Stuck? You Gotta Wiggle!

Do you ever feel stuck?

You know what I mean…stuck…not moving, not sure where to go or how to start. Today I have the privilege of sharing a post from my good friend Susan Reynolds. She shares with us a captivating story with a powerful message: Stuck? You Gotta Wiggle!


“You gotta wiggle!” laughs a dad while leaning casually on his shovel. Three grinning little boys, buried to their waists in wet sand, stare expectantly at the waves lapping up the beach toward them. There is a huge hill of sand surrounding them like a fort. Their dad must have lined them up, standing still, facing the ocean and then shoveled mounds of sand in and around them to create this bunker.


It is a crisp, clear and beautiful morning at the ocean. The tide is slowly coming in. By high tide, in an hour, this part of the beach will be completely underwater. There is a tiny thrill of danger as the boys watch each wave advance. I know their moment of deliverance is coming but they are not so sure.

Wavering looks of confidence, fear, and excitement dance across the boys’ faces

They really don’t know how this is going to play out. They just know that they are, in fact, trapped. The sand is too heavy. “Wiggle, wiggle!” Mom and Dad repeat knowingly, “Wiggle and wait”. As the boys wiggle against the weight of the sand, they create small empty spaces between them and the sand. Their efforts aren’t enough to free them. They are still stuck, but they have created just enough space for the water to eventually do its work. Those small gaps will flood as the wave pours in. The water will actually help lift the squirming little boys to freedom. They will wiggle themselves right out.


The anticipation that surrounds this family is magnetic. I am helplessly drawn to them. I pause my own agenda of wandering this beach in search of encouragement from God. I stand close enough to see the expressions on their faces and hear their happy but frustrated voices say, “When Daddy? When?” and, “I can’t get out”. Although I know how this will turn out, I want to watch. I have to witness the boys’ moment of joy and release. I want to feel it.

I need to feel it because I am also stuck

I’m buried in fear, and inertia. I have a big job to do and I’m having trouble seeing the value in the small gains I’m able to make. I want big, fast, easy deliverance. I’m trying to write a book and each paragraph feels insignificant in light of the enormity of a finishing the whole book. I want it to be easier than it is. I’ve traveled to this beach as an act of kindness to my very frustrated self. It’s a special beach; I wrote the best essay I’ve ever written while sitting on this same beach when I was 15. I want to write, but like these little boys, I’m skeptical that my small efforts will matter. I don’t want to just wiggle, it doesn’t feel like enough. watch with unrestrained joy as the incoming waves finally engulf their fort. Squeals of delight, water and foam fly everywhere, and the boys spring out of their holes. Jumping up and down, they are flapping their hands in uncontainable excitement. They are drenched and the fort is in shambles but they try to hop back in the hole, screaming, “Again, again!”

I walk away giggling aloud “You gotta wiggle, Susan, wiggle, wiggle.”’s been three weeks. Yesterday, my friend asked me to do a guest post for her blog. As she was asking, I could hear the dad’s voice saying, “Wiggle, Wiggle”. Finally, today I started to wiggle. I wiggled my way to this, my very first blog post.

Questions to Ponder:

~ If you are stuck somewhere, what comforting or encouraging words could you say to yourself that might help you manage any frustration or fear that you are feeling?
~ Is there some small move (or Wiggle) that you could try to make on your own behalf, even if it doesn’t feel like a powerful enough move to solve the whole situation?
~ Is there some act of kindness that you would be willing to do for yourself in order to increase your courage and the likelihood that you could begin to make that move?


Susan and I would love to hear your response to Stuck? You Gotta Wiggle!

Comments, Please…





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