When my son was small, I worked part time as a waitress. I had a teaching degree at the time, but I didn’t want to work full time, and the family needed some extra income to make ends meet. It was a great job and taught me about the value of hard work, as well as helped me develop some level of “people skills,” something that as an idea person and an introvert I seriously lacked.
When things were really busy, we said we were “snowed” or “in the weeds.” That meant we were so far behind or lost that we were losing hope of catching up again, especially without someone else’s help. I haven’t been a waitress for 10 years now, but I still have dreams from time to time about being a waitress and being “in the weeds,” even though I never really got as far behind as I do in the dreams now. It’s a terrible feeling, that you are lost and may never be able to sort it all out and catch up. I feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and helpless.
I sat down to write today and realized that I feel the same way about my writing right now. I routinely feel lost, unsure of what to do next, and like there’s little hope of finding my way. And for me, writing is closely tied to my spiritual frame of mind. This blog and my book manuscript (which is so close to publication, yet seems very far away) both came out of my times alone with God, my study, my reflection. It is God who I have sensed has pushed me for years to put time and effort into writing. When I feel lost in my writing, I usually feel a little (or a lot) lost in my relationship with God, too.
When I’m in the weeds spiritually, I often flounder around for a while, trying to find my way to a more comfortable place. I’ve become convinced that God gives us some of these lost times to help us grow beyond them, and that we likely wouldn’t grow as much without them. Another part of me, however, senses that God is close, ever ready to show me the way out of the weeds. All I really need to do is remember to call on Him for help. Sometimes that is very hard to realize, in the weeds. I feel alone, and it is easy to panic when I can’t see the next step to take.
Yet even at my most lost, I can sense God’s love and His presence. Feeling lost is an uncomfortable feeling, but how much more difficult would it be without a shred of the relationship between God and me that sustains and energizes my life? There is a peace that passes understanding which comes from knowing God, even when the going gets tough and we feel the weeds pressing around us. It is a great comfort to know that whatever we face, God is in it with us. He will beat back the weeds with us if we ask Him to get involved.