In the woods

At least three times, every time he has seen me in fact, my surgeon has uttered those pessimistic words: ‘you’re not out of the woods yet’. He hasn’t told me how to get out, or how to survive while I’m in there. Not great for a Wind in the Willows aficionado that’s for sure. The only way that terrified Mole could cope when he was in the wild woods was by running out of them. I’m trapped here for two years apparently.

Has anyone ever said something to you that keeps you in fear? It could be a horrible health diagnosis, an addiction that’s always threatening to come back, a damning description of who people say you are, or worse still, the negative things you believe about yourself. All those things are your woods. Not beautiful trees dappled with sunshine surrounding a peaceful lake, but dark, enclosing spaces that swallow up the light and block your path out. The problem is, the further you are pushed in, the harder it is to escape.

What do we do when we’re stuck in a place that makes us miserable? Right now I’m cutting myself some slack and accepting that now is the time to hibernate. To rest. And luckily for me, to get better. Something that sadly is not possible for everyone.

So, when you feel trapped in your situation, pull together things that make you feel more safe and comfortable. Invite people in who can keep you company and even cut back some of the branches to let in more light, helping you to find a path through. The sun is waiting to shine on you again. The birds are ready to sing.

The God of deep forests created a garden. The Lord of storms also calmed them. The Father sent His Son to walk through dark wildness and die on a rugged tree so we would never be alone in the woods again.

Don’t feel doomed or stuck.

You are seen and saved, always.

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