walking in the woods without a flashlight

How to walk in the woods with no light

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking through the woods without a flashlight.  Do you know what I mean? Darkness envelopes me and I can’t see where I’m going. I’m afraid I will fall. Or that the darkness will consume me entirely, like a wild animal.

the dark

We hear noises and wonder, “Should we be afraid?  Is something out there ready to pounce? If we had a flashlight maybe we could beam it at the noises and scare away whatever is hiding behind the cloak of noise. But maybe the light would shine so bright we would see the monster that is lurking.  And maybe that would be the worst thing that could happen.

What’s worse? Walking in the woods and being afraid of the unknown or being able to put a “face” on the unknown? I hate ambiguity but sometimes it’s not all bad, especially if our souls have been under attack.

Ignorance can sometimes be our best friend.

When we know too much, when the woods are no longer a just a dark blob but individual trees that we recognize, then we can no longer pretend. Now our fear has a face and it’s a scary face at that.

So how do we know when it is the time to look at things squarely?

I wrote about something similar here.

But if you don’t have time to click on that link, let me share some of it.

First, let’s look at the timing.

Only you know the condition of your soul at any one point in time. For example, I’m giving my soul a rest today meaning that I’m not tackling any big introspective subjects. There are things I need to deal with. Things I have questions about, all connected to the recent loss of my mom.

Questions like, “Did I do enough?”

“Am I grieving enough?”

But what I suggest in the post I mentioned earlier is that sometimes we just have to give our souls a rest. Years ago, I developed a little “imagery” that works for me.

I imagine a beautifully gilded box. (Why not be beautiful? It’s my imagining anyway, right?)


This box is placed at God’s feet. I open the box and put my concerns there, knowing I can trust God and that when the time is right, I can open the box and have a conversation with God about it. But now is not the time.

I don’t need a flashlight right now illuminating these areas. It would be too painful. Instead, I need to walk in the dark a little longer until some of the pain of her loss goes away.

The old saying: “Ignorance is bliss is sometimes true.

So if you’re feeling as though you are walking in your own dark woods today without a flashlight, just remember that sometimes it’s OK not to see everything.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.