Being lost is no fun. Your pulse quickens as you frantically look around you for any thing recognizable. Your bearings are turned around and the fear of never finding your way back begins to make you sick. The sweat begins to bead at your hairline and you retrace your steps trying to get back to what is familiar but you cannot remember which way you came from, or which direction you should go. It is hopeless. You are lost.
I’ve been lost a couple of times in my life. I once went to visit my sister in Pennsylvania and got lost along the way. I had my three small children in the van and as I went through tollbooth after tollbooth on 95 I ran out of cash. At that time there were no GPS systems in vehicles and my sole source of directions was a printed map from the computer. As I continued to drive I realized the trip was taking longer and longer. The open farmlands stretching in front of me led me to believe I was on the wrong path. I turned around and retraced my route. I eventually took a cutoff into the heart of Philadelphia. I began to panic. I called my sister and began crying because I was lost and could not even tell her where I was. The feeling was hopelessness.
God has given each of us special gifts and talents. Mine is writing. I love to write. The stories fill me head and if I don’t quickly jot it down they will evaporate leaving only a misty memory of what they might have been. God has led me to write my first novel and I know it’s what I am supposed to do while I’m here in Egypt. But shouldn’t knowing that make it easier?
I just finished writing chapter fourteen. It has not been an easy task. The time, research, and preparation have been tedious. Some days my writing comes quickly, naturally. Other times it feels forced (sometimes it is forced!). Lost is often what I feel. So many questions rattle my confidence in following through. Am I supposed to be writing this book? Is it any good? Is this really what God wants me to do? I feel lost.
Fear of being lost; not knowing where I am supposed to be; not recognizing anything around me; these things keep me from doing what God has asked me to do. I am supposed to have the faith that pushes me forward. Faith like David, Daniel, and Jonah. Faith that says look at what God will do through you, not what you can do alone. Did God not give the mighty giant into the hands of the shepherd? Did God not sew the vicious lions mouth shut? Did God not protect Jonah in the belly of the whale allowing him time to gain the courage he would need to do what God asked him to do?
As I begin chapter fifteen I need to remind myself that God is in me. He will complete what has been started in me. He will not allow me to fail. He will protect me; equip me; and give me the courage I need to do what He has asked me to do.
I’m not saying my book will be on any bestseller list or will be the next blockbuster book-turned-movie (although my God is a God of miracles, amen!), but if in the end I can have faith like Peter and take one foot out of the boat and place it on the water, or in my case, fingers to keyboard, then I will never be lost.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)