When You Don’t Know You’re Lost

When You Don't Know You're Lost

Seek and ye shall find. ~ Matthew 7:7

Driving is a chore for me thanks to physical limitations. Getting out of the car and walking around every hour or so is mandatory. I make it fun by visiting antique malls in small towns. Thirty minutes browsing around and I am back on the road. Sometimes with treasures in tow.

Other times, I’m haunted by items I’ve left behind. Usually I suffer and move on but not this past week. Three ceramic flowers with little girl faces kept popping up in my thoughts. The grandgirls, flower girls in their aunt’s wedding, and I are into flowers of all kinds this year. They take “flower girl” literally. Those little vases? Perfect flower girl gifts. But there was a problem. I found these treasures on an exit off the beaten path. I didn’t take a business card. I’d taken pictures but the location wasn’t noted by my phone. What to do? Those vases were lost and I was at a loss.

I could see the store in my head. I just couldn’t locate it. Looked at Google Maps and traced my route. No luck. I remembered a hardwoods store next to the antique place. A Google Earth car going through our neighborhood filming street views jogged my brain. Off to Google Earth I went! After going through a gazillion street view exits, I thought I’d found the hardwood store. But the place next door was a car import dealer instead of antique store. So I went on with my search for a whole week and found nothing as I scoured local maps, phone books, and emailed antique dealers. I was lost but wasn’t willing to admit it or give up.

Truthfully, I thought maybe I’d dreamed the whole thing up until I hit the reverse look up websites. Sure enough, the Google Earth picture was out of date. An antique store now sat at the address in spite of what that picture told me. All that time I’d been going the right direction until an out of date picture sent me the wrong way.

When sad tales like this happen it’s like God’s sent me a billboard. I started to think of all the times I haven’t considered myself lost but in reality was going the wrong way. Who am I kidding? It happens on a regular basis. I rely on an old map with a hole in the fold. The GPS gives me directions that don’t help at all. But I listen because, well, the state Department of Transportation, satellite or the voice of Navigation Girl (I’m an android person not a Siri lover) know more than I do, right? Plus I’m left handed and tend to reverse directions automatically without realizing it. I get lost a lot.

When we have challenges in our lives, we do the same thing. First, denial. Denial. Denial. Nope, we aren’t moving away from God’s will. The direction we go in feels right. Sometimes, we may know we need better direction but still find ourselves leaning on the wrong resources. We read instructional articles. We listen to well-meaning friends who tell us what path to take, only to find a fork in that path further down the road. Or worse, a dead end. We refuse to admit how turned around we are until something happens to wake us up. It might be hitting rock bottom. But hopefully, it’s just realizing we’ve been looking for love or affirmation or even God in all the wrong places.

When I realize I’ve lost focus on the life God wants me to live or ignored the direction He wants me to go, I eventually stop and admit it. Mainly because I’m full of frustration, anger, bewilderment and don’t like it at all.

So I say, I’m lost, God. As simple as that. Then I ask friends to pray for me. I read scripture more thoroughly. I meditate until things come into clearer focus and I can see where God wants me to go, what he wants me to do and be. Suddenly those treasures I was looking for appear, maybe not cute little flower girl figurines, but peace, comfort, strength and perseverance. I’m headed in the right direction again, thanks to God’s help.

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Sis Steele
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  1. Rebecca Preston on May 18, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    It’s truly a gift, isn’t it? To be able to start again.

    • Julie Steele on May 18, 2016 at 8:28 AM

      Always. And part of being human is in the getting lost and relying on our own sense of direction. God has a lot of patience.

  2. Piper Huguley on May 18, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    Very well said, Julie. Thanks for sharing these experiences and words of wisdom.

    • Julie Steele on May 19, 2016 at 10:04 AM

      You are welcome, Piper. I just need to remember them!

  3. Tara on May 18, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    So…did you get the little flower girl figurines?
    Heard a story this week about a women who followed her GPS right down a boat dock and into a lake.
    In her defense, it was rainy and dark and she was unfamiliar with her surrounds.
    So thankful that when I make a wrong turn that God just gives a sigh, maybe a snicker (well if she would have come to me first)—and as soon as I call out to him, and even when I don’t, he redirects my course.

    • Julie Steele on May 19, 2016 at 10:05 AM

      I did and they were worth the trouble. The grandgirls are thrilled. Yes, I heard about that woman too. That is an extreme example but so close to what many of us do. Thank goodness for God’s billboards and wake up calls.

  4. Gretchen on May 18, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    “Suddenly those treasures I was looking for appear, maybe not cute little flower girl figurines, but peace, comfort, strength and perseverance. I’m headed in the right direction again, thanks to God’s help.”

    Yes. Given that my wallet was either lost or stolen yesterday, this statement and your whole post resonate very much. Because He is with me, I have direction. I don’t have to know ‘why this happened’; I just have to know that He is with me, allowing me to focus on Him and rest in all He has to teach.

    • Julie Steele on May 19, 2016 at 10:07 AM

      Any update? When those obstacles happen and we get knocked around, I am thankful we can rely on God.

  5. Kirsten on May 18, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Thanks so much for these words of wisdom, Julie, and just at the right time.

    • Julie Steele on May 19, 2016 at 10:07 AM

      That’s God’s doing. But you are welcome, Kirsten.

  6. Diane on May 19, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    “I rely on an old map with a hole in the fold.” Ok, Sis, this made me laugh out loud! I too often rely on the old map, the Bible study that I finished three months ago, the verse I kinda-memorized last year, the great meditation I once had that was so spiritual. Why bother doing more, when I have those memories, right? HA! The restarts are so much better when we don’t take too many turns away from the right path!

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