Lesson 19: So where is North anyway?

Find NorthI am generally not good at gauging compass directions. Even my left or right can be problematic at times – I often get it wrong more than I get it right, and when left should be right I am saying right instead of left…now you work that one out, right! Now don’t even ask me where North or South is right now as I sit at my desk – ask my dad and he will always know – but one would hope so as he is a pilot.

Sometimes I need to use the navigator on my phone,  hoping to be guided with absolute clarity to my intended destination, but it says things like head 20 km West on Route 27. Okay, great which way would West be then??

MapYou know the saying that if you don’t know where you are going chances are you will never arrive – so true. For a long time in my life I had some idea about where I wanted to get to in my life , but without the understanding of which direction my destination was in it was going to be quite interesting trying to find ‘X marks the spot’. It was as though I was searching for treasure with the wrong map on the wrong island – and so instead of discovering the treasure chest full of gold it ended up looking like an Easter egg hunt on Valentine’s Day.

There have been so many moments when I have felt completely depressed and let down by life as I surveyed the hurricane damage experienced along some of the paths taken. I have felt enormous despair and hit the bottom like a rock wondering what I had done that was so terrible to allow this ‘stuff’ to happen to our family  and when or if it was ever going to get better.

I am sure you can relate to what I am saying – you may even be having one of those moments right now. I think it is relatively normal to have these moments but you have to know it’s not very productive in reaching your destination. Now growing up as one does when faced with challenges of this kind, has taught me a few things. I am determined to learn the lesson the first time around from here on – otherwise it’s like deja-flippin-vu and these lessons just keep recurring like a low budget movie, that and the next light bulb moment is that the rock bottom moments can actually be used to refocus you. 

Hitting rock bottom is a bit like get a jolt from a tazer and it can actually dislodges some of that toxic thinking and can allow the fog to lift a bit. In that moment you need to choose to be honest, because when you really face your stuff, when you look at it head on – no Photoshop allowed,  you can deal with the things that are confusing the little inner compass preventing you from finding your way. 

So let’s get practical.

Here is what I have learned not to do when the rock hits my bottom:

  • Don’t get into a negative and over emotional head-space 
  • Don’t put on depressing music and eat 2 gallons of chocolate ice-cream on your own (it;’s far better doing that with a friend)
  • Don’t allow depressing lies about your future or lack thereof take over your heart and your head
  • Don’t blame everyone else, the government and your electrician for your current co-ordinates 
  • Don’t over react
  • Don’t ignore this space and pretend it will be over in the morning – it won’t – it may be hiding under the rug with the other dust balls but it won’t be over if ignored

Now here is I try doing to redirect:

BooksGet practical and consider what you need to learn from this. If you have been here before chances are you did all of the above the last time instead of getting real, facing your stuff and learning from this route.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Be honest and take responsibility for getting yourself to this place. The more honest you are with yourself the sooner you will be able to shift your attitude and make the personal decisions that will bring fresh and productive results. Oh, and avoid the ice-cream it will just give you stomach ache, chocolate is so much better in these moments.

Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’

Take hold of the lies – God has promised you a hope and a future. The fact that Yeshua died for you means that there is a future for you. You are good enough, you are worth it and most importantly you have what it takes to be victorious. You are not alone, even in your darkest moments.

Jeremiah 29:11‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.’

frameCheck your response and avoid being impulsive. Rather step back from a situation for a few moments to get perspective. Sometimes a little bit of distance can show us what is really going on and gives us the space to calm down and approach the situations or circumstances with an alternative route.

Galatians 5:22-23 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’

Face your cul-de-sac. You got here because of decisions you have made along the way, the only way to get out is to understand why you are here and what you need to do to find your way back to the right road. What do you need to do differently to avoid coming back here? God doesn’t want you to remain stationary in this place, there is always the option to reverse and recalculate. 

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

You can find your way on this path – just be ready to learn. It is the only way to move forward instead of dancing around in frustrating circles. Get through this lesson – put on your big girl or boy pants and make some changes, grow and be victorious. The wonderful thing about doing this is that no matter what anyone says or does or thinks about you – they cannot take away your victory or the wisdom you will gain from tucking a lesson learned into your belt.

direction quoteFind your North and get moving – the path leads up and if you’ve dropped the vision along the way, remember to dust it off and take it with you.

Be blessed, be strong and courageous, the lessons are not bigger than you, they are yours for the taking.


Treasure map courtesy of nongpimmy at freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Oh hear me as I groan…De ja flippin vu indeed. No really – these words are surreally so 😉
    There IS a reason it happened this way with your posts for me you know, why oh why do we do it?
    These little lessons that have to be repeated till we GET IT.

