Win Today with Christopher Cook

Get Unstuck. Reclaim Your Purpose. Win Today.

HELP! Getting Unstuck in a Life that Never Stops Moving

Milestone birthdays. They represent both privilege and new possibilities as we move into new phases of life. Yet for some people, they are serious crisis moments where regret from past choices, emotionally traumatic memories, and major disappointment resurface to cloud the vision and motivation for a hope-filled future.

Even if you have never experienced significant crisis, I believe it’s safe to assume that at some point in life, you’ve asked yourself at least one of the following questions: what am I doing/what have I done with my life? Where am I going? Who am I?

And if you need help coming up with one more question, allow the “birthday song” to lend a helping hand: “how old are you? How old are YOU?! How OLD are you?! How OLD ARE YOU?!”

Cake, anyone?

Someone Please Blow the Candle Out

I can totally relate. I’ll be honest and tell you that my birthday and I haven’t had the best relationship in a long time. My twenties were not an easy decade whatsoever. I’m just being real.

My 25th was spent getting my mom home from the hospital after a nasty chemotherapy port infection. Nearly every birthday in the few years following was surrounded by one emergency or another. Like unrelenting waves crashing upon the shore, I felt overwhelmed and just wanted to catch a break.

And like icing upon a cake I never ordered, my 30th was an utter nightmare; a day I honestly don’t like to think about. It is one of the most painful, fragile memories I possess, as my mom’s life was quickly slipping away from us. On my birthday, she barely knew who I was and thought I was 134 years old. Happy [Blanking] Birthday to me. I still choke-up thinking about that day.

Maybe it’s okay that I’ve thought birthdays completely suck. Maybe it’s okay that I’m completely honest in saying that November 3 has historically been a day I wanted to end as quickly as it arrived. Maybe I’m making you a little nervous by being this honest. That’s okay, too. Stay with me.

Change, Change, Change

I eventually came to the place where something had to change. I needed healing because life was moving forward whether I liked it or not. Because of the accumulation of circumstances in my life, quite honestly, I felt stuck and abandoned. Perhaps you feel the same way right now. Perhaps you just turned 21 and the road ahead looks dim and confusing. Is year 25 right around the corner and you feel completely unaccomplished? Perhaps you’re nearing 30 and wish you had children like the rest of your friends. Maybe you do have three children, but upon turning 40, you realized that there are serious bills ahead and your current job doesn’t pay enough money to make it all happen. Maybe you’re nearing the age of retirement and have no retirement in which to thrive.

Birthdays, like no other time of year, have a way of sneaking those ugly reminders into the forefront of our mind, don’t they? Something’s gotta change…

The Inside Job

Willpower won’t change your situation. A new job won’t fix the real issue. Nor will marriage, having a child, or buying your first home. In fact, those external things might actually complicate the real issue because the real issue is internal and is fed by destructive thoughts, deep soul wounds, and painful memories. Here is truth: life is either lived from a place of love or from a place of fear. That’s it. Every thought, action, reaction, and perception comes from fear or love. And two hellish untruths that thrive in an environment of fear are: “It’s too late” and “I’m too late.”

Listen closely: it’s never too late.

Truth + Love + Hope = Freedom

In my life, unfading freedom has come as I have given myself to truth, which is found in Christ, and love which is Christ. Concerning living from either fear or love, 1 John 4:18 makes it plain: “God is love…There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”

Did you catch that? Fear is crippling; it keeps you stuck. The worst part is that fear keeps you stuck in lies—lies like “it’s too late” and “I’m too late.” But here’s the kicker: your agreement with a lie empowers it to exist as truth in your life! Let’s go a little deeper and discover more about love that displaces fear. In Ephesians 3, the apostle Paul exhorts the church:

“May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).” (Ephesians 3:16-21 AMP)

Get Real

Allow me to make this practical for you. I got sick of living “stuck” and invested time to formulate three truths for my own life, truths that I want you to embrace today.

1.) Don’t miss what’s happening through you because of what has happened to you.

The unfathomable part of God’s full redemption power in your life (and my life) is that He wastes nothing in your total development. Get this: your life, whether you realize it or not, is a message “read” by many people.

2.) Your potential doesn’t change through the pain. It’s never too late.

Your potential was planted within before you were born. Even through heartbreak, disappointment, and pain, your potential is alive and well, even when your motivation and courage isn’t.

3.) Significance isn’t measured in quantity; it’s measured in quality.

I’d rather have a lifetime of lasting impact upon 10 people than token retweets from 10,000 people.

On November 3, 2014, I made a step towards making peace with my birthday and launched this website in order to help motivated leaders just like you discover and develop their untapped potential so they have a clear path to get from where they are to where they want to be. This I know: every ounce of pain will be transformed into purpose. I’m committed to it. And…

I’m committed to you.

  • Awesome stuff, Chris! I can so relate to the birthdays. I’ve been in the mess, the pain, conquered it, and find myself coming through it another time right now. I needed to read this.

    • Wow. Thanks so much, Chuck. Praying for you! You WILL see the other side! All my best.

  • Deanna Joven

    Awesome, Chris. 🙂

    • Thanks so very much, Deanna! You’re a huge voice of encouragement in my life, and I’m so grateful!