"Lost and Found"... is no longer a simple children's game for me.
It is a difficult... terrible... beautiful... and all-important foundation of my life.
For sure this year I've spiraled into a pattern of losing pom-poms, hair-ribbons and such :)
But I've lost some other things too.
The things lost cannot be recovered.
The things lost, I could not have handed over willingly by myself.
But the things found are foundations that cannot be lost, and treasures beyond compare.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"The Lord is my portion and my cup. He has made my lot secure. Surely the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16
Not only has the Lord provided above and beyond all we could ask or imagine with our home, with the things we need, with a brand new bright red lawn mower :), with a wonderful yard complete with swings and a fence... and just beyond that fence a job that I love and have watched the Lord lead me through day by day...
He has brought us through a year of lessons, of growing, of changing, and most of all of peace and joy that goes far beyond the physical boundaries He has surrounded us with. Don't get me wrong, the miracles and the provision have been wonderful. But what we have learned about the Savior, as a result of the miracles... is the greatest treasure, and the greatest love story I've found.
I always feel strange and debate constantly posting things like this one... sometimes it seems easier to keep it to yourself than risk being misunderstood or to draw attention to the wrong things... but then I hear so many people say they don't believe there is a God. And there is. And then I think... shame on me. I've seen Him in undeniable reality that I should be able to tell everyone... He is. And He's wonderful, and more powerful than we can comprehend. The question of His existence shouldn't be an option.
I have a hard time letting go of things myself. But when I lost my dad, I gained a lifetime of proof and realization that Jesus is truly the greatest Father... Abba God... of all.
When I lost my marriage, I found that God is a Redeemer. That His ways are higher, farther, and bigger than I can see or understand. I found that He is good. And I found that He is trustworthy. I found that He uses the saddest of times and the saddest of losses to help us find the depths of His love and His peace. I've lost a ring, and found that while things just don't look the same, I'm loved and God still wants to use my hands.
I've lost control of my circumstances... and found a deeper feeling of safety beyond circumstances.
I've lost the confidence that I know how to be a parent... that I don't know all of the answers... and I've found that my God is my children's God too... that He shepherds all of us together. That He's bigger than me and loves them even more than I do!
I've lost confidence that I could be tough and do whatever I set my mind to, I've lost confidence in all of who I am... and I've found that God has never given up on me, that He loves me despite my faults, and that He's leading me along to finding more of Himself!!!
Maybe we can't so easily find things like that... until we've lost (*and/or laid down)the things that we're holding so tightly.
I'm so thankful for all things lost and found... and for every part of those journeys.
I've found that I don't know anything... but that I'm loved by the One who knows every detail. And I sure do love Him back.
A year later... while I'd be lying to say that I don't ache for what was lost... I can say that I'm amazed, excited... and confident in what has been found. The greatest treasure is in knowing that the God who transformed a year that could have been characterized by loss with an abundance of findings... is leading us forward into the next day, and the next. What a wonderful Savior. I truly believe that we have more to be thankful for this year as a result of what has been found, than ever before.
"I won't live my life for what was taken for me rather than what was given." - C.S. Lewis (From the Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
"I once was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind but now I see."