    But you know – I AM an idiot – completely. I do THE most ridiculous things at times thinking it is what I should do, and then go – oooooh – NOT THAT THEN… LOL!

    And Mich – I NEVER give directions if asked – as when my daughter says ‘turn left mom’, I WILL HAVE to ask ‘WHICH LEFT BABY’, – then she remembers to gesture in the general direction of left. 😀

    1. You make me smile my friend – we are all a little dim at times and God knows this and He also knows what we need. If we could just stop the busyness and listen and then think we would get it.

      But for now He remains our compass and thank goodness He is so patient with us in this drivers ed called life! ;D Just don’t be too hard on yourself hey!

  2. I’ve just had a little ‘ah ha!’ moment reading your post Michelle…how to say it? If my hearts’ desire is to serve my Father God, then keeping my compass locked on Him (my true North) – and trusting each and every step (albeit foreign to me at times and not always where my mind would like to take me), I will surely reach my destination. Thanks for sharing your gift my friend, be greatly blessed. xxxx

    1. I am so blessed that you had an aha – I wrote this on the 7th of June this year and when I posted this here – it was an aha for me to my friend. I know you are well on your way in the direction Father has for you – keep steady – stay focused and you will find the X that marks the hidden treasures just for you xxx

  3. Dear Michelle, I can’t believe I’m reading this…it’s like I’m looking at a mirror. Am just beginning to come up from one of those valleys and used one of the very same Scriptures on my own blog earlier today to help me do it. Funny, I’ve been meaning to come around and read/follow your blog, but didn’t get to it until just now – and there it was, in black and white, the message He wanted me to see. Bless you for being open, for returning His love, for letting His light shine through you.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you for those words of encouragement and for popping over to read and share. God is so faithful and never ceases to amaze me – how He uses our struggles for His good and how He connects all of us. He speaks with one voice and confirms His love and direction over and over again to us. Be blessed – just love your blog too – your story is so inspirational and an example of how Father can make diamonds out of coal. Chat soon I am sure 😉

    1. Hi Navigator, sorry I have taken so long to reply – no matter how brilliant our direction sometimes time becomes our greatest barrier – I think that is another lesson all on its own. Thank you for your ‘big like” . I love the navigator metaphor – there is just so much that can be said about navigation – I am sure it is not without reason that it is a name you go by. Thank you for stopping by – here is to finding our way!

  4. Great post Mich! Really enjoyed your metaphor and learned a lot when I looked at myself. Definitely words to cherish. That left/right thingy? Believe it or not of all the arbitrary directional terms humans have coined (up/down, front/back. in/out, straight/turn, etc.) left/right is, for some reason, the least intuitive and the most confused by humans. You are not alone. It is so common that if I am with some one and giving directions, I’ll always gesture for left/right. It saves the classic phrase: “No, the other right!” (Which actually works, by the way- how we understand that I have no clue)

    I know exactly what you are saying about finding direction or the “X”. I was a business analyst in an IT department for a large retailer at one point. One night I was working late when a young developer (writes code for computer programs) dropped by my office. Jason (name changed) had a young family with two children and he and his wife were having serious marital problems. It was affecting all his family (children doing poorly in school, wife depressed, him drinking, etc) and he was seriously upset. He was spiraling down fast and had received a number of reprimands at work. Each problem feed the other problems and he couldn’t seem to break out of the sequence. That evening he wanted to unload and I just listened for a while. Then he bemoaned the fact that as he got older he just seemed to find more and more ways that life didn’t work. I told him (being about 15 years older than he was) that I knew exactly what he meant, but it was normal – as he grew and understood more, he just saw more and more ways period. And that most didn’t work – BUT, all he needed to find was one way that it did work and he had the solution. Being a man of logic, he quickly caught onto what I was saying and seemed to understand. We did some white board drawings – love that invention- showing the expansion of growth and choices and the one exit forming from the increasing number of choices. Basically it was all about Faith and awareness. He came to me and I didn’t lecture – just offered acceptance in the “language” he spoke and a suggestion that matched his situation. He asked me to visit him at home a few times, and I would like to say it all worked out but it didn’t. In the end he accepted his responsibilities, made some major changes in his life and the situation stabilized. His problems became manageable and all concerned were much happier. He found direction.

    When I read your post this story popped into my mind and I guess I didn’t realize what had occurred until I read your blog. Taught me a lesson too. Thank you Mich.

    1. Paul – you are a deep and precious soul. Thank you for reading my posts with such attention and for responding with such sincerity and your own insight.

      I love this story – yes, it didn’t turn out to be the “picket fence” story but it certainly seems like he began to see the good in his life and his choice in making it better.

      I am so chuffed that I could trigger some thinking for you today. God is so very good and faithful to us all.

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