I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
(Read the rest of this poem here.) This is the end of the poem and the hope for your journey out of the hole.
Falling into the hole time after time takes a toll on you. There’s the whole process that goes on in your head that only you see. There’s the “I don’t want to” fall in the hole stage. There’s the “It’s not my fault” that I fell in the hole stage. There’s the “I hate this” stage, but that one quickly turns into the “This isn’t that bad” stage. Then in no particular order there’s the embarrassment stage, the panic stage, the grief stage, the “I’m a loser” stage, and the “this will never change” stage.
During any of these stages you never see the good coming. Well maybe you do for a short time but you never really believe it.
During any of these stages you’ve tried to take on the hole but the hole won. You tried avoiding the hole but somehow you always wound up there anyway. You tried to replace the hole with some okay-for-you version of it and that didn’t work. Because in the end it’s not really about the hole. It’s about you. It’s a head issue and it’s a heart issue. It’s an issue of self-worth.
And you recognize that now. You are worth it. Your family tells you that. Your friends tell you that. And most certainly God tells you that. Finally you realize that. You are worth it.
Worthiness was always your birthright.
You look back and you can finally see the progress you’ve made, even though the journey has not been perfect or without struggle. Pain is your beginning. You’ve fallen in the hole so many times yet you now see that progress has been made each time. You stop the excuse-making, driven from shame, that keeps you in the hole.
Fad diets, get-rich-quick schemes, promises you made but never intended to keep, and shortcuts to staying out of the hole will never work. What works is daily progress and recognizing that this isn’t easy but it can be done. Pain is your beginning. You are worthy of every daily progress.
The day comes, today perhaps, and you are walking down a different street. This street has no holes. It looks and feels different from “that” street. There’s no shame on this street, no embarrassment, no guilt, no fear, no excuses to be made, and no threat. The war in your mind is over. No more “process” and no more “stages.” It’s like the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders and it feels good. The joy you experience now is like no joy you’ve ever known. You’ve forgotten how good good can be and yet here you get to live good.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7
You lost a lot of time and trust but you won the war. Your loved ones know this too. They are enjoying every bit of your joy with you. You are scarred. You’ve got a mess to clean up—but that mess is not insurmountable. It is so much easier to fix this mess when you are walking on this new street. You’ve got this. Now go live that life to the full. John 10:10.