Sunday, November 6, 2011

zombieland and direction

I was just telling a friend tonight that I have felt like a zombie. I realized this last week when I went to panera to bum their free internet and indulge in a delicious carb fest. on my 97th refill of diet coke I zoned out a bit and foam overflowed onto the counter. rather than becoming red, embarrassed, and quickly cleaning it up, I stared blankly at the mess and slowly reached for some napkins. documentaries on amazon animals - namely the sloth - play in my mind as I rewind this scenario. the same happened tonight during my sunday-evening grocery shop at target. I sauntered through the aisles and everything but me and the special k with strawberries seemed to be a bit hazy.

a lot of things have been crazy the past month of life and I might be a bit in shock. a bit in "put one foot in front of the other" mode. I have lots on my "to-do" list. it doesn't go away when you're taking classes and working, but it will all get done eventually. I must keep chugging along. I just hope that soon I start enjoying my chugging a bit more. being a zombie is kind of unlike me and it feels strange. I want my emotions back, even if they're painful or sad or angry.

and I don't want to complain, because when crappy things happen in your life, you realize you have really great people in your life, too. you have people who will give up their friday evening to help you move heavy boxes to your new place. people who will move your ridiculously heavy furniture into your new apt. and even set it up/put it together for you. people who will let you use their lap tops when they realize you don't have a way of getting your schoolwork done. people who will send you cards and flowers and texts of encouragement when a family member dies. people who call and check on you because they realize your life might be a bit shambly...that you might be a zombie. I love these people, and I am so thankful for them.

on another, more positive note...

this weekend I went on a silent retreat. most people upon hearing this look at me like I'm some kind of mental person. or a nun-in-training. I get the "ahh so that's why you're do things like go on 'silent retreats'" look. yep. I'll take that. I spent the weekend chatting with Jesus, so humph. I may not be going on lots of dates, but Jesus and I have some good talks. harumph. I win.

and while I could probably fill up 10 pages of lessons and experiences from this one day of silence (and trust me, I did fill up a good portion of my journal), I will just write one for now...

we retreated to a center in tennessee, and let me tell you, it was a beautiful fall day in tennessee. now, I have a love-hate relationship with nature. I love its beauty. I love beautiful days and being outside and feeling the sun on my face. I love changing tree colors and I love seeing cute furry animals scurry and scatter. however, I also have a large fear of snakes (this has only been magnified upon moving south, where snakes seem to abound much more than my old ohio climate). I don't like spiders too much either. and, while this doesn't have too much to do with nature, I have the worst sense of direction ever. seriously - I once tried to trick-or-treat at the same house twice because of this trait. so going on a hike in the woods by myself was kind of out of my comfort zone. but I was going with God, so I figured I was ok. and I was.  at first I was cautious and kept looking for trees with blue dots (the telltale sign you were still on the right track), but as I continued along I got caught up in prayer and God's breathtaking creation. and when I looked up after finishing a prayer about a particular situation, I realized I didn't see any blue dots. nor did I see a defined trail. ummm what? am the middle of the woods...on a silent retreat...with no cell phone...and no one to hear me screaming for help? gut reaction: PANIC. SCREAM. RUN. ARE THERE SNAKES IN THIS WOODS???! WHYYYY DID I GO ON A WALK ALONE??! DUMB.ASHLEY. and then I remembered...I hadn't gone alone. I had been talking the whole time. to my companion. why would I stop now?

and so I prayed. I prayed He'd lead me. show me the way. calm my spirit. get me back so I could eat some lunch (I was hungry!). I prayed out loud, using my voice for the first time that day. and then I heard something. rustling in the leaves. lots of rustling. was that...a twig breaking? God? um...I didn't say "please send a bear to put me out of my misery"...I don't think .oh dear...has being silent made me crazy? should I even look? I turned. and I saw...a girl. on a path. a path quite a ways from me, but on a path that appeared to be leading her...out of the woods.

and so I followed her lead. I found that path and it did, indeed, lead me out of the woods. my directional abilities: 0. directional abilities of the 15-year old on our retreat: 10.

here's the thing...I knew God was with me all the while on my walk. I chatted up a storm. but troubles came and I panicked. I had to figure this out. how had I gotten myself into this mess? why had I entered into a danger zone alone? (ok that's a little melodramatic, but you get the picture) oh me of little faith - why do I always rely on myself to solve things? why place the whole burden on my shoulders? why do I always think I'm in it alone? I'm not. and when I realize this and rely on Him, He is faithful. He is faithful to guide me. to show me the way.

when I rely on Him, He never lets me down.

He is faithful. and maybe I'm already starting to become less of a zombie. here's hoping.


Marci said...

You are an insightful zombie. I SO relate to your words "Oh me of little faith-why do I always rely on myself to solve things?... why do I always think I'm in it alone?"

I needed to read these words and be reminded that I'm never alone and I dont have to hold the burden or think that it's up to me to solve life.

Thanks, friend!

ashley said...

thanks marci! I think I might need to tape this to my mirror. or my forehead.