I feel lost.
Those were the words I scrawled into my journal years ago. When infertility and struggling friendships and a new church were all leaving me aching and empty.
I felt unknown.
Who was this girl who couldn’t bear the children she dreamed of? Who was this girl who struggled through friendships? Who was this girl who went to church and cowered in the corner?
I didn’t know her, so how in the world could anyone else learn to know her?
I knew who I used to be. I used to plan for the day when I would raise a houseful of babies. I used to walk confidently in deep meaningful friendships. I used to go to church and sit in the front row, sing from the keyboard, pray over and minister to the hurting, and be the last one out the door because I loved the community and closeness and beauty of the family of God.
But I wasn’t that anymore and I wasn’t sure who I was or what was happening.
It was like I stumbled into a midlife crisis at 23 years old.
God taught me something new during that season. He carried my husband and I off to a foreign country, dumped us into a parched land that mirrored my parched soul, and when the rainy season came to Haiti that year, it also came to my heart.
I found a new part of God—one I had never experienced before.
I found The-God-of-Lost-Things.
The One who pursues lost sheep, lost coins, lost sons.
The One who knew exactly where I was, even when I didn’t.
It was like something deep and burning settled into me. Like the instructions we were told as children, when Papa would tell us if we got lost in the woods, just sit down. Be still. He would come for us. Go ahead and call for help, but stay right there.
Be still, daughter.
Be still and whisper prayers. Stop searching for a new identity, a new distraction, a new plan. Instead, let the God-of-Lost-Things come. Let Him fill and redeem and build.
The words trailed through Scripture, from beginning to end. The pursuit of God. “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out…” (Ezekiel 34:11) “They will be called… Sought Out, a city not forsaken…” (Isaiah 62:12) “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost…” (Luke 19:10)
I know you feel lost, daughter, but I am with you, and I’m not lost at all.
At His words, my life transformed. Slowly, steadily. Like fields turning green in springtime. It seemed like life would never come and then suddenly it was there, the warmth and nutrients built into the soil finally crested the top and rich, lush grass could be seen.
He was right. He was still God, and He knew right where I was, and I was found in Him.
I’m parenting lost children now.
Ones who have experienced abandonment and feel hopeless. These older adopted babies, who came into our home with truck-loads of baggage and wounds, they are right where I was in my 23-year-old midlife crisis. They feel lost. And lost people often panic.
I know, because I did it.
Still, even though I know, some days it’s overwhelming. (Okay, most days.) Can I really parent lost children, Lord? I barely know how to survive on my own!
And His words echo through my history. He’s the God-of-Lost-Things. He is.
He’s not lost. Not at all. And when I am willing to give up myself, allow my own heart to be revealed, to be cleansed, to be transformed, everything changes.
I don’t feel lost anymore.
I feel found. I know family. I know hope. I know life.
And in the knowing, I have something to give to those wandering lost. I can parent my little ones from what I have received from the Father.
“God is pursuing you,” I can tell them. Not as an idea. Or a thought from an ancient book. But as something as sure as the sun rising in the morning.
“God is yearning for you to turn your face to Him. He is loving you unconditionally. He knows every home you’ve ever lived in, every hurt that has ever touched you, and every person who has ever been a part of your life.
“When you have felt lost, moved about, struggling to understand what’s happening to you or where you’re going… He’s there.
“When life has been messy and hard, He’s right there. And He’s never been lost.”
As I teach my children, I teach myself the truth again. Etching it into my heart, my mind, my soul.
He’s the God-of-Lost-Things and He is pursuing all those of us who are wandering lost.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
May we all be found in Him.