Thursday, April 18, 2013


“How do you keep going so hard for so long when you can’t even stop to take a breath?,” she asked. I told her this season of life is clearly my [much-needed] boot camp for dying to self, and for coming to hard-core terms that this world will never satisfy. It’s broken. It’s hard. It’s not my Home. Those realities are what keep me hanging on.

But several nights later, the rubber met the road of routine and my soul pounded the pavement in resistance. I just wanted to stop, let my mind soar freely beyond these four walls, and let my soul breathe. But I was called yet again to the same place, at the same time, to do the same thing. And I didn’t want to. There was a temper tantrum raging in my soul, and I wasn’t ready to surrender.

So I stepped out the front door and sat down on the top step, beneath the warm blanket of stars. It was a quiet night. And the only motion in view was the flickering of the street lamp, wavering back and forth just like my soul. What it needed to do, was the very thing it was struggling to do.
And so was I.

And there was that kite. The one stuck in our walnut tree. My son had pointed it out to me from the Dining Room window a few days before. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have ever noticed it.

The breeze that night was enough to border chilly, and enough to entice the kite elsewhere. So I watched that kite. I watched her fight in the darkness against the branch that held her there.
Constantly wrestling to be free.

She’s a kite, afterall. She’s designed to be in motion, to soar high among the roving clouds and endless sky. Not to be stuck stagnant at ground level.
She was clearly out of place. And in essence, useless.

Then I saw what surrounded the kite.

Flower buds.
Quiet whispers of life.
Steady companions anxious to burst declarations of beauty. Declarations of their Creator.
Reminders of His presence.
All in the same place that months ago, held coldness and death.

On top of that, the kite was free to behold the majesty of the night sky.
Because she was stuck.
Had she not been stuck, her nights would have been spent in the sterile darkness of storage. Missing out on the radiance of the moon, and the canvas of constellations.

As she wrestles against the rough branch, He whispers to her in the wind. So she does something different this time. She leans into the branch. And she begins to see things she's never noticed before. 
She sees a young Daddy swing his little girl around and land her on his shoulders.

She breathes the crisp night air, watching the sky expectantly for shooting stars like a child on Christmas Eve. 

The other day, she watched as a family, 15-year neighbors to the walnut tree, packed up their memories to make new ones in a new home. 

And she's witnessing the sacred courage of a husband and wife as they battle their way through the dark alleys of a cruel disease.
Despite her struggle to break free, she’s beginning to see beauty blossom around more corners than ever before. Even while wrestling lonely in cold, dark nights.
As I write, she remains stuck in my walnut tree.
But maybe she’s not so out of place, after all.

Because apparently, this isn't about the chance to fly again.
This season in the walnut tree IS about the kite breaking free. But it's about her breaking free from something greater. Something that holds her back far more than the heaviest of branches ever could.
It's about discovering strange new sources of joy. And peace.
And surprisingly – freedom.

In fact, it's about redefining freedom.

Finding a freedom she's never known before. Freedom from herself.
One that soars wild and uninhibited, closer to the Heartbeat of Heaven than even the open skies.
One that finds glimpses of His glory in the small, but sacred, plot of land where He's placed her.

A thrilling liberation to embrace that her worth goes far beyond what she can and cannot DO.

She's finding these freedoms.
In the stuck.

She's beginning to see that we glorify God not just by doing big things, out there, for all to see. But by doing the little things.
Right here.
With nobody watching but Him.
Because He's enough.

She's beginning to trust that the significance of her days isn't defined by her scope or reach.
And that her value isn't secured by grand scenery or a seemingly extraordinary calling.

Because when God's in it, it's all extraordinary.

She's discovering this grand paradox. This freedom in the stuck. This beauty in the tangled mess. Soul rest in the assurance that no matter how useless she feels, or even looks, in her stuck state, she can still partake in the goodness and glory of God.

~ ~ ~

What circumstance has been beyond your control and left you feeling stuck?

