No Sense of Direction- Literally
This is not a post about being without a purpose or meaning in life. I’m not going to write about finding my all-defining path or discovering myself. This is about, literally, having no sense of direction when trying to get places, geographically speaking.
I get lost driving constantly. Since moving to Atlanta, I am lost the majority of the time and we moved here almost two years ago. If I am going somewhere for the first time and I am driving myself there, it takes much preparation. My husband sits me down beforehand, pulls up the map, in detail, and then writes out directions that include major landmarks. Of course, this doesn’t happen every single time I go somewhere new, but for the important things, we always do this.
It takes me going to a place a few times before I can make it there and back without getting off track. Yes, I have a GPS. My husband got me one when we moved here. I have Google maps, I have my iPhone, and turn-by-turn directions, but often times they make it worse. I get lost in parking lots and parking garages as well. Once my husband was meeting me in a parking garage and was holding a spot for me because I was extremely pregnant and it was close to an entrance, and I never even made it to the spot! Somehow I went the opposite direction in the garage and never found him. Oh, and this happens to me everywhere, not just Atlanta because it is big. This happened where I used to live, in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is a tenth of the size of Atlanta. Worse than that, the last time I visited my hometown of Brinkley, Arkansas (population ~ 1,500 people), for my cousin’s wedding, I got lost! She was actually late getting to the church on her wedding day because I got lost coming back from getting all of us breakfast at the McDonalds! Thankfully the photographers were very gracious people who worked with us being behind schedule.
This problem is not restricted to the outdoors either. I get lost inside buildings as well. College campuses, office buildings, hospitals (especially hospitals)… they all get me messed up. I have to focus super hard when people give me the simplest directions. I can be inside of a hospital, stop and ask for directions at the info desk, start on my way, get lost, and then not be able to make my way back to the info desk.
It is safe to say, it is an issue for us. People who don’t have this problem don’t really understand that it can be a big source of stress, anger, anxiety, and it can create a reluctance to go new places. Most of the time, it results in me wasting gas and time and getting frustrated. There is potential for danger, though, like if there were an emergency and I had to get somewhere quick or if I ended up in an un-safe part of town? Thankfully, my husband has an excellent sense of direction and is good at giving me explicit directions.
Recently, I was explaining to my husband that I wasn’t really getting any better at knowing where I was or how to get places. Then, he did something that sort of took me aback. He prayed over me about it. He asked God to help me have a better sense of where I was and how to get my bearings. He also prayed that I would remain calm when lost and that my sense of direction would, overall, improve. It surprised me because I have never even thought to pray about this. I think that I do not consider it important enough, which is ridiculous. For one, it is actually extremely important for safety and practical (time and gas waste) reasons. More importantly, God, most certainly, cares about it! I am His beloved daughter. He created me in my mother’s womb, drew me to Him, and gave His Son to pay for my sins who now lives inside of me! Why would I compartmentalize this and think that it doesn’t matter to him? I can think of other seemingly insignificant or small things that I do bring before Him in prayer.
God tells us to pray about everything…everything. A well-known verse in the Bible spells this out pretty plainly. Pray about everything. Live in a posture of prayer. If he knows how many hairs I have on my head, then I am pretty sure he wants me to lean on Him for this. If I can come to Him, broken with the ugliest parts of myself that I desperately need Him to restore, then I should be able to ask for help with being directionally challenged. If I can call on Him on behalf of those who are grieving, hurting, or being persecuted, then I should have no qualms about lifting this up.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6
Since my husband prayed about it, I have had small victories and been given wisdom about how to improve the situation. I am doing a couple of simple things that are helping me. I decided that I needed to actually study a map. I do not study it rigorously, but I do look at it every few days or so. I also am working to create the habit of being totally prepared before I even start the vehicle. I am bad about being over confident starting out and then realizing I don’t know where I am going while driving, which is too late.
We should be encouraged to remember that ALL parts of our lives matter to God. He wants us to need Him. When we go to Him with everything, we are further acknowledging our need for Him. I need help with this area and He is my ultimate help. I was reluctant to write about this at first, but then I realized that it is just another way, albeit mundane, that God is drawing me near to Him. He is constantly revealing Himself to us. As I continue to live in the Spirit, I will learn more about bringing everything to Him.