Three weeks ago I was sitting in my parked car, trying to pull myself together before I walked back into my dorm room for the evening. I had just returned from my first night with a new small group, and I was racking my mind for any possible reason I could be this upset. Nothing had gone bad that night; I had a great time meeting new friends, but as soon as I pulled back into the parking lot, the tears started falling.
Samuel sat in the passenger seat trying to comfort me, but my emotions were relentless that night. It was frustrating because I didn’t know why I was upset. It was frustrating because I didn’t want to be sad. It was frustrating because I thought everything was going great.
So, I did what I do best, and I talked. I spoke the random thoughts that were on my mind, and at one point I said,
“I just feel stuck.”
When those words left my mouth, I realized that I had finally figured out what was wrong. I realized that I had spent the past six months in a brand new place, with people who didn’t know who I was before college, and with absolutely no clue what passion I was pursuing. I felt like everyone else around me had their lives figured out, and here was me, crying in my car at 10PM on a Tuesday, wondering why I was even in college if I didn’t know what I was doing.
I truly did feel stuck that night. I didn’t see a purpose in what I was doing. I felt like my efforts weren’t going to take me anywhere. My head was so full of thoughts, and my eyes so full of tears, that I just wanted to throw my hands in the air and say, “I give up!”
But I didn’t give up. With some coaxing from Samuel, a deep breath, and an attempt to wipe the mascara off my face, I eventually got out of the car and walked back to my dorm. As soon as I got there I called my mom. She made it better. She always does.
When I closed my eyes to go to sleep that night, I asked God to show me, even just the slightest hint, that I was pursuing what I was meant for. I didn’t beg for a door to open. I didn’t ask for a life-changing opportunity. I just didn’t want to feel stuck anymore.
A little more than a week later, I received an e-mail from my creative writing professor, saying that my first piece for his class could be worthy of publishing after some revisions. I was so quick to doubt that anything I wrote could ever be that good, but something in the back of my mind was just like, “Hey, you asked for a sign. Is this not one?”
I received another sign the following Sunday at church, when we were asked repeatedly, “What’s in your hand?” The question was referring to Exodus 4:2, when Moses asks God for proof that He had appeared to him so that others would believe. It goes like this:
“Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
We were asked about what our staff could be that day. My heart was already racing because I know what mine is. I know why I love writing. I know who gave me that passion. And I know that God put me in that room at that specific moment because I needed to hear pastor say these words,
“Some of you write. Write for Jesus!”
It was like a light bulb had turned on right above my head. Samuel nudged my leg and I cracked a little smile. I knew it was another sign, another little nudge from God saying, “Trust me, I’ve got this.”
Later on in Exodus the scripture says, “And he took the staff of God in his hand.”
When Moses yielded his most basic tool to the Lord, it held His power when he picked it up again. This is what we are meant for, guys. We are meant to give everything we have, and hope for, and have a passion for straight back to Jesus. We are given those passions, those talents, and those skills for a reason. So use them. Give it all of your strength. Use your whole heart.
God revealed my tool to me a long time ago, but I keep doubting Him. I was scared to share my writing for the majority of my high school career (although I’ve become a little braver). I always tell myself that my words aren’t good enough to pursue a career as a writer. I doubt and doubt and doubt some more.
But God was all like, “Lauren. Can you just, like, stop pushing your tool away from you for a second? Can you pick it up for me so I can show you how beautiful and powerful it really is?”
I finally listened.
Guys, hear me out on this. Even in the moments that you feel stuck, I promise there’s a way out. You have to keep going. You have to know and trust that there is a plan for you. There is a reason you may be struggling. There is a reason you are doubting yourself. There’s even a reason for sitting in your car and crying your eyes out.
When you’re stuck you can finally see what has been in front of you all along. You can pause, regroup, and dive back in with new enthusiasm. Getting stuck reminds you to trust.
Getting stuck forces you to look up.
And if you stay there, you’ll always know why it’s worth it to keep going.