My experience on the branch has been an isolating one. How would you describe your experience?

Have you ever considered ways the branch might be a friend in disguise, rather than an all-out enemy?

And I constantly misplace my identity in what I do (or think I should be doing), rather than in Who He is, do you?

Share your thoughts, & share the post!


  1. From one stuck kite to another, thank you for reminding me to look for the beauty in the branches around me. God breathed comfort to me through your post, and I am grateful.
    Stuck for good,

    1. you're welcome, jill, & i'm certainly grateful, too. this stuck stuff sure is a wild ride, isn't it? because while we look stuck on the outside, there's oftentimes so much in motion happening on the inside. SO much. ironically, probably moreso than if we weren't stuck on the outside.

      and on my walnut branch this morning, lush green leaves with hanging raindrops. a visit from a vivid male cardinal & striking goldfinch. lavendar irisis reaching up from ground level. all these His matthew 6 reminders.

  2. Tanya, I wish I stopped by on the 18th when you wrote this, because God is meeting me right where I am with your words. I'm sorry to hear it's been a difficult season. I wish that wasn't the case. That feeling of being stuck is so hard. Every time I think I've mastered the art of wild abandon and surrender, I find I have a lot more to learn. Isn't it incredible when God shows us He doesn't need us to soar to bless us - He just needs us to rest. I hope that in this season you feel Him close to you through it all. I said a prayer for hope and blessing, too. God bless.

    1. thanks so much for your compassion-filled comment, friend. it has indeed been a difficult season, but He continues to remind me that He is in it, that He is near to the weary & broken-hearted.

      yesterday morning was the first time i was able to go to church in about a month, & the Lord so tenderly challenged me that i'm so much like the israelites. like them, He has graciously delivered me from bondage -- the ultimate bondage of sin & death. but because i find myself in the wilderness, i start to forget. i forget that He has graced me with the amazing gift of redemption. i forget that in the Cross, i HAVE all i need.
      i forget. and i start to complain.

      but like you said, "He doesn't need us to soar to bless us - He just needs us to rest."
      to abide.

      thx again for all the virtual hugs, friend,

  3. I love this, Tanya, "Had she not been stuck, her nights would have been spent in the sterile darkness of storage. Missing out on the radiance of the moon, and the canvas of constellations." That's so beautiful and so true. I've got an area of my life where I've felt stuck, but recently, like you, God has shown me the freedom in this "confined space" is broader and bigger than any other I could create. Thanks for this inspiring post and for swinging by my place too, friend!

    1. thanks for your encouraging comment, beth. just last night, i had another little victory of accepting the stuck. and every time i surrender like that, i'm still completely stunned at the amazing freedom He offers when i essentially get over myself! ;)

      thanks for the blessing of your visit, beth -- i appreciate you!

  4. This is gorgeous. I thought I had read this one, but I after reading it today, I don't think so.

    I stopped by because I has missing you and thinking about you. And you encouraged me. Thank you!

    I have been stuck sometimes in worse ways than others. I'm not ever too grateful for the branch, but when we are stuck, I think we are meant to be.

    Thinking of you and praying for you.

    1. i've missed you, too, girl! always makes my day to hear your voice.

      thx so much for reaching out with your encouraging comment, & for praying for me. i love hearing that the Lord encouraged you through this piece.

      i'm thankful for you, jamie harper!

  5. Ah, stuck... yes... been there many, many times. Right now I am stuck in weariness and I am clinging to the Lord to help me out. Your post was a wonderful reminder of how to look at the stuck moments as gifts from the Lord to view things we would not normally see if we were not "stuck." Blessings on you today...

    1. thank you, kellie. thank you for sharing openly about being stuck in weariness. because i believe you have just echoed the cries of countless hurting hearts.

      i'm so sorry that you're facing such weariness right now. i know well the weight that it can add to our souls, so i'm grateful if somehow the Lord used this piece to reach a tender place in yours.

      so glad to have you here,


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