ditto to all of it!

  17. 130

    Thank You Lysa for saying yes to God and being real with the world. Thank You for admitting your failures so that through your words others find they are not alone and they too can go forward because you do! You are appreciated.

  18. 131

    Im right there right now… Work is so stressful. I can’t get anything done. So much is so overwhelming. I can’t see the light of things. I pray everyday for God to be my strength and help me get this done but it seems he’s not listening. I leave work everyday feeling like a total failure. Everyday. I love coming home to my family. Cook and bake for them. Read to my kids before bed. But then comes the morning and the minute I step in that office the feeling of inadequacy floods my entire being. I often wonder if God is telling me this is not what I’m supposed to be doing.
    Today I decided to smile. Even though I may not feel like it. Thank you for speaking to my heart and for sharing.

    • 132

      Michelle – please don’t let work get to you. I think this is a universal problem at the moment as the global economic crisis forces companies everywhere to cut funds and increase workloads. Feeling overwhelmed and like a failure is almost guaranteed! But I too, know that feeling and wish with all my heart, every night, i was going home to a family. I am so glad you have that lovely prospect ahead of you every day after a hideous day at work. After all, they are what truly matters in life and I can bet they make your heart sing! How wonderful to look forward to cooking, baking and reading to your kids at the end of every day :) What a wonderful blessing and let that always keep you bright through the day! The very fact that you enjoy that and look forward to it means you are very, very far from being a failure! x

  19. 134

    Lysa-

    This comment is not directly related to today’s reading. However, I had to share that I am so thankful that I finished reading Unglued BEFORE my adult son tripped over buckets of black paint which splattered all over my garage floor, white walls, tools, cleaning supplies, mini vac, etc. :):):):) Calling to mind what I had read, God enabled me to extend grace to my son instead of coming unglued!

    I love your writing and your “realness.” I think if we met, we would be similar creatures.

    Blessings!

    • 135

      I needed to hear this as well. my dark funk has been for four years with my husband loosing his job every year and months of not knowing how we are going to take care of our family. this year has been the longest of months without a job. I keep hanging on to God in the midst of no answers and it is very hard to bare, My own family even confronts me as to ask me how do you still have faith with all that has happened to you. I will continue to hang on. I feel like keep living each year like that Ground Hog day movie over and over again. Will this season ever change for me?

  20. 136
    Nickie Moseley says:

    WOW – as I sit here with what feels like 2-3 elephants on my chest (no I aint having a heartattack or at least I hope not) I needed to read this…..STUCK aint the word and its so bad that as I type that word I have an ache all over my body cause its a tough stuck – (family, $ & I am a PEOPLE PLEASER!!!!!!!!!!) oh gosh I cant get started or I’ll never stop – you Lysa are such a breath of fresh air for me – I crave your devotions and CANT WAIT to see you and hear you in Columbus, MS in October….Loved you in Tupelo at E-Women……..anyways just want to say a big fat THANK YOU for letting God use you!
    Love you bunches!!

  21. 137
    Melissa Pruitt says:

    Lysa,
    The Lord has truly blessed you and has chosen you to bless us with your amazing words of encouragement through your own life lessons. Not only is it nice to be reminded that none of us are alone in the emotions we feel, but it’s encouraging to hear from new perspectives and in a new light. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much I needed to hear the exact words God had you write in this for me, and many others, to read. Love, Melissa

  22. 138

    I can’t tell you how much I needed this today. Thank you! Never underestimate how sharing your own story can touch someone else. And to Lidia… I’ll def be praying for you and your baby. I’m so right there with you all. I’m home every day with baby #5. Now… HUGE blessings I know. I love my children like nothing else and savor every moment of being with my adorable precious 3 month old cuz I’ve seen that they really do grow up too quickly. I should be able to do this season of feeling trapped quite well right? Ya not so much. My excitement for life seems to get sucked into the couch I spend countless hours on while nursing my baby. I’ve put off my own interests to raise them all for the last 16 years. I’m just 36 but it feels like life has passed me by while I juggle diapers, tantrums, school projects, groceries… The un-glamorous life. But to even complain about such amazing blessings makes me think God will surely smite me for it. If I have nothing else in life but my babies, and amazing husband I should wake up with a smile every day right? I should. And overall I’m a joyous person but feeling trapped can suck the life out of any of us. I seek God but often feel like the good things I hear from Him don’t stick. Today during the few minutes I have before my baby needed me again I asked God to speak to me as I opened an email. It included a link to this writing. Just knowing that God still speaks to me, and so directly, is encouraging and really what I needed. I’ll be reading more of your writings Lysa. Don’t stop what you’re doing. It’s reaching so so many! …Back to life… Baby is calling :)

    • 139

      Keri, thank you for praying and I am praying for your own “season”. It is always amazing to me how, no mater what kind of “funk” we are in, He finds the perfect way to whisper his sweet promises. He did so 2 days ago through this blog and reminded me that this season will also pass. This is what I decide to park my mind on right now, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute… while anticipating that sweet day of victory when we’ll celebrate Jannine’s complete healing, done by His Grace and for His Glory!

  23. 140

    So been there. Thanks for sharing this! So glad I’m not the only one who has felt this way.

  24. 141

    I got this in my email three days ago but didn’t read it until today…the day I very, VERY much needed to hear it. I’m also in a “dark funk” that feels like it will go on forever and that the only solution is to run away. Even typing these words I have a tightness in my chest. Thank you for your honesty in sharing the dark times as well as the good times.

