Trudging Through the Mud and Muck of Life

Trudging Through the Mud and the Muck of Life

Trudging along in life is more purposeful than we sometimes realize!

Trudging through the mud and the muck—that’s sometimes what life feels like, doesn’t it?!  Wish and pray as you might, certain things just aren’t happening or lining up the way you want them to or as fast as you want them to, and, so you feel stuck, trudging through the mud and the muck.

Now, of course, I’m not talking about literal mud and muck, unless of course you are into mud runs, farming, or other outdoor activities that involve mud and muck.  You definitely can get stuck when trudging in that kind of mud and muck!  No, I’m talking about the times in life when you are on hold, waiting for answers, and having your faith tested.  Will God come through, or won’t He?  Will it be the outcome you hope for or something totally unexpected?

I am currently in a season of trudging along.  My sweet Daddy is dying, and my family can do nothing more for him than sit and wait with him as he lays waiting on God to call him home.  My husband and I are selling our house, and we’re curious with each passing day how long it will take to sell.  I’m very busy with work that I enjoy but trying to squeeze in time for writing every chance I get, and those opportunities are few and far between right now.  I could go on, but you see what I mean—I’m wondering about and waiting on change.

What are you trudging through currently?

You, too, may be in a season of trudging along in the mud and muck.  You’re wondering about and waiting on important parts of your life to hopefully change for the better.  You want to get free from the circumstances that are holding you back, and you want to move on with life.  Isn’t that tiring?!  No matter how hopeful you are, it’s hard to remain hopeful all the time.

Wondering and waiting are not new.  These are major life themes from the cradle to the grave.  And, though we know, as Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, that “there is a time for every event under heaven,” we still can’t help but wonder: when is that time?

Biblical truth that helps us while we trudge along

Solomon, the wise author of Ecclesiastes, knew that wondering and worrying about time and change were unproductive and even depressing.  Similar wisdom is found in many places in the Bible, including:

Isaiah 55:8-9

“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”

Matthew 6:27

“And, who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

James 4:13-15

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’”

These truths help me keep my healthy wonder about God’s plan from turning into unhealthy worry about whether or not He can pull off His plan.  He is working all things together for my good (Romans 8:28).  How do I know this?  I’ve seen Him do it time and again throughout mine and other people’s lives.

When I focus on God’s greater purpose for the mud and muck times in life, my outlook changes for the better.  

Will my father pass away?  Yes, soon.  He’ll be much better off, and my family will have enjoyed precious family time as we waited together.

Will we sell our house?  Yes, eventually.  With everything else we have going on right now, I am actually grateful it hasn’t sold yet.

Will I get time to write?  Yes.  In fact, I’m writing this blog aren’t I?!  God has called me to write.  He will give me the time and energy I need to write what He desires for me to write.

Focusing on God and His truths also helps me better appreciate the mud and muck times in life.

These times have great purpose in preparing me for whatever is to come.  In fact, I suppose we could say that the mud and muck slow us down so that we don’t launch too quickly into a future that we’re not yet ready for.

You’ve got your own mud and muck that you’re trudging through, and I know you can do it and will do it!  I hope, too, that the Biblical truths I’ve shared with you here will be an encouragement to you.

Keep trudging along!  Change is coming!


Thanks for reading!

Before you go…

How has trudging through the mud and muck of life challenged you and grown your faith in God?  Share your thoughts below in the comments section.  I’ll do my best to get those posted as quickly as possible.

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Scripture references in this article are from the New American Standard Version and linked to

By |2018-09-27T16:51:34+00:00June 22nd, 2017|All posts, Encouragement|18 Comments

About the Author:

Co-author with @DrGaryChapman (the 5 love languages guy). Teacher @WakeForest. Counselor @TriadBaptist. Wife, mom of 3, daughter, sister, friend. Writer. Encourager. Dreamer behind Repurposed Life Ministries, Inc. Peace-loving. Jesus-seeking. I hope you'll subscribe to receive Hope to Build On by email each time I post a new entry. Thanks for reading! Shannon


  1. Lorene June 23, 2017 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Today wasJohn and .my 54th anniversary. Sad day but I have the memories! Miss you SHANNON!

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 2:40 am - Reply

      Happy anniversary, Lorene! I hope your good memories together have helped make today a little more bearable! I miss you, too!

