Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has hundreds of writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at http://lisajobaker.com/. This week's word is Lost.
I had to search through previous Five Minute Friday posts to remember my blog address, the URL lost in a brain that is too often full of anxiety and disappointment. It was March 8 when I last wrote a post - one that ironically talked about re-prioritizing my life to be a writer, along with other things that I needed to be willing to do to make changes in my life. Since then, radio silence. I guess I have the answer to my willing question.
I have felt so lost since that last post. Lost in the clutter of my house - the unfinished projects, the empty boxes from purchases I've made to fill the void left when he walked out seven years ago. Lost in difficulties at work that make me want to quit and try to live on the income from my second job. Lost in the anguish felt when someone likes a Facebook status by X that is so often stories about his new stepchildren and the wondering why he didn't want children with me.
I know where true North is. I find it every Sunday when I repeat the liturgy of my church service. I feel it when I pass the peace and feel the love from my fellow church members. But when I turn the key and step into my house, I lose it, the loneliness acting like a magnet that pulls me away from it. When I turn the light on in my office at work and the first problem of the day hits me, I find myself sitting with my head down, the opposite direction of North, lost in what seems like a hopeless situation. And when I see that Facebook status show up in my feed, I find myself questioning how this heartache could possible be pointing me towards rescue instead of thrusting me into the darkness that I find myself lost in.
I want to be found - I want to float in a sea of hope instead of feeling like I'm drowning in a current of regret and brokenness. I make lists of tasks to complete and I get excited about the things that came in those boxes that will turn the house we shared into the home that reflects who I am now. Then I look at the overgrown backyard and the projects that I need to pay money to have finished and I get lost in what overwhelms me. I take a vacation and spend time with friends at a wedding, feeling thankful that I have a job that will pay for a trip halfway across the country, only to find myself dreading returning to that job mere minutes after stepping off the plane, feeling lost in situations that I cannot change but simply have to tolerate. I recall watching my friend dance with her new husband, and I'm reminded of how long it took her to find him and feel encouraged that I too could find my perfect match. Then I see X's face in a comment and even though the photo is only a quarter-inch square, it seems to fill the computer screen and the feeling that I lost him because I wasn't enough returns. Encouragement quickly turns into discouragement.
I am returning to what I thought would rescue me from that lost feeling - helping others find their way out of the darkness. In God's mysterious ways and perfect timing, I just came back from Maine, the land of more than 60 lighthouses to the word lost as a Five Minute Friday prompt. If I can be a light to someone drowning in that current of brokenness, leading them to the safety of the shore of hope, then maybe that is the purpose of the heartache. If I can document my journey to making my house a home, maybe it will inspire others to make changes to their surroundings. If I can look at my job as a means to an end, a way to pay for improvement projects and more wonderful vacations, maybe it will be more tolerable. And if I can remember that I am enough to the only person that matters - my heavenly father - I will keep my compass pointed at true North and I will be no longer be lost.