  25. 142

    Hi Lysa, I am just getting to my emails and reading this one and Ohhhhhh how I need to read this at this time of my life with tears welling in my eyes I read your post and connect with what you have written from your heart and I need to print it out and reread frequently and remember to Love and Thank God through all the seasons for they do come and go and God sent your post at a time I needed to be reminded of that~~~so many seasons we have in our lives and God has sent them all and we need to embrace them and thank God for them good and bad and remember they only last as long as He lets them stay and He loves us and yes, all He wants is us to love Him back with all we have~~~we all will have bad seasons and good seasons and God does want us to learn something from whatever season we are in so we do need to embrace it even through the tears that wont stop coming or the laughter of children at play~~~~~~thank God for your post~Sue

  26. 143

    So THERE today. Thank you for writing this from the heart – sharing with us this tender, aching moment and its redemption. Everyone says to enjoy the baby phase but it is just so darn hard when you are right in the middle of it! I am so tired/exhausted/drained and sore/weak/mindless… I want to be the light, the inspiration and joy for my beautiful little people, but some days it just takes all my will/strength/courage not to cry in front of them.

  27. 144

    I too am struggling with this. My husband has cancer, my daughter has moved home and she is mentally ill. Refuses all help. I also have to take care of a relative in an assisted living home. I see no end. I really never thought my life would be this way when I got older.

    I just keep praying though.

  28. 145

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. This is really what I needed to hear in the midst of my dark moments of a challenging job, kids, spouse and being home sick. It is nice to hear encouraging words/ stories that illustrate that things will get better.
    Peace and Blessing….Dawn

  29. 146

    Loved this post! Great example with the baby stages! Thank you!

  30. 147

    I just got around to reading this 2day. I want to thank you for posting this. I thought I was the only 1 that every felt like this circumstance will never end. I am working 7 days a week due to my husband has not had work since Aug. I do not like working weekends & missing family time. But God has provided me jobs so we can still pay our bills. Things are looking better. My husband does have a contract job & praise God I just asked off for a couple of Sundays so I can go 2 church & worship with my church family. Again I want 2 thank you for posting.

  31. 148
    Linda Rigsbee says:

    So, God is moving in my soul today. How is it that I just happened to stumble on this devotional today. I am well past the days of raising my children. I now have 3 beautiful grandchildren which are the love of my life. I am so moved by all of the stories I have read from each of you ladies. I am blessed to say that God has allowed me to be a stranger to this “funk and Deep Hole” that you speak of. As I read your stories and realized how desperate each of you sometimes feel, I was able to bow my head and pray for healing for each of you ladies. I pray that a new, brighter season is right around the corner and that each of you will stay strong and continue to put your faith and trust in God as he moves within your lives.

  32. 149

    I’m just reading this post and i must say it describes me and where i am mentally and spiritually right now…I first want to extend many and much prayers to Lidia…I pray that GOD hand has healed the baby and provided comfort to you and your family as you walk through this season. I pray supernatural blessings over your lives.. Right now I’m in a dark funk, feeling defeated, trying very hard to have hope let alone faith. Trying not to feel like this place is forever.. I’m dealing with negative interferance of a cousin that has caused discourse among me, my children and my fiance’ or former fiance. All actions were malacious and now I’m trying to have faith for restoration for me and my children as well as fiance. I want a second chance for us to be a family again….Right now things look bleak….Everyone is so hurt, stubborn, and angry..I feel like my relative has won because she was jealous and even envious of the relationship i have with my daughters and she wasn’t happy for me with my new found happiness. I don’t know, but I’m going to use the prayer of Lysa asking for “GOD to Hold Me” Thank You for the Post!!

  33. 150
    Angela Baker says:

    Thank you, I am right there right now, a 3 year old who doesn’t seem to stop, and a 10 month old that is just starting to walk, It’s all I can do to make dinner each night. I pray each day that this will pass soon, but reading this I realize that it is a season and it has to play it’s course. I need god to be strong with and for me! Thank you

  34. 151
    Gwen Foreman says:

    I came upon this post today and what you described was eerily similar to how I felt not that long ago. It all came to a head 1-4-13, when money and business crises just became too overwhelming. I, too, had left a drugstore feeling numb, short of breath, and with the feeling of just wanting to run away. I just wanted to keep on driving, it felt all too overwhelming. I went to our business, literally broke down on the floor crying to my husband telling him I couldn’t do this anymore. I went home in a daze and thought if I could just take a handful of something and have all this go away. Instead, I went in my room and just cried until there was nothing left. I knew I was at rock bottom and that God was calling me back to Him, not to be lukewarm in my relationship with Him, and to TRUST Him. I have used those same words to describe that time as a “season” in my life and God used it for His glory-to draw me back to Him and depend upon Him. I recently had to go back to the drugstore, with flashbacks of that day, but I never want to forget how I felt so I can remember how far God has brought me. To Him be the glory!

  35. 152

    Reading these comments makes me realize again how much we women need each other…to cry with,laugh with,and to just remind each other and ourselves that we have a God who loves us and allows us to go thru stuff to refine and grow us up i nHim. My dad has altzheimers and we have just gone thru a season of never ending frustration,guilt,tears,laughter. The roller coaster. But when i’ve stopped and looked for it i have felt God’s hand in all of this. He loves us soo much. We are always going to experience some type of black hole. What r we going to do w it? Im going to stick my hand in the air and whimper ‘help’.

  36. 153

    Thank you.