At the Intersection of Despair and Confusion

It’s so easy to lose faith, to lose heart.

I sat on the subway staring at an advertisement for higher education. The ad showed a map of streets with a bubble over the top “At the intersection of Career and Success”.  I stared at it for some time, quite possibly to avoid eye contact with the person opposite me. Ah yes….I am becoming quite Bostonian.

As I stared, I thought if this was a bubble over the map of my current world it would say “At the intersection of despair and confusion” Quite a contrast to the hope portrayed in the ad.

I have been here before, and I know “this too shall pass”. When this bubble appears over my life I am at a place where I’ve no choice but to fling myself on God’s mercy, to pray passionately that he will comfort, intervene, give hope and wisdom.

The intersection of despair and confusion will soon be replaced by a different intersection because that’s what life does. But right now I feel I’m in a traffic jam, stuck at this intersection with cars all around honking for me to move — they don’t see the red light in front of me.

In the midst of these thoughts I close my eyes and hear the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 40:

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.

At the intersection of Despair and Confusion I turn to the only One who can give me wisdom and strength — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

God of miracle babies and ladders to Heaven; God who wrestles and marks for life; God of laughter and mercy. A God who will turn despair and confusion into hope and clarity. 

14 thoughts on “At the Intersection of Despair and Confusion

  1. I, too, pray for you my friend . . . Those painful intersections halt us in our tracks, and then isn’t it so hard to lift each foot and try to cross over to the other side? It is truly then that I ask to be lifted by grace, knowing I can’t take those steps alone. Sometimes I think the red light appears so that I WILL stop and pay attention when I have forgotten for a moment that I am not alone, so I will not only ask for help but feel it when it comes . . .


  2. I could have written these very words….. My sister shared your post on FB and I just read it and I felt your words intensely. In the past year and a half I lost my father suddenly to a heart attack, then we moved from one state to another, then we lost our 22-year-old son to suicide. I have traveled the mountains and valleys of the terrain of which you speak, and I cling to the God of the Bible who is mysterious, yet intimate and loving, revealing His character through His acts and His promises and His faithfulness to generations, so that though I do not understand the works of His hands, I can trust His heart towards me. There simply is no other refuge.
    God bless you in your journey.


    1. Rosanne- I am beyond grateful to you for being willing to comment and share this small piece of your journey. This sort of connection is the very best of uses for the web. My heart is with you in prayer during this intersection. I, like you, can’t comprehend the journey without God– but even so sometimes it feels like we will never leave this intersection. May God’s grace surround and abound. There really is nothing else.


  3. I hate that particular intersection. I try to avoid it at all costs. Just before you get there, on the right, there’s the Denial shop and the Distraction cafe. I usually hang out there as long as possible. Grace to you sweet friend…


    1. Ahhhh – love this. Yes, browsing around Denial shop and drinking a latte at Distraction cafe. Thank you for continuing the analogy with these true thoughts!


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