When was the last time you were lost?
My family use to take road trips for our summer family vacations, and this was before the GPS and navigation apps (we as a family had a cell phone…for emergencies only in Mom’s purse, there were no games on it, and if you can believe it – it was hardly ever on), and this was before Travelocity and hotel booking sites. So we’re out and about in the world with a map, highway signs, and our navigators, Dad and Mom. Sometimes they got us lost and I thought it was HILARIOUS! I’m not sure what made me crack up about it, but it was exciting and funny. My parents thankfully weren’t the high strung type to get frustrated about being lost, they were on an adventure, that had taken a turn, and they went with it with a light heart and jokes. We never had to resettle in another state due to not being able to get back home either. Sometimes we stopped for directions or we just kept going. The funny part is those lost moments led us to some unplanned stops that were fun or a restaurant that was delicious. As an adult, I rarely think it’s funny to be lost, I like to “know.”
When was the last time you changed? Change can feel like being lost, especially when it’s more/less than expected – you wanted that new job, but didn’t realize it would require 70 hours a week and put a strain on your relationships. Even more surprising is an unexpected and unrequested change – you’re looking for a new job, because you were let go.
Motherhood spun me around dizzy (could’ve been the sleep deprivation, no one tells you about that). The only help I seemed to have was being raised by awesome parents, my Dad, Momma Trina (mother in law), Aunt Moni, Uncle J, Ms. Nancy, etc., and the common sense that she, my daughter, is a small tiny human, who needs what all humans need. But us communicating about sleep or time for a shower were not topics for discussion in the beginning. Hello wanted and unexpected changes.
When you set out on a new journey, you may have an idea of what all it will require, you certainly have the moments you’re excited for, and you may even plan for some unexpected setbacks, but there’s no way you can foresee everything. That’d be too easy, no challenge, and no growth.
Most of us want change in some way or on some level, but rarely is it drastic to changing our day to day operations (although most changes will require that). We want to be healthier, to make more money, have better communication in our relationship(s) with our spouse or children, etc. And like I said there are changes we’re not trying for/expecting: job loss, a loved one passes, an accident requiring physical therapy, a surgery, etc.
Whether we want/don’t want the change, it can be more than expected. Change comes with challenge.
In this change and journey into motherhood for a while there seemed to be one perplexing and lost thing…me. There didn’t seem to be room or time for me or my dreams. My moments of excitement and relief became a 5 minute shower or a moment to paint my nails (it’s seriously a favorite thing of mine to do…I’m all about that top coat and Derrick says, he’s never seen a bottle of polish go empty).
Being lost can make you feel desperate, grasping for the familiar, wondering if your dreams are still possible, or if you’re suppose to start going in a new direction. Doubt and advice may flood in from all different directions and you may journey down some paths to see…is this where I’m suppose to be now? If you’re scrambling due to fear in the lostness – STOP, you’re spinning your wheels and you need to get a hold of yourself. If the search is genuine, it can still be tiring, like looking for a new job. The job search in one moment can be exhilarating and exciting with all the potentials of what could be, but can quickly become tiring, as you’re putting in the work with little results, time keeps ticking, bills keep coming, and the savings continues to drain. The ticking clock can make you feel panic and hopeless. The waiting can make you think how long will things be this way or is this the way things are.
Things are always changing, life is never stagnant. Even still water will go stale.
Best to stay away from the thoughts of never and always…they’re normally lying. You’ll never do this, because you haven’t before. Things will always be this way, you shouldn’t want for more. Check who’s saying that…and by check, I mean shut them up.
Sometimes you have to give yourself the time you need to transition. Transitioning to change takes time, trial and error, observation, and thought. In our current culture, it’s easy to believe that your mourning of a loved one should only last 3 months and you should be back to work and normal. That’s not normal – a person as unique as a fingerprint that you were blessed enough to know, love, and hug, is no longer within your arms’ reach. Moving too quickly can actually bring more harm, than good. If you break a bone, pull a tendon, etc., it takes the time that it takes to heal. So take your time to transition, and be active and helpful to yourself during the transition. Think of change like a new pair of shoes, you have to break them in and that’s not always comfortable. During transitions it’s helpful if you have some constants – praying, 20 minutes to read, exercise, community (that’s honest & helpful) etc.
And I’ve noticed that sometimes I have to say STOP to myself, when I hear myself saying no to every suggestion that could be helpful. Make sure your reasons aren’t excuses. It’s easier to complain and continue, than to change. That complaining is a note to self on where you are. You feel stuck and are saying no to options that could help you become unstuck without even giving them real consideration. That’s a closed mind. And I’m not sure if there’s anything more dangerous.
There are blessings in being lost. It doesn’t feel like that in the moment.
One you’re changing, it’s rare that people actually change in life.
“Most people would rather die miserable, than change.” – Joanne Baron
We may change jobs, spouses, homes, etc., but most of the time the common denominator (you) doesn’t change. It takes an enormous amount of prayer, energy, and discipline to change.
These changes while difficult, develop you. You literally discover something new about you. You’re never done evolving or changing, unless you choose to, in which case…don’t complain about the change that isn’t happening.
And as we sometimes say to our daughter in her moments of frustration, “You have to try, before you cry.”
Two, it’s a reminder that you have several undiscovered opportunities and possibilities within you. Before getting lost, my dream in my mind was an easy clear path, in fact it was probably too specific and narrow. My thinking had become boxed in as to which doors were open, closed, or possible. When you’re lost, you notice houses on the block you didn’t see before and you’re knocking with more gusto.
Three, you realize that most people that think they’re not lost are content, because they “know,” where they’re going/doing. You’ll “know” again too, except you won’t be so reliant on what you “know,” anymore, because you realize it can change, but that doesn’t mean the change is to your detriment. In my case, my daughter’s birth was also my rebirth, what blessings.
“God doesn’t want you to know the future. He wants you to trust Him.” – Valorie Burton
Four, if you’re lost, best believe He’s looking for you.
“So what do you think? If a man has hundred sheep, and one has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one who went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than the ninety-nine that never went astray.” – Matthew 18:12-13
“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” – Psalm 91:11