  2. Jacque Rumburg June 23, 2017 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Just what I needed today! Thanks so much for sharing sweet friend. Praying for you and your family that your Dad’s passing will be peaceful. Praise the Lord the best is yet to come!

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 2:38 am - Reply

      Amen, Jacque! Thank you, friend!!

  3. Nancy Lee June 23, 2017 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Excellent blog Shannon! Thanks for insight needed for these uncertain times. I made me think and I will share with my friends who need it also. You and your family will be in our prayers, especially for your father’s condition. I lost a brother in 2006 with the same condition. May God bless you and Stephen, the kids and the rest of your families. Will you still be living in the area? I hope so. The new parents to be were really excited when I gave them your book at their baby shower. It’s their first child and a boy. They have named him Jonah. I will certainly look forward to future blogs.

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 2:56 am - Reply

      Thanks, Nancy…for your prayers and for sharing my book with that family. We aren’t moving away from the area. We’d love to see you and Fred sometime!!

  4. Kim Vestal June 23, 2017 at 2:47 am - Reply

    Great article! Praying for your Dad and family.

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 2:54 am - Reply

      Thanks, Kim!

  5. Sharon Chandler June 23, 2017 at 3:58 am - Reply

    I can actually feel myself struggling to move forward out of the mud & muck. The time stuck in this sludge has so taken away from the precious time enjoying family & friends, serving in our church, & sharing Jesus. Waiting on God and wondering about our future has surely tested our faith, but yes, I can feel His hand reaching down, leading us on to higher ground. Thank you Shannon! In His time!

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 5:04 am - Reply

      I love that picture, and that feeling, Sharon…that feeling of God cheering us on and lifting us up! I feel it, too, and am grateful!! Hold on, friend! He’s not finished!! Love you!

  6. Leigh Ann June 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Hey Shannon I appreciate reading this today. Tim and I are wading through the muck and mud right now as we are praying for God’s guidance and discernment about possibly making a significant change. What you said about (and I’m paraphrasing here) thinking that maybe it’s better to be a bit slowed down by the muck and mud right now…I hadn’t thought about it that way but I that rings true for our situation. I have to remember that God does things in his time, not ours. I didn’t know about your father, I will be praying for him and your whole family!

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Leigh Ann. I’ll pray for you and Tim, too. Sounds like God is preparing y’all for something big.

  7. Bonnie Richardson June 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks for reminding us of God’s perfect timing and sharing those scriptures. Taking time to reflect on God’s timing in my past always reassures me and helps to take away my worries.

    • Shannon Warden June 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Bonnie. And same here, looking back at life helps me to look forward with more peace and trust that God is truly working things out for the best.

  8. Ana Kelley June 24, 2017 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Thanks for writing this! I miss you and your words so much. You are such a gift. I’m trudging right now, career-wise, wondering what’s the next move. What’s best for me and my family? What’s the right place, strategy, timing, etc. During this time I’m also waiting on what feels like a never ending fight to be over to get a settlement from a drunk driver who hit me 2 months ago. I’m sure no resolution will come for a few years. It’s hard sitting, waiting, wondering, and praying that God will put you where you need to be, but also wondering if he’s keeping change from happening now for a reason. Thanks for including the scripture. I loved this and it did help change my perspective a bit.

    • Shannon Warden June 24, 2017 at 3:43 am - Reply

      That’s a lot to wonder about and wait on, Ana. A lady reminded me as she shared her story today of beating cancer a few years ago that God doesn’t want us to be enslaved to a negative attitude or to be defeated in our hearts and minds. That’s what the Enemy wants, but God wants us to trust Him, to rest while He works on our behalf, and to see and celebrate everyday victories. Keep your eyes and your heart open as God is working things out. That’s what I’m trying to get better at every day. In fact, even sharing these thoughts with you has brought a lift to my heart. I feel like your message popped up just when I needed it most! I’ll be praying for you!

  9. Estelle Warden June 28, 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    You have such a gift. thank you for sharing with others. Your writings always bring encouragement and confidence in what I know God does for His children. It is so wonderful to watch what God can do with individuals who are willing to pay attention to His Methods for living our lives.

    • Shannon Warden July 1, 2017 at 12:55 am - Reply

      Thank you, Estelle! I really appreciate your encouragement! Everything I am is from and for the Lord. I hope to be a blessing to Him and as many people as I can. Thanks for reading!

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