I watched Greys Anatomy the other day. Ok, what I should say is I watched Greys Anatomy all dayAn episode while eating breakfast. A few while pretending to work. A couple more sitting at a local coffee shop. As night descended and the mosquitoes buzzed I was still watching my favourite surgeons run around the hospital. They laughed. They cried. They saved lives. *Spoiler alert* some of them died. That was my day.

Didn’t you have anything better to do? Yes I did. I had a multitude of other things I could have been doing, but I didn’t. I tried working for approximately three excruciating minutes before deciding it was useless. That I had nothing to write about and that the vehicle that is my brain was running on empty. Actually it wasn’t even running; the transmission refused to start. 

What you just read were some of my scribblings from what feels like years ago. I remember what happened the next day. Instead of thinking about the tasks on hand my mind sidled over to what the doctors would be up to. The hardships. The triumphs. Their lives seemed so exciting. Mine…not so much. 

It’s all part of the writing process. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. I remember arguing with myself. I’ll just take today off and be extra productive tomorrow. 

The first…maybe. The latter…unlikely. 

Though I have been known to procrastinate, this was something else. I was unhappy with, well, everything. From the work I was producing to the price of pomegranates. But mostly…me. 

People would ask me how it was going, how I liked the city, and without fail some comment about the weather would pop out of my mouth quicker than I could swallow it back. The weather. That’s what I chose to talk about day after day. Because it was safe. 

I didn’t want to admit it, but I was struggling. I wasn’t sure what I was doing or where I was going in life. But saying that I was struggling out loud felt like failing and I am not one for failure.

Stuck in a rut. At a loss. Adrift. Standing at a crossroads. There’s many names and tags I’ve heard that resonate with that time and that place. But what do you do to get out of the rut? To find the way forward? Here are six things that helped me. 

1. Talk it out. Ever heard the phrase “The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem”? That applies here. As soon as I shared that I was struggling, it no longer felt like the whole burden was on me. Talking released what had built up inside and allowed me to gulp fresh air and perspective. Find someone you can be real with and pour it out. Being open and broken can be terrifying but sometimes you don’t know what it is that has a hold over you until you say it out loud. 

2. Do it anyway. Push yourself to get back on track. Work the hours you are supposed to work. Reply to those messages you haven’t felt like replying to in ages. Go for a walk outside in the fresh air when you would rather be inside watching TV. If it’s something you know you should be doing, push aside those little voices that say “just do it later (aka never)” and do it anyway. 

3. Get an attitude adjustment. Call yourself out on a bad attitude. Prepare a pep talk for when you think you’ll need it most. Have accountability people around you who can give you a quick jab with their elbow when they see you settling in to wallow in self-pity or brush up in anger. If you tell yourself ten times a day that “this is horrible” chances are it will be horrible! On the flip side, if you tell yourself ten times a day to “give it a chance” you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. 

4. Give yourself some grace. Be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your life. If you make a mistake, that doesn’t mean the whole day is void (which is often a trap I get caught up in). If you see yourself falling back into old patterns make a change and give yourself an extra bucketload of grace for not only yourself, but for others around you as you navigate murky waters.

5. Do something for you. It’s easy to get caught up in the go, go, go pace of life or the “I need to suffer and deny myself all worldly things for Christ” mindset. Take time on the weekend or during the week when you have a spare moment to do something you love. Sleep in. Go for a walk. Paint your nails. Splurge on the good chocolate. You’re worth it. 

6. Turn to Him. This is most important. If you’re to take away one thing from this blog post, let it be this: Turn to Jesus. He is always there.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

Turn to Him – it sounds so easy. But truthfully…it’s not always easy for me. Because sometimes, I think I know better. In some situations I don’t want to listen for God’s voice, I just want to go with my first impulse. I don’t always feel like finding the root of the problem, I’d rather just apply a band-aid or break out the duct tape for a quick fix and carry on. But truth is, it’s better when I turn to Him. It’s not necessarily easier, but it is always worth it in the end. Turn to the Lord and give Him the day; the people, the plans and the projects. Turn to Him and trust Him with the way forward. 

