Thursday, December 12, 2013

When You Feel Stuck

Do you ever feel stuck?

I listened to a great Ted talk the other day by a doctor who was paralyzed and went on to do great things despite his condition. The take away message for me was : we're all paralyzed at one time or another.

Which made me think. Not only are we sometimes paralyzed--there are probably whole areas of our lives where we're paralyzed. There are places we won't go. Things we won't do. Foods we won't eat. People we won't speak to. Ideas we won't consider. And sometimes this is wise and sometimes it's stupid.

The other day I was stuck in an elevator. I accidentally leaned against the alarm button and the elevator froze. I tried to pull the button that said, pull in case of an emergency. I tried to call the number on the elevator wall, but I didn't have cell service. I tried not to go insane while the alarm wailed.

I kicked the door. I beat against the wall with a tea pot. (Who knew tea pots could be useful for something other than making tea?) I pulled on the emergency knob until I my hand turned blue (really, I bruised my hands.) Finally someone found me. And then they told it would take 40 minutes for the elevator person to come and rescue me.

After 45 minutes, I decided I couldn't wait any longer, and I broke a pair of wire rimmed glasses and used the arm to wedge under the emergency button. Using all my weight, I popped off the button and the elevator doors slid open.

While in the elevator, listening to the screaming alarm, I was fine. It wasn't until I was in my car and headed for home that I began shaking. It took a long time for me to feel "normal." (Whatever that is.)

The next day I received an email from a friend recounting her grandson's experience in the monster storm that devastated the Philippines. It made me stop and think about how I handled my adventure in the elevator and how this young missionary survived a deadly storm.

It made me think about fear and faith and patience. It gave me a great idea for a story.

What do you do when you feel stuck? Are there areas of your life where you refuse to budge? Old ideas that you refuse to let go? Relationships stuck in a rut? Habits and routines that could use some shaking up?


  1. Very thought provoking post. I was so inspired by the stories of the missionaries in the Philippines. You never know when a story idea will strike...

  2. Lovely thoughts. I would be a mess. I don't not like being confined. Very creative way to fix the problem.