The snow was coming down so thick, I could barely make out the silhouette of something – or someone. At first, I thought it might have been a wild animal, maybe a polar bear; but as he came into focus, I realized it was indeed the shape of a human, bent over sharply, covered in a blanket of snow, thigh deep in this frozen grave.
As he drew nearer, I realized that he had an enormous, gaping wound just to the left of his shoulder – or where his shoulder should have been. His shoulder and arm were missing and there was nothing but ice and exposed bone and cold, coagulated flesh. Except for his frosted face and his shoulder, the thick layers of skins seemed to give him ample shelter from the elements.
He slowly picked up his chin and I could finally make out his facial features. Behind his long black hair, matted with snow, was the face of a native American. The distinct weathered skin of a man who had endured pain and whose life was nearing the end unless he was rescued. His dark eyes were dim but a glint of hope shone through. He could neither smile nor frown. He was emotionless: whether by frostbite or by exhaustion, I could not tell. Not a single muscle on his face gave any indication that he had seen me.
Around his neck and remaining shoulder hung a thick, knotted rope that swung behind him, leading to a wooden sled laying atop the soft snow. On this sled, what looked to be two dead bodies, wrapped tightly in a burlap-type material. Each wrapped individually, but tied to one another and then cinched down securely to the sled itself. Nothing else on the sled, except two frozen corpses.
When I awoke, it only took a few seconds to reorient myself to my surroundings… our bed, our room, our home. I was in a comfortable, warm, familiar place. The deep snow had drifted away, but the man in my dream would haunt me. I got up to get a drink and his deeply weathered face stared at me in the mirror.
I knew what the dream meant yet I was still full of questions. Would I tell Joy? Would I do anything about it? Would things ever get better?
I was that man, plodding through a cold existence with a death sentence. I was digging my own grave with every step. It was me. I had been mortally wounded by childhood rejection and teenage failure yet pressing on in exhaustion. I was a man dispossessed of my true inheritance by addiction. Yes, even the sled revealed my inability to truly deal with the grief of both my parent’s untimely passing. I was dragging them around, unable to let go.
I was stuck. My mind was stuck. My emotions were stuck. It was affecting my health, my relationships. My marriage was suffering, my children were suffering, my job was suffering. I didn’t realize it, but I was closer to self-destruction than I even realized at the time.
I had begun to hate myself, to grow weary of life, to resent my family, and worst of all to grow distant from God. Of course, this wasn’t the first time, but this was the worst time. I was stuck.
Perhaps this book finds you stuck… stuck in shame or brokenness, stuck by abuse and abandonment, wounded by loss or loneliness, dragging around the weight of grief or addiction. Perhaps you connect with the tired Native American who was only a few more breaths alive than the two bodies he was dragging. Has the world become a cold grave to die in? Have you given into your frozen fate and resigned to the death inside?
If you feel like something in you has died, like you’re walking wounded, or like you’re dragging an unbearable weight around, this book is for you.
Let’s get unstuck… together!
This is a kind of workbook … or maybe more like a journal of sorts. We’re not just going to get unstuck by reading something, we’re going to have to put in a little more effort than that. At the conclusion of each chapter, I’m going to ask something of you. Sometimes it’s simple and quick, a few of the challenges will be that – challenging. But I can honestly say, if you’ll take the time, you WILL get unstuck. So, ARE YOU READY?
Your first unstuck assignment is to grab a pen & a notepad and write in the word YES or NO to the question above. -OR- if you prefer… send me a text: 615-686-1552