When I turned 30, I had the sinking realization that no one was going to fix me.

I had long harbored the belief – although perhaps not consciously – that someday, something was going to shift, and I would no longer be broken/sad/angry/afraid/lonely/insecure/what-have-you. Believing that someday things would change somehow made it easier to accept that today, I was still stuck.

I continued to allow myself to be stuck in the (shoddy) confidence that the elusive and undefined someday was coming.

But when the calendar turned to a new decade, I realized that I was struggling with the same things I struggled with at 14 and 19 and 23 and 28. I realized that in certain areas of my life, there was no movement. I realized that I was stuck – and that no one was going to dig me out, even if they tried.

Because oh, they have tried. Parents and friends and boyfriends and mentors – they have all meant well, and genuinely cared, and offered both words of truth and tangible acts to attempt to loosen me from the muck and mire. But I’ve been like a Chevy sunken to the axles: desperately, impossibly stuck.

A trusted person recently observed to me, “I see a war happening over your heart.” And I believe her. Feel free to disagree, but I believe that about all of our hearts – that there is good and there is evil, and they both want us desperately. Now, I believe that good wants us much, much more than evil ever could – but evil is insidious and conniving, and if the devil can’t have our souls, he’ll settle for our lives. He’ll do everything he can to keep us bound and gagged, to keep us from being a force for good – to keep us stuck.

Right around my 30th birthday, I got an email from Thomas Nelson Publishers asking if I would be willing to review a women’s bible study. Now, you guys. Confession time: I’m not big on bible studies. I just haven’t really done many (pastor’s kid failure). Thomas Nelson asking me to review a bible study was the equivalent of the MLB wanting my thoughts on the statistics of, I don’t know, BUNTING. (Although remember when I was so sporty and wrote this?)

But the name of the study caught my eye, and so I said yes. A few days later, Jennie Allen’s Stuck arrived on my doorstep.

This DVD-based study was so meaningful to me. It helped me pinpoint some of the areas I struggle with being stuck in: brokenness, anger, discontentment, fear, sadness. Jennie’s conversational teaching and storytelling made the 8 DVD sessions completely engaging (I want to know her in real life). And while I can’t say that I’m now completely “unstuck,” I know that addressing these topics head-on has given me language and tools to MOVE.

God wants our hearts, and is fighting for them. I truly believe this. And I’m happy to say that he is helping me get free, even in the smallest of ways.

– – – – –

Thomas Nelson gave me an extra study kit to give away to a reader, so if you’re interested, leave a comment saying you’d like to be entered for a chance to win. The curriculum includes an 8 session DVD, study guide, leader’s guide, and conversation cards for group discussion. While I believe that the lessons apply to both men and women, Jennie created the study for women – so all you burly men, feel free to enter, although you have been warned.

A winner will be chosen via good ol’ RANDOM.ORG on Friday, December 28th.



  1. Kim on December 21, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I’ve heard about this study from several people. I would love a chance to win!

  2. Gina on December 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    This post spoke to my heart.
    Having never done a bible study in the past, I would love the oppurtunity to do one that is recommended by someone who so often speaks to my heart.

  3. Erin on December 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    There is a war for our hearts & I am seeing it more & more the older I get. I would love this study & have really enjoyed your blog.

  4. Michael Rhyne on December 21, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    When I turned 30, I was stuck. I didn’t realize just how much until rejection letters came in from various chaplaincy internships for which I had applied. Really, God? I’ve come so far, and now wholesale rejection? But the rejection wasn’t about God’s plan for me, per se…it was about what your friend called a battle going on over my heart. Eventually I moved out of the muck, or at least some of it. More than two decades later, I’m still prone to get stuck. It’s called being human. I would prefer you send your guide to someone else, preferably one of the women eager to receive it, but I just wanted to say that this post meant a great deal to me, as do you, Annie Parsons. You’re going to be okay…

  5. Michael Rhyne on December 21, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    By the way, I never became a chaplain, but I am a teacher, a writer, and a well loved man, to borrow from Pat Conroy, and that is more than enough. Merry Christmas!

  6. [not the] Best Blog Ever on December 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Way cool! I’d love to be entered for the chance to win.

    Way to go, Annie. Super proud of you. Hugs from MN!

  7. Shannon on December 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Thank you… and Merry Christmas!

  8. Kate on December 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Looks like a great study and such a relevant topic for women! Would love the opportunity to work through it!

  9. Emily from Seattle on December 21, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I’d love a chance to win that study! I’ve spent my own fair share of time stuck in things, and I think this could be right up my alley. Even if I’m not the one who wins, I think I’ll pass along the info about this study to the leaders of my women’s group at church. It looks liek a good one!

  10. Leah Van Hoozer on December 21, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Annie, I am still reading your blogs and I continue to really enjoy each post and getting to keep up with you. Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like a great study, but even if I don’t win- your post resonated with me and really met me where I am at.

