How to turn a dead end into a crossroad.
Have you ever been at a dead end? Did it end up being a dead end for real? Or, like me, were you just so stuck you had no idea how to move forward?
I believe that most of what we call a dead end in life’s journey is just a crossroad, from which point we have options. These options may not be easy or even remotely appeal to us but they are options all the same.
I have experienced many seeming dead ends in my short life, but every time I thought it was over, I found a new path. With time I started to pay attention to the process and I have learned a few things that help me along.
Accept the road bump
Nothing comes from denying our situation. It is counterproductive. We don’t live in cloud 9, we live on planet earth. Things happen. The sooner we face and accept the hassle the sooner we can chart a new course and forge ahead. Be in the moment, accept the turn life as taken and get ready for the next phase.
Take some time off thinking about your situation. I like to escape for a moment; do something fun. Forget how dire or limited you think your circumstances are and give thanks for what you have. Make a list of the all the great things in your life. Sometimes we let our troubles becloud our judgment. Don’t let temporary issues and problems make you question all the good in your life. Life is good despite all the issues we face.
Pray and hold on to God’s word.
Write down scriptures that show you a clear picture of the future God has in store for you. It may look far-fetched considering where you are at the moment, but remember you’re not walking by what you see. You’re trusting the one who can do what you can’t. But He needs you to believe and have faith.
Create a mental picture of where you want to go.
My Pastor once said that sometimes we don’t experience victory over situations because we don’t have an alternative for the difficult times. We don’t see beyond our limitations. You need to have a clear picture of where you’re going or where God has told you your future is headed. Hold on to that picture. When you’re tempted to react based on your limited circumstances, resist and focus on the picture of victory. I know this is not easy. It is an ongoing battle for me. But the more attention you pay to it the more successful you will be.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
Do the next right thing.
I heard this one from Michael Hyatt and I know it to be true. When you’re at a seeming dead end, you lose power, momentum, and perspective. To break that inertia and keep going you need to do the next right thing. Look around you, what logical step can you take next to get you moving on? It may not be what you enjoy or particularly care for, but it is a step forward, and as long as it is not illegal, you better go for it. The road to success and fulfilling our dreams is not linear. Sometimes you have to do the least exciting things to gain the knowledge, relationships and ideas you need to get where you’re going.
So for instance, if you’re stuck at home, unable to get the job you desire, why not take a lower paying job for the time being? Or finally take that huge leap and use your gifts to make an income. Or keep going to that job you hate and be the best at it you can be while you prepare for the next phase of your life. Or go out and meet new people and finally put that disappointing break up behind you. It’s never the end until the Lord calls you home. And even at that, eternity beckons. Trust that God will lead you on the right path for you.
Psalms 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
I know how it feels to be stuck, unable to catch a break. Life gets tough but there’s a God who equips us to soar despite it all. What’s the better story? That you had everything handed to you on a platter of gold or that you fought through the thicket to break out into the light and experience endless possibilities?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Remi Roy is a writer, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of dearbiblepeople.com, an ecommerce store that provides Christian-themed products. She is the author of Ms. Unlikely and From the Sidelines: A collection of Bible Fiction. She blogs at thelightedgirl.com.