December is here! 2018 is literally almost over and 2019 is quickly approaching. A lot of people are probably happy to be over with 2018, planning their end-of-year quotes/sayings about how they’ll cut more people off, writing down their 2019 New Year’s Resolutions, or reflecting back over the year as a whole. In general, a lot of people are busy doing something, but then there are a few of us who have gone into a little bit of an end-of-year slump; Yep, we’ve hit a wall and for some reason we’re not progressing as we ought to. I wish I wasn’t a part of this group, but somehow I am and I could sit up here and write you a complaint post about how it’s ok to be where we are but I’m not. Instead, I’m going to give us some reasons why we might be in a rut and provide some tips on how we can dig ourselves’ out of this rut. No, I’m not giving these reasons and tips so that we can do what others are doing during this time of year, as previously mentioned (we’re NOT going to plan ways to say that we’re cutting off more people in 2019 for Facebook or Instagram, or write down New Year’s Resolutions that we won’t commit to either). I’m providing these reasons and tips so that we can be good stewards of the time that we still have left in this year (2018), and so that we can become more intentional. So here it goes!
Reasons why we might be in an end-of-year slump:
1. Along the way we’ve lost our focus- Literally this is probably the number one reason why most of us in this mentioned slump are not feeling as productive as we feel we should be. Our focus is out of whack right now due to various reasons and everyone loses focus every now and again but it’s imperative that we get our focus back on track. 2018 is not over, we still have things to do. I’m not saying do anything, I’m not saying do something to make yourself look busy either, but there are things that the Lord has told us to do and we have a responsibility to do them.
Tip: How do we get our focus back? Well, we’re going to go back and either ask the Lord what he previously told us to focus on or we’re going to grab our handy-dandy notebook or phone where we wrote down what the Lord told us to do and we’re going to either listen or re-read what he said and pray and ask the Lord to give us the stamina and strength to do just what he said.
2. Along the way we’ve lost our hope- This can be big as well. Losing hope in what we’re doing can place a blockage along a pathway and prevent us from capitalizing our time. Something even as simple as a lie from the enemy, a doubtful thought, can block our progress. Even if things don’t look the way that we think that they should, that doesn’t mean that it’s something we should become discouraged about. If God has his stamp of approval on something, we have to continue on.
Tip: How do we regain our lost hope? We gain our lost hope by believing the report of the Lord. God is NOT a man that he should lie. Therefore, if we know that he has his hand on a thing and most importantly on us, then he will see it and us through. We will also immerse ourselves in scriptures that show the guarantee of God, he’s verified!
3. Along the way we’ve become distracted- Distractions are always around but when we lose focus and our hope is lost, we tend to entertain distractions more freely. We don’t see the red flags or the danger signs, we’re blind. At other times we feel the Holy Spirit nudging us to detour away from a distraction and we know it isn’t right to entertain those distractions, but our flesh, longing for some type of appreciation, attention becomes enthralled with a “never-should-have”. We entertain a bad relationship (romantic and friendship), we accept a new venture that looks nice but feels wrong, we settle for safe when God said “go big”, we take the easy route instead of putting in the work to get what we know we truly deserve. It’s definitely happened to the best of us and it’s more than likely happened to all of us, but it tends to happen more often when we feel like we’re in a slump or a rut because we simply just don’t have the energy to do better and we won’t listen spiritually when the Holy Spirit gives warnings so we’re more susceptible to the trap of a distraction. This is so detrimental and we literally do NOT have time for this type of behavior. A wrong decision can literally set us back anywhere from a few days to a few years. Tip: How do we leave distractions behind? This one might be a little harsh but we stop being rebellious and we listen to the Holy Spirit. We’re not going to just do what we want to do, we are going to live by the spirit. If we’re truly men and women of God we’re going to be obedient in our walk. Tip: What do I do if I’ve already entertained a distraction? You have to do a hard thing and cut off (this is when you have authority to cut off people or opportunities) distractions with the mindset that this thing is blocking my ear-gate and my focus from the things of God.
4. Along the way we’ve seen everyone else win and it seems like we haven’t- Listen, in life, some people achieve “success” it seems like in a matter of seconds. At times, we may all feel like we’ve been given the short end of the stick and we can at times internalize this and begin to feel defeated. There are some important things to note when feelings like this arise. First of all, we have to be okay with staying in our lane. Everyone has a lane and it’s not our job to measure the speed of another while they’re in their lane. We all have a destination but not everyone achieves everything at the same exact speed, so continue to hold on, change will come and you’ll be where you need to, God’s got it under control. Second of all, everyone who looks like they have it all together and have achieved a lot in life, may not have everything. They may not have the peace that you have, or they may be under a lot of scrutiny and every little thing that they do is documented by hateful people. We have to count our blessings sometimes and stop looking at everything they have and begin to look at what we have as well. Even if that person does have everything together, we have to remember that we need to stay in our lane and remained focused. Third of all, we have to be extra careful with wishing and longing to have what others have because it can lead to being envious and may lead to jealousy. We simply don’t have time to be either of those two things so we’re not going to focus on why they have something we don’t. Tip: Pray if you feel these spirits are trying to reside with you. Tip: How do I get over not focusing on other people winning? It’s so simple, we’re going to remain focused on the Lord, and he has to be the focus behind everything that we do.
5. Along the way we’ve gotten lazy- This one is harsh but so real. We’ve gotten oh so lazy. We’ve allowed that turkey bird and that stuffing to fill us up so much that we simply can’t move anymore. We don’t have the energy and it seems like the time is moving way too fast for us to do anything anymore. Tip: In order to get out of the spirit of laziness we’re first going to pray to the Lord that he takes this spirit away from us, it’s a distraction itself! We’re going to keep a momentum going and move! I don’t care if it’s just one step, just move! Soon we’ll be moving all over the place.
6. Along the way we’ve become depressed- I remember a time when depression was not a topic of discussion for Christians. However, during the Holiday season, seasonal depression can burst forth. It can come out of nowhere and the once happy person you thought you were becomes sad and melancholy all of the time. The Holidays can be hard, even depression that occurs year round can make its debut at any time. Tip: How do I deal with seasonal depression/depression? Read scriptures on the joy and peace of the Lord, he freely gives these to his children. Find a qualified professional to counsel you. Make time to be around people you love and let people know when seasonal depression or depression is active. Have some true intercessors around you as well.
This year I found myself battling with loss of focus, hope, and laziness. Writing these reasons and tips have already helped me so I pray that they help someone else out there. Identify the reasons why you may have been in a slump and take the tips and insight from the Lord to help you get realigned because we’re getting out of our end-of-year slump this year!