Today has been maybe one of the longest days of my life. Let’s just say that Atlanta is trudging through a snowpocalypse. I mean seriously. Devastation. It’s practically a wasteland.
Did I mention there are about two inches of snow?
As I was sitting in my bathroom floor asking God to speak to me this morning, it never occurred to me that he’d send a “blizzard” to do just that. But let’s be real. This inclement weather has really effed up a bunch of stuff for a lot of people today. So although I know I’m adored enough to die for, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that God didn’t create this catastrophe just for me. But what the enemy intends for our harm, God can turn around for his good, and that is precisely what he did for me tonight.
Stranded at my apartment, I reached a new level of boredom. I haven’t experienced this kind of lazy misery in quite some time. I realized, though, that this particular Tuesday night is not really much different than any other Tuesday night– it’s the sheer fact that I’m stranded here that inspires such emptiness. It’s a hopeless awareness. And it’s not like there’s nothing for me to do. Of course there are about a billion things I could/should be doing, but I’ve been lying on my bed listening to Taylor Swift, watching hilarious videos making fun of Taylor Swift, snapchatting like a mofo, and eating everything in sight. In the midst of all this lack of excitement, however, I noticed that my cursor was lingering over the “forward” button on Spotify. It was light gray instead of dark, so I knew that I couldn’t click it, but it was the little yellow message that popped up that changed my whole night. It said, “you can’t go forward from where you are right now.” And I stopped breathing for just a second.
You see, all hell broke loose today in the city of Atlanta. Classes were cancelled, wrecks occurred, and it’s not even accurate to call the idling cars on the roads traffic. I’m not sure there’s a word for it. After waiting for a while on my bus, it became abundantly clear that it wasn’t coming. At least not any time in the next several hours. I had two options: kill time in the cold or turn my ass around and get to where I needed to be. I chose the latter. It wasn’t far, and I didn’t have to walk it alone. I made it, and it was worth it, and I’d do it again because I couldn’t go forward from where I was then.
So as I’m sitting here wondering why I’m feeling so emotionally, physically, and creatively stuck, I’m told that I can’t go forward from where I am right now. And why is that?
Am I just stuck on my fear? Am I just straight up turned in the wrong direction? Am I killing time in the cold of my life? I don’t really know yet.
But knowing really is half the battle, and I’m so thankful to be aware. Being aware isn’t easy. It comes with anxiety and uncertainty. When you realize that you’re trapped, there is a certain helplessness and hopelessness that invades your awareness. It’s easier to be numb. It’s easier to let the cold consume you and pretend this is just any other typical day. But what if today could be the day that you turn your ass around to get where you need to be?
What if today could be the day that I turn my ass around to get where I need to be? I’m not sure that I even know how. But what I do know is that I can’t go forward from where I am right now. It’s not that far, and I don’t have to walk it alone. I’ll make it, and it will be worth it, because I’ve done it before and I’ll probably do it over and over again for the rest of my life. It’s terrifying to admit when you’re stuck because there’s this assumption that when we really love Christ, we follow him unswervingly, and his ways don’t lead us down the wrong path or into quicksand. That’s certainly half true. But as long as I have free will, I will surely deviate. But when I listen, his merciful spirit in me will say “Laina, you can’t go forward from where you are right now.”