I felt nothing but anxiety running through my body.
I was under stress and had tension knots so bad that it hurt to turn my neck.
I was carrying around so much stress that my entire back from the nape of my neck all the way down to the base of my spine had an intense burning sensation.
I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t eat right, I wasn’t taking care of household duties or finances, I wasn’t spending time with my kids like I used to and all I wanted to do was sleep.
But how could I sleep when my mind was running a mile a minute processing one negative thought after another?
I had convinced myself that I had tried everything but that nothing was working.
And so since I had tried everything only to experience what I deemed to be failure it followed that the dog on hole I had found myself in clearly wasn’t my fault.
I mean surely it must have been God’s will for me to be experiencing set back after set back.
For most certainly isn’t God ultimately in control. I have read the Book of Job and I am pretty sure that author made it crystal clear that God is in control.
I was certain that the reason that things were not going as planned was simply because the God of the Universe had a different plan, a plan that included me not getting what I wanted.
For surely the fact that my life was in shambles couldn’t have possibly been my will for my life.
Oh but that line of thinking is the lazy man’s way out.
Here is the thing I am not one to try to lay claim that I have a precise understanding of the role of God in the lives of man.
For even I know that Erykah Badu was most certainly correct when she sang the line “the man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all”.
I am aware that there are a variety of views on the role of God in the lives of man.
And while there are a plethora of views on God I will name a few of the camps that I believe many people fall in.
Some people believe there is no God
Some people believe that there is a God but He is not concerned with our daily affairs.
Others believe there is a God, we are connected to God and He has given us full dominion and that we are the sole creators of our experience.
There is the camp of people who believe that God is in control of everything.
(Some people don’t use the term God, they say Source, Universe, Creator, may even refer to God as She or use a large variety of other terms).
Then there is the camp I reside in.
I was raised in a Christian household and attended worship with a variety of denominations within the Christian faith, so my school of thought is based on the paradoxical premise that God gives man free will but that man’s will cannot override God’s will.
I explain my belief system to give a better understanding of how I believe I erroneously arrived at my claim that God simply wanted me to suffer.
You see, I was using my belief that nothing can override the will of God to convince myself that if I was suffering in my life it was because God wanted me to suffer.
In essence I had convinced myself the entire universe was conspiring against me.
Now, I am not the Creator so I don’t have all the answers, but I have come to the conclusion that my idea that God wanted or needed me to suffer was not true.
Does God allow suffering? – Yes
Can God use what man deems to be bad and bring goodness forth from it? -Yes
But in my particular situation was it God’s fault that I was struggling or was there something else going on?
I argue that in my situation there was most definitely something else going on.
The truth is I hadn’t really tried everything and I most certainly had not exhausted all efforts.
Yes, I had tried harder than I had ever tried before, but I had not tried my hardest.
And to be honest I didn’t want to apply myself more than what I was doing. Simply because that meant more work.
You see, I was afraid of failing and I was being lazy. I wanted things to simply fall in my lap. I wanted it to be easy.
Sure, I would say to others that I had exhausted all avenues but deep down I knew I hadn’t.
For had I done everything I could to succeed, I am most certain I would have succeeded.
You see, there were times that I didn’t ask specific people for help because I was afraid of what they would think of me.
And there are the times that I thought this is too hard so let me go pull the covers over my head and try to sleep my problems away (this time was far more frequent then I care to confess).
But my all time best excuse was when I decided that God simply didn’t want me to have my dreams fulfilled.
That was my scapegoat. I was failing because God wanted me to fail.
I was lying to myself.
Blaming God, or even society for my lack of success was far easier than owning up to the fact that I was responsible for my lack of success.
My point is not to argue God’s role in the life of man, I believe that is for each man to decide for himself.
My point is that I realized that in my particular situation I wanted the easy way out and I was mad because this time what I wanted wasn’t going to be easy. Life was harder for me than it had been in the past and I didn’t want to apply myself. I wanted to be lazy and have success fall into my lap. I was so used to blessings coming to me easily that when the time came for me to put on my big girl panties and really try at making life happen for me I gave up. I would cry when things didn’t work out and then I would gather enough strength to halfheartedly try again because I didn’t like hearing the word ‘no’ so much.
I would whine to my family and friends ad nauseam about my problems saying that it would get better in God’s timing.
Yeah, see that argument would be great if God hadn’t already given me the tools I need to make things better for myself.
I wanted someone to walk up to me and just hand better to me.
My old way of doing things wasn’t working.
It wasn’t working because I needed to do something new. I needed to face my fear of failure and try harder. I needed to stop being afraid of being told no. I needed to fully apply myself. I needed to take responsibility for that dog on hole I alone had dug myself in and use the strength God had given me to dig myself out.
