We Took a Wrong Turn…

Have you ever made a wrong turn and found it hard to turn back?


Once, I was traveling with a friend to the Lake District in England. She was driving, and I navigated – this was back in the day of using a paper map to find your way. When I saw a signpost listed on the map, I directed her to turn.


She looked at me with disbelief. “No, Barbara. We are heading north. To turn left is utterly crazy.”


“But it says we needed to turn back at that juncture.” I tried to show her the exact spot on the map, but she was unimpressed.


As the driver, she chose which direction the car went. An hour later, we were in Scotland.


You guessed it.


To rectify our mistake, we made a U-turn and retraced our steps until we arrived at the road sign she initially rejected. When we arrived exhausted at our destination, we breathed a sigh of relief. Now we could stop, rest, and be refreshed.

Step 1: Reassess Your Goal

When you are lost, you can drive around for hours trying to find the correct route. Rather than blindly pressing on, it is wise to stop and reassess the situation. “What is my goal? Then consider the possibility you just might have gone astray.

Step 2: Embrace Humility

The secret to being restored to the correct path is having an attitude of humility. The issue isn’t about being right or wrong.

Now don’t miss this next part.

I’ve discovered several important indicators to help discern if you are lost.

  • When feelings of overwhelm and confusion hit.
  • Worse, you just plain hurt when you should be experiencing joy and rest.

Step 3: Stop and Find Safety


I have learned from my wrong turns, that things aren’t as simple as some tell us, for seeds of hopelessness grow alongside discouragement and depression and they all seem incredibly real and true.


The moment you realize you are in overwhelm – STOP. Take a deep breath and look around. If there is no active danger, say “I am safe. Jesus is with me.”

Step 4: Ask Jesus to be Lord


Invite Jesus to be LORD of the situation and give Him permission to bring whatever is lurking in the darkness of your past into His light.


Life has a way of teaching us lies as if they are truth. That is dangerous for the lies undermine your faith, and in their toxicity, they fill you with anxiety, shaping your reality today. Unaware of their deception, they gain power to steal your peace and bring you into the place of overwhelm and fear.


Any lies you learned as if they were true will actively shape your today. Those lies are toxic and will steal your energy and your joy.


For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

Step 5: Identify the Lie


Here is where you may hit a snag.


It is hard to turn around and go back over ground you already covered. Simply, it means admitting you made a wrong turn. In other words, you believed a lie and now that lie is causing you to travel away from your heart’s desire.


Israel had this problem. Isaiah stated God was calling Israel to turn back to Him. Then sadly, He said, “But you would not”.


Step 6: Return and Rest


The Hebrew word for returning has the concept of the person turning away from and ceasing the worship of idols.


In turning back to the Lord, she experiences release from captivity. Once rescued, He delivers her from the power of her enemies and in the process, she experiences restoration and renewal. The added benefit is rest from overwhelm, fear, and depression.


The word returning is derived from the Hebrew word meaning to restore or the Restorer.


Rest makes me think of the Repairer of the breach – the One who is a wall about us, protecting us from evil. But He is also the Restorer of paths to dwell in. When I think of restoration, I picture green pastures and still waters.

Once rescued, He delivers her from the power of her enemies and in the process, she experiences restoration and renewal.

Step 7: Pause and Do This Exercise

Now, this simple exercise is crucial to help you find inner healing and a safe place to dwell.

  • Picture yourself in that place where David loved to take his sheep and where he loved to sit and make music to the Lord.
  • If you want, draw a picture of that safe place.
  • Then ask, “Is this where I am right now?”

If the answer is no, take courage. In the quiet place of beauty and rest portrayed in Psalms 23, the Lord waits to restore your soul and lead you out of chaos and overwhelm into the path of righteousness.

Under His watchful care, you will lie down in safety.

Even more exciting, you will find peace and relief from the anxiety and stress that oppress you.

I pray you may have the courage to allow the Lord to show you unresolved issues of the past that limit you today.

May you allow the Good Shepherd to tenderly lead you through those circuitous paths into His place of quiet rest, remembering that Jesus is the One who builds the old waste places, raising up the foundations of many generations, for He is The Repairer of the breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isaiah 58:12)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

And sustain me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:10-12 NASB

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