  11. AlisonH on December 21, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I need this study. :)

  12. Becca Groves on December 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Super cool. Beth Moore’s Breaking Free was INCREDIBLE for me and helping me move forward. Would love to keep on moving…

  13. Christa S on December 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    It would be great to win this. Thanks for sharing, Annie

  14. Sarah on December 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    This sounds fantastic! I would definitely like this study

  15. Emily on December 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I have had this study in my Amazon wish list for some time. I indeed am stuck. It is a horrible feeling to realize that is where I am… But it’s true. I’m glad to hear a positive review – and hope for getting unstuck. I love you lady!

  16. Mandy on December 22, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    I would like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of this study. Even if I don’t win, it is definitely a study that I will look into doing. So appreciate your honesty in your writing.

  17. Claire (Algeo) Strunk on December 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    I’d like to be in the raffle! Hope you’re well Annie!

  18. Breanna Jeffries on December 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    This totally speaks to where I feel I am right now. I could definitely use this study! Thanks for your post, Annie. Thanks, also, for the chance to win a copy of this study!!

  19. Annie on December 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I’d like a chance to win.

    As a ministry major as a Christian university, it sometimes feels like all I do is Bible study after Bible study, but this one sounds good.

  20. Megan on December 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    This post sounds so much like me. I’ve been realizing over this year (and especially as it draws to a close) how much of a rut I’ve been in. I feel stuck. Like the same things I’ve been struggling with, I continued to struggle in. I’m trying to make changes but it’s tough. I’m going to turn 23 in a month and i know I need to make some changes in order to grow more. To accomplish goals and actually see myself doing the good I’ve been aiming for. Thank you for this post, Annie.

  21. katelyn on December 22, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Need this. I’d love to share it and lead a group.

  22. rachieannie on December 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    This sounds great! I know exactly what you mean -waiting, always waiting for something or someone to come along and get me the life I want to have.

  23. Carrie on December 23, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Yes, please! I resonate deeply with your words, thanks for sharing.

  24. Marcia Ramirez on December 23, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    I’m so glad I saw this! I was JUST looking around for a women’s bible study to start with my regular group in January. This just might be the one! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas!!

  25. Lisa on December 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Sounds like a fantastic (and challenging) study!

  26. mom on December 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Don’t you just think that the person who has tried the hardest to get you “unstuck” should just be given the study – no drawing necessary! And, by the way, it takes one “stuck-ee” to know one! This post makes my heart swell with hope….for all of us! SEERIOUSLY? Thomas Nelson Publishers just contacted you out of the blue? Only you, Annie, only YOU!

  27. Carmen on December 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Put me in the hat to try to win this thing… the more good studies around my church the better!


    By the way, love your spirit. Fight the good fight, lady. I hear you. I wonder if everything your saying has something to do with praying for daily bread? I am a crappy pray-er.

    Thanks for always giving us good things to think about, Annie. If only’s are going to kill us, eh?

  28. Carmen on December 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Umm. Sorry for all my spelling errors. And all the above comments that seemed important when I wrote them and now that I read them again are… uninspired. Hmph. You are awesome. That is all.

  29. hootenannie » Blog Archive » “O Holy Night” on December 24, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    […] Stuck […]

  30. Brooke on December 24, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    This looks like such a great study. I would love to become unstuck someday. Thanks for your post!

  31. Carley on December 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    This seems like such a great study! I love when you said that God is fighting for out hearts, what a true statement that is!

  32. Heidi on December 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I’d like to be entered to win, please:) Merry Christmas AP!

  33. Kristy on December 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM


  34. Julie on December 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Hi Annie!

    I’d love to win this Bible study. Merry Christmas to you and yours.


  35. amber on December 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    totes enter me!

  36. Andrea O. on December 25, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    The Bible study sounds great – I’d love to win it. Merry Christmas, dear Annie!

  37. Sarah Hanson on December 26, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Hi Annie! Merry Christmas! I would love a chance to win.


  38. Nicole on December 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Wow! Thanks or the chance to win sounds like a great study!

  39. Lindsey E. on December 26, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I’d love to be entered for a chance to win!

    I’ve been having a lot of similar feelings and would love to dive into this.

  40. Lisa on December 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    I’d love a chance to win. With my own thirtieth birthday fast approaching, I’ve been pondering my own degrees of “stuckness” and how to move forward.

  41. Erin on December 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    I’ve never heard of this study but it sounds amazing.

  42. Ginger on December 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I would love to go through this curriculum with one of my small groups! Sounds like good stuff. Boom.

  43. Christine on December 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    I’ve never heard of this study before, but it sounds amazing! And when I’m done going through it (if I win), I have a few friends that might want to go through it, too…

  44. Callie on December 28, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    Sounds like a great study to kick off 2013.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  45. […] now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Thank you to all who entered the Stuck giveaway! It’s an amazing study, and if you’re looking for a soul-filling challenge, Jennie Allen has […]

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