Have you ever been “in over your head?” I’ve heard that phrase many times.
Maybe it’s a job, a relationship, or a personal crisis, and you wonder how you got there. You try to work your way out and discover there’s no way out and no turning back.
You’re in over your head.
The good news is that anything we have worked our way into we can work our way out of.
Negative choices will take us further than we want to go,
keep us longer than we want to stay,
and make us pay more than we want to pay.
Positive choices will do the same. They will take us further than we ever dreamed, keep us longer for our purpose, and help us give more than we thought we had.
It’s the struggle between:
right and wrong,
good and bad,
hate and love,
light and darkness.
These are all choices we make every day. Good choices and bad choices both have far-reaching effects. A good choice has a long term benefit that lasts a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean life will always be good because others also make choices that impact our lives.
Our entire life consists of good choices, bad choices, accidents, and consequences.
I had a friend who made a choice that was wrong for her and her family. We met for coffee, and as we talked, I saw the anguish in her eyes and felt the struggle of her soul. As she poured out her heart, she said these words.
“I’m in it too deep, and I can’t turn back.”
She knew she had made a bad choice and the guilt gripped her and would not loosen its very firm hold. I shared my love for her and said, “You don’t want to do this because the price tag is too high. There’s too much at stake for you and your family. You REALLY don’t want to do this. You won’t be able to bear the load physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”
As we left the table, she said, “I would give anything to go back and undo what I’ve done, but I can’t.”
I reminded her that it’s not too late to start making good decisions from this point on. I encouraged her to be strong and fight for herself and her family. I assured her that God would help her in her weakness.
Her choices took a massive toll in her life. In its path lay a broken marriage, and angry, confused children in disbelief as their family was torn apart. The physical damage took her to the brink of losing her health.
How weary life becomes when we’re living in a place we feel we have to stay. No fun. No joy. No rest. No peace. We deplete our energy and wear ourselves out when we’re in it over our heads.
I can speak to this with great understanding and compassion. I’ve been there, and I’ve lived this out in my own life. No one ever came to me and told me the choice I made would take me where I didn’t want to live.
No one ever told me because I pretended so well that no one knew I was “in it too deep.”
That’s the dilemma of bad choices. The good news is that even after a lifetime of bad decisions, we still have the power within us to make a series of good choices. Many of us cannot do this alone, and you don’t need to.
Jonas was my example and showed me how to walk out of a lifestyle of bad choices. As I revealed to him my darkest secrets, he too had a choice to make. I clearly remember his response. He said, “Do I stay with my family or do I run away?”
Jonas decided to stay and do the right thing one step at a time. His choice made it possible for me to find a way out. The result was both amazing and miraculous. The consequences of Jonas’s good choice had far-reaching benefits. Today we still reap from that one good choice.
Choices get us in trouble, but they also get us out of trouble. I’m grateful God has given us the ability to reverse our choices from bad to good.
That process redeems us and gives us a life worth living.