life and faith

When you’re between a rock and a hard place

Have you ever had your own words come back to haunt you? 

It happened to me this week. Not spoken ones, but those I’d written.

Just recently I wrote about how loneliness felt to me as a child.

Memories were stirred and feelings soon followed.

Several weeks ago, I wrote a poem about being set free. 

I felt led to post it on social media a few days ago.

Little did I know how my own words would seriously stir me.

Set me free




Set me free
I no longer want
to be ensnared
by the chains
 of my past or
held fast by fear
for the future.
Set me free
to fly uncaged
in the current 
of your grace
as I release
all that I am
and can be
into your
 loving embrace.
©JoyLenton2013


The next day I felt those chains wind tight. And I fought to draw air.

Being blind-sided by your past is a painful place to be in. Isn’t the past another country where my visa has expired? Maybe.

We can ignore it, except memories make a return inevitable. Revisiting the ruins. 

Now, vulnerable to feelings I’d forgotten, experiencing afresh pain slicing through me, wounded anew by words in my head, I cower.

No bravery here with a troubled mind returning to deep waters that could drown me.

Only….they won’t… if I know how to swim rather than sink under the weight of them.

I have a choice to make – stay stuck in the pain of the past or work through it and move forward.

Thankfully, I also have access to hope and courage beyond myself.


There is an Anchor for drowning souls. We cling to Him when all feels lost and we can barely keep our heads above water deafening in our ears.

I have this to cling to...I have a Saviour who sweat blood to purchase my freedom. I have hope rising phoenix bold from the ashes. I have strength sown in despair. 


When we’re between a rock and a hard place there is hope of seeing change when the Rock is Christ.

He provides shelter and protection when the storms of life hit and His steadfast strength gives us resilience to press through mountains of shame, pain, discouragement, disgrace, sickness and dis-ease of every kind.


Faith can move mountains. 

Not faith in my own small, wavering mustard seed faith, but faith in the One who can move mountains.

Yes, even this. No matter how high, how wide, how deep, how immovable it may seem.

The mountain mover stands ready on our behalf.

We have promises from the ever faithful One.

We have knowledge that pain does not last forever, joy comes in the morning and help is only a cry, a breath, a prayer away.

And healing from a painful past is a process, not a one way street with closed access. 

Some wounds may need lancing with the laser of His word. 

Some cuts may need the antiseptic of His grace, a salve to cleanse and soothe.

For we cannot emerge unscathed from those things which cut deep and wound the very fabric of our being, and God has to dig deeper still and rout out what will poison our system if left untreated.


How I have wished never to have been wounded as I was. And, how amazed I am, over and over again, at the way God is tenderly treating those wounds and binding up my broken heart.

My friend, His work takes time, patience and perseverance and we lose heart in the waiting, don’t we? Our greatest desire is for overnight transformation. 

But a mighty oak doesn’t grow strong overnight and we are called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour ~Isaiah 61:3.

I know how long it can seem when change is so very slow in coming. 

I’ve felt so discouraged lately and needed every reminder I can get that healing work is taking place. But God never loses heart or hope in you and I becoming all we can be in Christ

All He asks of us (and how huge an ask it can feel) is that we allow Him to show us the painful places and fully co-operate with His work in us one tiny step at a time.


Even as we daily battle fear and struggle to see any progress.

Things are happening in the unseen realm that will become visible one day.

Friend, those mountains may resist, but they are moving inch by inch. And one day we will see the difference. Instead of looming large, our mountain will be a shadow in the distance.

Our journey of faith is wrought through testing, trial and suffering and made all the stronger by the overcoming of them.

One day, you and I truly will be set free and ‘fly uncaged in the current of (His) grace as we release all that (we are) and can be into (His) loving embrace’.


For now, we lean hard on the Rock and resist falling apart as He holds us together.

~~~~~~
What are you learning in the waiting process?


How do you overcome discouragement?


Let’s share our journey of faith together and encourage one another on the way. Don’t we all need that?
Please feel free to join in with the comments below.
This post is part of the Journey series that began here. 
To stay in touch with my posts you can join by Google Friend Connect or find me here on Facebook.

14 Comments

  1. Lucy 12th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 15th August 2013
  2. Eileen 12th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 15th August 2013
  3. Mia De Vries 12th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 15th August 2013
  4. fjlloyd 13th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 15th August 2013
  5. AdrianneF 13th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 15th August 2013
  6. Jeanne 14th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 15th August 2013
  7. cfd 16th August 2013
    • Joy Lenton 16th August 2013

Leave a Reply

My Instagram life