If you’ve ever taken a long-distance road trip or seen a NASCAR race event, you’ve experienced or observed a pit stop. Pit stops are generally seen as a place to pause—a temporary diversion from a direct course. Ideally, the pause is brief, efficient, and effective. Timing is EVERYTHING. Because honestly, who wants to be held up for long when we’ve got somewhere to be? Furthermore, why are we even stopping?
Sometimes it’s for rest. Sometimes it’s for nourishment. Sometimes it’s to service and refuel. And sometimes…it’s to pick up now what we’ll need for the journey ahead. In my experience, the same can be said about pauses in life.
Enter summer 2021…
This pit stop was all about resting and resetting. Not because summer is an ideal time to do so but because the prior season was heavy with personal and professional burnout, betrayal, and toxic environments. This stop was necessary.
To prioritize and protect my peace and my state of wellness (in every area), I separated myself from unhealthy communities, relationships, and responsibilities. I was at the start of a significant transition and, let me tell you, this decision was not a walk in the park. Some of these connections spanned decades. It. Was. Tough!
In the months prior, I had been talking to God about needing a break (and to break away). I was praying for healing and restoration. But, as it’s been said, “Be careful what you pray for.” Why? Because even the intentional pauses we take in life are not orchestrated by us. After the separation, I figured I would make a brief pit stop and then go on about my business. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What I thought would be a two-month pause stretched on for twenty months. I knew a break was necessary, but I didn’t think it would be that long!
I attempted to “get back on the road” several times during that pit stop. I was like a child in the backseat continuously asking God, “Are we there yet?” I thought the practical and spiritual work I had done so far was enough to keep moving forward. It wasn’t. God was doing deep work in my life, and I needed to be willing and obedient. After all, He is the ultimate mechanic! Not only regarding external factors but matters of the heart as well.
I didn’t understand everything God was doing, but the song “Intentional” by Travis Greene became my anthem over time. I was reminded that everything I’d experienced in the past and during the pit stop wasn’t happening to me…it was happening for me.
As a poet, I often turn to poetry as a therapeutic way to reflect on my journey, especially during seasons in the valley. At the end of my poem “High Note,” I express that:
In the pause, I was left
to see myself
to learn the truth
to grieve the old
to face the new
it was low down there
for a few
but in the deep
I rekindled my purpose
Looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful for everything I experienced during that pit stop. Though I wrestled between God’s timing and mine, I now realize that I didn’t need to get back on the road any sooner than His appointed time. Eventually, it became more critical for me to understand what I was supposed to learn, do, gain, and leave behind.
While that pause was filled with tears, “No’s,” closed doors, and rejection, it was also filled with deliverance, healing, and revelation. I gained a new perspective, a new approach to my connection to people, places, and things, and a deeper understanding of my purpose and the version of me that God intends for me to be. Coming out of the pause, I am rested, nourished, refueled, and packed with what I’ll need to continue my journey.
Whether you view life as a journey or a race, there will undoubtedly be some pit stops. This wasn’t my first pit stop and it won’t be my last. It wasn’t easy, but I learned to appreciate the “L’s” along with the victories. And next time I’ll be sure to focus less on the length of the pause and more on the purpose to be found within.
What lessons have you learned from the pit stops in your life?Leave a Comment