What To Do When You Feel Lost As An Adult
When I was little, my parents and I went to Sesame Place, the Sesame Street theme park. My parents sat on a bench and watched as I played on one of the splash pad play grounds. Every few minutes, I would glance over to make sure they were still there. And they were. Until they weren’t. As the 3-going-on-43-year-old that I was, I found a responsible looking adult and asked them to escort me to the lost child center. I sat patiently, sucking on a lollipop, waiting for my parents to show up.
While my execution of the “if you’re ever lost” plan was flawless, my situational awareness was not. I couldn’t see my parents because they had moved to a different bench. What I perceived as abandonment was actually the exact opposite.
My parents moved benches so they could see me better. They had been watching the whole time and (understandably) freaked out as they watched me walk away with a stranger. My poor parents; the one time I was “lost,” it was significantly more traumatizing for them than it was for me.
Now that I’m grown up, I’ve been surprised by how often I’ve felt lost as an adult.
I’ve experienced so much loss and heartache over the last 10 years that I often like life is an ocean and I’m just (barely) treading water. God once felt near and real and now he’s distant and quiet.
Some friends and I are reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst and this passage jumped out at me as I read:
If God is good…why isn’t He being good to me in this?
And in this moment of raw soul honesty, we’re forced to admit we feel a bit suspicious of God. We’ve done all we know to do. We’ve prayed all we know to pray. We’ve stood on countless promises with a brave face. And still nothing.
I’m over here with my hand raised, jumping up and down. I know, in my head, that God loves me. He’s said he loves me. He’s shown me love through people and he’s loved me by meeting needs in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I am thankful.
And yet, as I type those things, I also feel the jagged edges of my heart that’s been broken and feels forgotten.
I’m choosing to believe that God is still good, because I don’t really see any alternatives and because I know that my feelings don’t change God’s character.
When I was little, my parents hadn’t left me, they’d just moved for a better view. As an adult, I may feel abandoned by God, but I’ve decided to wait awhile longer before I decide he’s left for good.
So here I am, sitting and waiting, not having all the answers, and wishing I knew what the adult equivalent of a lollipop is.