So there I was. Dressed in lacy flared trousers, platform boots and a blonde wig, locked in the men’s loos, and suffocating from the overwhelming stench of Eau d’Urinal. I’m sure we’ve all been there, right?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation wondering how you will ever get back out of it? Well, I had become a living metaphor for your struggle. I had shouted and banged on walls, I had tried unscrewing the lock with my keys and I had tried climbing out. Then finally, as I gagged on fumes, I faced the possibility that I may actually die in that stinking cubicle. I imagined the police cordoning off the scene after I had been discovered; the officers looking down at my body slumped over the toilet, dressed like a dubious 70’s-inspired hooker. They would tut and say “It’s tragic how some people’s lives turn out….”
How had I got myself into this sorry situation? I was speaking at a women’s conference, and on the final night I was dressed up to sing an Abba song (as you do…) After my moment of fame, I had a brainwave – I would bypass the queue at the ladies toilets and nip into the conspicuously empty men’s loo to change quickly and get back to the party.
It was a brainwave of doom. The blessed toilet door locked and would not be persuaded to open again. I was trapped.
But then, just as the ammonia was becoming too much to bear, I heard through the wall in another toilet block, somebody was using a hand dryer. I took hold my giant platform boot and knocked that wall to pieces! I finally heard somebody shout “Hello? Is that somebody in there?” and soon the rescue force arrived, armed with screwdrivers, laughter and freedom. And sweet, sweet fresh air.
Sadly, I’ve found myself feeling similarly stuck on other occasions. Either I have messed up or been messed with, or life has cornered me one way or another, leaving me feeling trapped and frustrated, exhausted and emotional. Sometimes it is a relationship. Other times my circumstances. Perhaps you have experienced the same thing. It’s not very pleasant.
Despite the distinct lack of angelic rescue squads commissioned to immediately release us from these situations, we can take encouragement from these words in Matthew 7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
God cares deeply about us being free – from the things that constrain us on the inside and the outside. It might not always be a quick or easy route out, but He hears our cries, gives us people to support us and then works in us as we seek to find the way ahead. He is always with us.
So, if you want the advice of a glam-rock cubicle-dweller, I’d say wherever you feel constricted or trapped today, do keep on knocking on those stubborn doors in your life, and respond to any signs of freedom. Don’t give up will you?
And in every situation, always make sure you steer clear of the men’s toilets. Unless you’re a man I guess.
- Where do you feel constricted or trapped?
- Is there anything you can do?
- How can others help?
- What can we learn about God in the midst of our feelings?
Article first written for and reproduced with permission from Liberti Magazine