It is a terrible feeling to be stuck in the corner. Trapped by problems. Maneuverability seems so limited. Fear starts to do its work. Many times life feels like this. No matter how hard you’ve tried to do your best and make good decisions, sometimes you are just stuck in the corner. What options do you have in this place?
Perhaps you didn’t do your best. Maybe you made less than helpful decisions, and things fell apart. Sometimes, being stuck in the corner isn’t even your own doing. You are backed into a corner or exposed to impossible circumstances because of someone else’s choices, and you are left to manage the fall-out. Your sorrow doubles because of unkindness and betrayal.
People cause grief for others. Most of us end up on both sides of this unfortunate human development. And often the situation is very hard to fix.
When you are in a corner and don’t know what to do next, pause. This is an intentional pause with purpose. It helps you see things as they really are, not as they appear. In that pause, there are some things you can train your heart to do that will help you get your bearings and possibly open options. Ask God for wisdom. Sometimes God allows corners to help us change direction.
Things to Think About When You Are Stuck in the Corner
Press Into Christ
The very first thing to do is to press into Christ who is with you in your corner. Pour out your heart to Him. Be honest and respectful. Be vulnerable and real. Trust Him with your heart, your hurt, your doubts and any failures. Don’t depend on your understanding of the situation. Give your tsunami of emotions to Jesus and acknowledge His desire to help. He will guide you through as your companion and confidant. And He will heal your heart. Listen intently for His whispers of love, His awareness of your situation, His personal provision made available for you, and His intentions to keep His promises – all of them.
Take Time to Grieve
The next thing that often helps is to take time to grieve. Many people skip this important step. Losses and unfortunate developments can hurt, and if you don’t identify and address this, it can turn into dysfunction. Look at what has happened and admit the loss and the hurt. Tears might help. The deepest cutting losses are from relationships. It could be through death, severe illness, conflict, changed hearts. Losses can also result from a terrible business transaction, a natural disaster, an accident, declining health, or a denial of some kind. As you pause in the pain of this place, refuse to be a victim. As you grieve, be aware that you can get lost in grieving. Indulging in a pity party or punishing others (or God) in your devastation will not change things for the better. Tell God your grief, and ask for His strength to accept how things are now.
Finally, to get out of that corner, forgive if you’ve been wronged. It may be appropriate to give another chance. Other times it is better not to. But forgiving sets you free. If you have wronged someone else, ask them to forgive you. Humble yourself. Pride will keep you cornered.
Now you can move forward and not be locked in denial or bitterness. Get up and wash your face and start to live again. The loss may still be painful, but positive strokes are healthy. This is not a “straighten your shoulders and steel-faced-go-on” kind of thrust. If you do this, you are still stuck in the corner. Instead, it means you choose to accept what has happened, that you didn’t want it to happen, you yield to God’s love and over care – and you let His grace roll it into your life story. Let go into God’s capable grip. It may help to talk about the situation with others involved – or it may be better to let it go if the loss is permanent, and talk with a third party. God handles “permanent” just as skillfully as “temporary.” Try to build again with people using God’s wisdom. He will teach you how to be careful but not fearful. Leverage your daily schedule to remain productive. Pursue things God laid on your heart previously. Quickly adopt any changes He shows you. Perhaps add a hobby or fun activity.
If You Stay Stuck in the Corner
If you decide to stay in your corner, the devil might outwit you with the difficulty. He does not want you to be free. You can’t stay in a corner and live an intentional life. It will rip you apart and ruin you. The enemy knows this and will do anything to keep you there, including drain your energy and drive.
Jesus helps you. Simply ask Him. I already mentioned He is in the corner with you. If you go through these steps and stay close to Christ, He will heal your heart and give you joy again. Your life can be healthy and strong. Jesus will give you constructive advice and guidance. Let Him renew your hope. He empowers you to do the hard things. Jesus is your Shepherd, little sheep, and He holds you close.
How can you engage these ideas in your corner? Will you risk God’s love and trust His power and wisdom?
Article developed from 2 Cor. 2:1-11.
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