When my kids and I first moved to our current home in 2011, they were so excited to have a large backyard where they could freely play. Over Christmas break that first year, they decided they wanted to dig.
They took every shovel my dad had and went outside bundled in their winter coats. They would dig for hours and hours. Then they would come in the house and leave a trail—deep trail—of red dirt behind them.
Sun up to sun down.
Digging deeper and deeper.
My kids even enlisted others on their little adventure. Their cousin. Their friend from our former school. They all thought it was the coolest thing to dig holes.
By the time they finished, some of the holes were well over six feet wide and six feet deep. My oldest even attempted to dig steps so he could get out of his hole. They were so proud of their work.
It was all great fun—until my then five-year-old nephew kicked a ball into one of the holes. We were in the house and couldn’t hear him yelling for help. Somehow he managed to eventually get out of the hole, but we decided it would be best to fill the holes back in.
Dad used a tractor to take all the excess dirt and scrape it back into the holes as if they never existed.
We have laughed about the kids and their holes for years now. They still talk about it, and when my oldest would invite his friend to our house, he always wanted to dig holes. I don’t know what was so fun about it, but…
I guess as kids, digging holes is fun. But it’s not always so fun as adults. I’m not talking about literal holes in the ground in the backyard. I’m talking about the holes in our lives.
The holes we dig because of our own bad decisions.
Or the holes that get dug because of someone else’s bad decisions.
The holes that we find ourselves trapped in when we go chasing something fun into it.
The holes that trap us when there’s no one else around to help us get out.
Have you been stuck in a hole? Are you stuck in a hole right now? Can you name your hole? Are you stuck in a toxic environment at work? Are you stuck in a hole of miscommunication with your spouse? Are you stuck in the hole called divorce and you can’t see the way forward? Are you stuck in a financial hole and you can’t find the way out?
Life gives us many holes. Holes that trap us. Holes that make us feel like prisoners who will never be set free.
But that’s not God’s plan for our lives. God doesn’t want us stuck in the insanity of continuing to do the same things over and over yet expecting the same results.
He wants us to live freely. Abundantly. Animated.
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. …My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.… Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? Galatians 5:13-18 (The Message)
But how do we get out of our hole so we can find the freedom God calls us to?
Sometimes—most of the time—we need to find others to come alongside us and help us out of our holes. God never called us to live this life as lone rangers, struggling until we can find a way out of the holes we find in life. No, he called us to live in connection, in community, with one another.
He calls us to comfort others with the comfort we have received (2 Corinthians 1:4).
He calls us to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
He calls us to pray for one another (James 5:16).
He calls us to love one another (John 13:34).
If you are stuck in a hole, it might be time to call someone and ask for help. A guide to come alongside you and help you see more clearly. Someone who can be your encouragement and prayer partner. Someone who can help you find your way to the life God created you to live.
If you are stuck in a hole, it might be time to find a coach who can help you get from where you are to where you want to be. If you find yourself stuck and looking for a friend and fellow sojourner to come alongside you and help lift you out of the hole, let me know. I would consider it an honor and a privilege to be your coach in this journey known as life.
If you are interested in life coaching, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Coaching” in the subject line.