If I truly believed that God gives us free will and that God was good then it was high time I started asserting my will and stop blaming life, other individuals and God for where I was at.
I was the one who made poor choices.
I alone was the one who had fallen into complacency.
You see there is a reason why there are few at the top.
Getting to the top takes effort, and initiative and most people give up when things get hard.
For me to achieve my goals in life I was going to have to stop waiting on someone to come and save me from my problems and realize that I was already provided with every ample tool to save myself.
I am abundantly blessed and for me to sit there with my arms folded and my bottom lipped poked out was ungrateful.
I would find myself crying wondering why God wasn’t helping me because I failed to realize that God was the one who was keeping me from falling deeper in the hole I was so dead set upon digging.
For someone who was so quick to say that the reason I was experiencing what I deemed to be failure was due to God not wanting to see my dreams fulfilled, it is mighty peculiar how all my needs were met and that I was able to find blessing after blessing throughout each day.
Mighty odd how I asserted that God didn’t want me to have what I wanted yet I was so blessed that daily strangers who didn’t know me would kindly offer me assistance.
Many people say that at their lowest point everyone leaves and there I was at my lowest point and yet the list of people who came to assist me in some shape or form was amazingly lengthy.
So if it wasn’t God who was causing me to suffer then who was it?
I was tempted to blame the way our society is set up.
Okay lets just be honest I did do that….
But I knew better.
I was responsible for my life.
I dug the hole.
It wasn’t the town I was born in, it wasn’t my family members, the color of my skin, those people who don’t care for me, the fact I was a woman in a “man’s world”, the city I had relocated to, my marital status, the number of children I have or the fact that I attended public school.
Nope it was good ole Renata being too lazy and too afraid to try harder than I had been doing.
Could others assist me? Sure, I believe that we can and should assist one another.
But I was going to have to do the work. Because ultimately I am responsible for my life.
Therefore, I was going to have to organize my life.
My health was failing so I was going to have to eat better and exercise more.
I was depressed and wasn’t spending the amount of time I wanted to with my kids.
So I was going to have to make the time.
I was depressed and I didn’t feel like cleaning up.
I was going to have to get up off that couch and clean up.
My finances were in a wreck.
I was going to have to create multiple streams of income.
Sometimes we don’t get what we want. And maybe it is indeed because it is God’s will for us not to have it at that time or that God knows that what we want simply isn’t what is best for us. But I subscribe to the belief that God gives us our dreams.
And if God is the dream giver then wouldn’t it be God’s good pleasure for us to achieve it? And lets just say we die trying to achieve our ultimate dream with it going unfulfilled wouldn’t the God who gave us that dream bless us along the way as we try our best to achieve that dream?
Now I don’t know your belief of God, but I don’t even think that for the sake of this argument it even matters.
If you want something you have to dig deep and do the work it takes to get it.
Nothing worth having is going to come easy.
While living in Alaska I learned first hand that when a car gets stuck in snow it doesn’t do any good to just try to push down as hard as you can on the accelerator.
This means I wasn’t going to get unstuck by just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what would stick.
Because what you need to get a car unstuck from snow or mud is traction. And I can promise you spinning your wheels as fast as you can is no way to get it.
Nope you need to accelerate slowly.
So that meant I was going to have to make forward movements but think about them and make a concerted effort to slowly make the changes so that they would be beneficial in my process of moving forward.
I keep a plastic shovel in my car because I know that if the car gets stuck it helps immensely to try to dig some of the snow out of the way if at all possible and create a new path.
Thus, to get out of that dog on hole I was going to have to use the tools of knowledge that God had given me to remove the negative thoughts and ideas from my mind and replace them with positive ones.
Another step to getting out of snow is that if you have it available you need to place something under the leading edge of the wheel so the tires can grip on the item allowing you to slowly drive the car out of the snow. For this reason people use an old coat, car mat or blanket to try to gain traction or they put down sand or even better kitty litter.
Like the aforementioned examples I was going to have to apply something to the leading edge of my guidance system. The thing that I decided to rely on to increase my traction was faith. Because walking on fear, doubt, stress, worry and anxiety had failed me.
I decided to love myself enough to stop blaming everyone else for why I was stuck. I loved myself enough not to beat myself up for the hole I had dug myself in. I loved myself enough to stop lying to myself and saying that my fate in life was to suffer when deep down I knew otherwise, but most of all I loved myself enough to decide to do what was right and to get the heck up out of that dog on hole!
My suggestion is that if you find yourself in a hole (and if you live long enough you most certainly will) once you have tired yourself from spinning your wheels and have had enough of blaming everyone else and getting mad at yourself for where you are at, love yourself enough to be determined to keep doing the right thing until you gain traction and get up from out of that dog on hole!
© Renata Pittman, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.