Rebecca is a photojournalist from beautiful British Colombia, Canada. Like a true Canuck, she loves playing ice hockey, wearing toques, and being outdoors. Rebecca is serving in southern Africa.

Share this Resource

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Children’s Ministry Intern South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a passion to serve children in full time missions?  Would you like to go to an area where people have not heard the gospel yet, but do you feel unprepared and unequipped?  Then this opportunity is for you.
Full Details
Tshega Mission South Africa    Go & Visit    1 September 2022 - 30 November 2022Reaching people of the local community.
Full Details
AIDS Hope – Meetse a Bophelo Centre South Africa    Go & Visit    1 September 2022 - 29 November 2022To bring hope to people affected and infected with HIV & AIDS.
Full Details
Area Finance Development Team Member – Africa Area South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe are looking for someone to join the OM Africa Financial Development team.  Do you have the skills to be a catalyst for generosity to see that happen? You will be a key part of the work. We are looking for someone who has the character to be self-motivated, trustworthy and who has a keen eye for opportunities. Your work will cover a number of fields across Africa as well as a wide-range of topics, from donor relations, compliance to business and cross-cultural teams.
Full Details
Team Members South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleSince our beginnings, we have been driven by a deep conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to hear the gospel at least once. Sadly, there are still thousands of peoples and communities that have never heard about Jesus, ever. Do you share our passion for these people to hear of His fame and renown? Come. Join one of our teams and be amazed at how God is working in lives and communities around the world, and be amazed at how He works in your life, as well. We are looking for you, and many more like you, to join us on this journey to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached all over the world.
Full Details
Missions Discipleship Training Plus (MDT+) South Africa South Africa    Go & Visit    Start: As soon as possibleDo you have a desire to grow and be challenged to put your faith into action? Come and join us! With people from all over the world, you will be discipled to find your place of strategic involvement in seeing Vibrant Communities of Jesus Followers among the Least Reached. During Phase 1 we will help you to develop a Personalised Preparation Plan, based on what you have discovered about your place of strategic involvement. Phase 2 is a continuation of your journey in holistic missions.
Full Details
Africa Trek 1 South Africa    Go & Visit    3 September 2022 - 5 December 2022to provide a short -term mission experience within a cross-cultural setup. we would like to inspire, equip and disciple participants through providing diverse practical ministry experience.
Full Details
AIDSHope Administrator South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you passionate about using your administrative skills for a ministry in Mamelodi, South Africa? 

AIDSHope is in need of someone with administrative skills who is also willing to be involved in various areas of our ministry.

Full Details
Missions Mobiliser South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThe mobilising role exists to mobilise Jesus followers to live and work among the least reached in an authentic manner. We do this by inspiring, connecting & equipping these Jesus-followers to and for God's mission.
Full Details
Children’s Ministry Training Coordinator South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAbout 50% of the population in Africa is under the age of 15.  If we want to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers, we will need to include children in our strategy.
As children’s ministry team of Africa Area, we
help fields to align with the vision while including children. We also equip and resource the ministries so that they can do their ministry more effectively.

Full Details
REACH South Africa – Team 2 South Africa    Go & Visit    6 August 2022 - 30 June 2023Do you have a desire to grow in your faith? Do you want to be trained in practical ministry skills and want to be challenged to put your faith into action? Come and join our Reach programme! Together with other people from all over the world, you will be trained, discipled, guided to find your place of strategic involvement in seeing Vibrant Communities of Jesus Followers among the Least Reached.
Full Details
Africa Area IT Team Member South Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAfrica is awakening. Opportunities are plentiful, but specialised/skilled personnel are few.

Here’s an IT challenge – oversee a multinational, multi-lingual team in the area of IT. Bring your resourcefulness, flexibility and IT know-how, and experience a rich and totally unique culture as you share life and faith with the Africans.

Full Details