Out of the Woods


For the last several weeks, I’ve been unabashedly obsessed with Taylor Swift’s 1989. Sometimes I stop and take a mental picture* the first time I hear a song, because I have a feeling the song is going to mean something to me for years to come. I had that experience with track 4, “Out of the Woods.”

Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?

Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
In the clear yet? Good.

On the surface, this repetitive chorus might seem like lazy songwriting. But the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate its brilliance. If we’re quiet enough to hear it, who among us doesn’t have a little voice inside asking those questions ad nauseam? I’ve asked them during all kinds of difficult situations and in every romantic relationship I’ve ever had. I’ve spent years, collectively, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve waited for resolution, to be able to tie a bow on things and declare them finished. I’m still waiting.

The truth is, we are never out of the woods (and when I read that in Taylor’s liner notes, I did a little fist pump of recognition). As soon as we make it into the open in one sense, we find ourselves in a whole new forest. If we experience meadow times when everything is clear, sunny, and sure, we need to soak them up because they’re temporary. We spend so much energy pursuing the meadows (and beating ourselves up if we can’t find our way there), but that’s not where we were made to live. We were made for the woods. We were made to be a little lost, a little uncertain, with our only surety that God made the woods and is in them with us.

Sometimes that’s really hard to swallow. But I want to see the woods as a place of adventure more than I see them as a threat. I want to make my peace with the shadows and the crunching leaves. I want to hug a tree.

* = I don’t think the flash went off.

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister’s iced tea.

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  1. Pingback: The 2014 Soundtrack | Don't Stop Believing

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