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.


  1. nikihardywpuser on January 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Wonderful as always Becky.xxx Praying you feel seen and loved. xx

  2. Deborah Kim Stirtan on January 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    My lollipop is quiet time, prayer and believing that God wants great things for me, my family and my friends
    This was a great read-Thanks!!
    Love you,

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser on January 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Becky, this is a very moving post. I think your transparency and honesty have helped a lot of anguished hearts.

    For what it may be worth, I don’t believe for a moment that God either sends or allows our ‘trials’, beyond having to accept them, Himself, as the price of free will. If He intervened in certain cases, He’d obviate the need to choose Him, and that would be internally inconsistent. It would turn Creation into a kind of puppet show.

    To send the ‘bad things’ to test us would also be unspeakably cruel, because, as humans, we all have limits. I can hardly imagine a loving God saying, “Oh, too bad. She failed. Next!”

    I believe that He’s essentially locked into the paradigm He had to create, and the best He can do is to stand with us in our pain…and weep with us.

    This doesn’t preclude miracles, but a close reading of the Gospels does suggest that miracles were performed to make a point, at a certain time and place, and that the recipients were the folks that happened to be there at the time. Jesus don’t set up a Miracle Clinic; that was not the point of His incarnation.

    It’s a model I can live with, as the pain and the humiliations of illness increase.


    • Becky L McCoy on January 23, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Yes, for sure. I’m learning to trust that he’s standing next to me even when that space feels empty.

  4. Shaundra on January 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you for your words, friend! I’ve been feeling like this so much lately. I’ll keep waiting with you. ?

  5. Mary Blogger Newman on January 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    You know we have different experiences but our feelings parallel so often. I have a husband by my side but I envy the support you have. From grandparents who babysit to friends who visit with you to just be with you when you hurt. I am struggling with many things, too much to share online, but I look forward to reading Uninvited soon. Thank you for being so vulnerable and real. You are not alone in processing this thing we call life.

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