Kim Brand
My hubby has this t-shirt. It has cute stick figures on it along with a cute little golf cart and it says, “All who wander… are not lost.” As far as his t-shirt goes, that saying pertains to looking for your lost golf ball. Here lately, this shirt is cycling through the laundry quite a bit. I’m not sure the why of that. Maybe it’s reached that washed-out comfy feel and he just likes to wear it.  A LOT! Or, maybe he’s trying to make a statement to his golf group while he’s out there tromping through the underbrush and various fairways and fields looking for that errant golf ball. That even though he might be wandering, he really isn’t lost!

Hmmm… I’m a good and patient wife… so I won’t ask!
I sure can’t help but put some correlation of that t-shirt to my life right now. It is funny the things you think about when you are doing laundry. While sorting lights and darks for the washing machine I’m pondering ‘wandering but not lost,’ spiritual wholeness, being “in the vine as stated in John 15,” and as Marni put it the other day (if you missed it, look it up on her Facebook page…so, so good!) seeking to be pruned of any bad fruit.

I believe I’m on the right path. How can I be sure? Shouldn’t I be constantly evolving, constantly submitting to the Master Gardner to prune my vines? Am I constantly changing? Am I on the right path? Am I doing it?

I thought I was spiritually whole for years. On the right path. No wandering about. I was in that season of my life, for quite a long season too, most of my adult life actually. Where I thought I was good.

Well….what happened then?

Truthfully... ? I’m confessing a mish-mash of circumstances. Some things were not in my control. Then there are factors such as apathy, poor actions, selfishness, thoughts that created attitude, an attitude that created behavior. Behavior that for sure wasn’t submitting to God. Behavior that wasn’t seeking God. I wasn’t allowing God to prune my tangled vines. Wasn’t letting him reveal my damaged fruit or cut it off and purge it.

I got used to those dark spots. My spiritual appetite for clear, bright, blemish-free fruit began to lessen. Those dark spots became easy to “swallow.” Hey, they weren’t even that ugly to look at. Until, one day, I woke up famished. Starving. God totally stopped me in my tracks. I was in a TOTAL state of… H.A.L.T!

H-hungry. My soul felt so empty, so un-nourished. So dry and thirsty. My heart was brittle.

A-angry. Angry Because what I thought was spiritually feeding me all those years, I could no longer gain truth from. Could no longer find connection. Could no longer find family. I could no longer be trusted with my own convictions about how the aforementioned season of my life, which had buoyed me along the way, dumped me out in the road to wander about, not even sure what I was searching for. It all hurt.

L-lonely. Gosh, I longed for connection again. I longed for smiles, purpose, hugs, unity, community and sharing.

T-tired. Man was I ever tired. The weariness permeated every step. I was mentally tired and spiritually tired. If I truly want to be transparent here, not only did I come to realize I was NOT being “in the vine,” but good grief, I’d taken over the job from the Gardener and was snipping away at any good fruit I had left. I wandered smack into self-sabotage. It was exhausting.

Does this make sense to you?

It took a precious, sweet friend (who cuts my hair) to speak truth to me. This is what she shared.

 “You aren’t so far from the garden, Kim – I hear you, I understand you, and more than this, God hears you too, and He knows your heart for Him. Tell Him how it feels to wander about because He is not going to leave you abandoned to wander. NOPE! He’s coming after His sheep. You aren’t lost, girl.”

It feels so good to say, in my current wanderings, the feelings that stopped me in my tracks, all that yucky H.A.L.T. is dissipating. Especially the Angry and the Tired. I think that was my first sign that I was wandering but I’m not lost! The good fruit I can see now, from Galatians 5: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Another big one for me to add is forgiveness. I’m finally seeing the good fruit we nurture in God’s “vine” really does begin to bring us peace and rest.  It brings us to a place where our wanderings cease… and the return to His purposeful, authentic living abounds!


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Janie Bush - August 14th, 2021 at 6:54pm

Wonderful!! Wandering can truly suck. Sorry. But finding the glimmers of truth along the path off wandering is joyous.

BV Hill - August 16th, 2021 at 1:14am

This is so beautiful. In talking about your truth, you have made me see some of mine. I am wandering and lost so many days. But I know if I keep seeking I will be shown the way. Love you my friend.

JoAnna - August 22nd, 2021 at 6:39am