What to Do When You Feel Spiritually Stuck
It happens to all of us. No matter who we are, we all feel stuck sometimes.
Here are some steps you can take to figure out why you’re stuck, and to get unstuck.
Think of Seasons
Sometimes we expect that growth will be linear. The reality: our growth follows seasons. We go through growth spurts, followed by periods of no noticeable growth.
“The best model for spiritual maturity is seasons,” writes Mark Buchanan. “And seasons are as much about what is not happening as what is. It has as much to do with inactivity as with activity, waiting as with working, barrenness as with abundance, dormancy as with vitality. For everything there is a season.”
Expect to go through periods of growth and periods of dormancy. It’s normal.
We’re complicated. Every part of our lives touches the other. If you feel stuck in one area of life, it helps to take stock of the rest of your life to make sure you’re covering the basics:
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Get moving. Exercise — even brisk walking — can help reduce stress and give you more energy.
- Deal with areas of your life that feel out of control.
- If you’re in a season of busyness — extra work or family demands — then expect that you may feel stuck spiritually.
Don’t just look at your spiritual life. Look at your whole life, and look for clues to what might be holding you back.
Take Small Steps
The first time I tried running, I went jogged for 10K. I came back in pain and didn’t run again for weeks. I would have been smarter to run for 1 minute and then take a break, repeat for a few cycles, and then build my mileage slowly over time.
Sometimes we attempt to do too much too quickly. Slow down. Instead of starting an ambitious reading plan, read for just a few minutes a day. Instead of trying to pray for 30 minutes, pray for 3. Choose a step that’s so small that you’re almost guaranteed to succeed. Take small steps, not big ones.
Ask for God’s Help
When we feel stuck spiritually, we seem to have a hard time admitting it to God, but it’s one of the best steps we could take. Strip away all pretense. Pray simply and tell God that you feel stuck. Ask for his help. God isn’t scared by our honesty; he invites it. He promises to help those who ask him.
We’ll all go through times when we feel stuck. Don’t be surprised or discouraged. You may just be in between seasons of growth. Take stock of your life, take small steps to get going, and ask for God’s help. You will grow again.