Thump-thump, thump-thump was the quickening pounding sound of my heartbeat as I waited. With every second my heart was racing you would have thought I was in danger. In my second-grade mind, I was in knee-deep with my first stumbling block, acceptance.
I sat there with only a few kids at a small table taking turns in a round-robin style reading session, instead of the focus being on what the other person was reading it was on my agony of reading OUT LOUD.
Does anyone else here feel my second-grade pain?
It wasn’t just reading out loud that made my heart race, I had a preconceived notion that I wasn’t a good reader, that I would eventually mess up and that one of these kids sitting at this table would laugh
And friends that is just what happened.
I carried the idea of not being a good reader with me all throughout my schooling.
I carried that brief moment in time with me for nearly two decades, not only did I carry it with me I fed it telling myself I wasn’t smart enough.
It wasn’t until I got older, more self-assured that I realized that stumbling blocks are lies that we tell ourselves.
What lies are you telling yourself today and how can you use them as opportunities to grow?
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
Does your lie sound a little something like this…
I am a horrible mom
I am not good with finances
I am an awful friend
I am not smart
What starts out as a small stumbling block turns into a lifetime of lies and sooner or later you have large garbage bag-size baggage.
You can’t go for the promotion or ask for the raise
You won’t even dare to step out on faith
You believe everyone is a better mom than you
and the list goes on.
If this isn’t you and never has been, raise your hands high and say Amen!
For all my other sisters, repeat this with me OUT LOUD…
Let’s make a pact right here and now that you won’t let these little moments in life define you anymore
Even when you forget its picture day and you forgot to comb your kid’s hair, you are not the worst mom ever, it is just a moment in time.
Even when you fail to budget and overspent…again.
It is still just a moment in time and still, you are not a horrible mom, nor are you the type of person that cannot be trusted with money.
Instead, let’s look at stumbling blocks as opportunities to grow.
Growing from the Stumble Block
When using a stumbling block to grow we have to recognize it as a lie. It’s like the times I’ve been really frustrated with my kids to the point of yelling at them.
Me: Put on your shoes (in a sharp rushed tone)
Boys: we can’t find them. (in a tired and winey voice)
Me: come out to find they are sitting on the couch watching t.v with no shoes on their feet! (y’all know I’m yelling at this point right)
Later, I’d feel the ping in my heart that God sends to let me know I need to repent, ugh. Why does my Christian heart get so angry, still?
The realization comes that I just yelled at everyone in the house because I woke up later than I wanted to. I was angry at myself for not getting up early to have time for myself and God.
In those moments I don’t like who I am.
If I let the fact that I yelled at the kid’s stew, I would harbor negative thoughts about myself. I had to stop the forming stumbling block, instead of feeding with negativity, I prayed a specific prayer to God. I prayed for patience in my day, it became my daily prayer for a good while.
Instead of dwelling on all the negative attributes you give yourself, try taking that negative thing and praying about it.
Prayer: God, I need your help being a better steward of our finances.
Prayer: I always look at what others have and wish I had it. Lord, help me with being content with what I have.
I wonder what God has in store for you when you pray specifically and continually!
God Has a Way with Stumbling Blocks
When I pray these specific prayers I gain a new perspective on how God wants me to better a person. On several occasions, it has been hard to wake up early in order to have quiet time with God. A few times I have felt a gentle whisper nudging me to get up and devote time to God.
God has a way of turning our biggest stumbling blocks into opportunities for growth.
Why? God wants to get all the glory. He wants you to say, “I used to be ashamed of my circumstance and because of God’s redeeming power, I no longer look at myself in the same light“. God wants you to share His redeeming power with others so they may have their faith renewed too.
What stumbling blocks are keeping you from a better life? Pray for that specifically and ask God to help you break through the lies you have been telling yourself. Ask God to help when doubtful thoughts arise about yourself or others. God has His way of taking your current stumbling block and using it to help you grow in His image.