Lost or Found?
What does living lost mean? It means going from moment to moment trying to manage the chaos enough that we don’t drown. Maybe we use goals and a checklist to make ourselves feel productive, and yet little of real value is pursued or accomplished.
Living lost means going from one urgent moment to the next without a purpose other than to get through that moment. Along the way, any relationships we build tend to be shallow and unfulfilling as we work hard to hide how lost we are living. We put up walls to hide, to self-protect, to paint a pretty façade upon, and the people around us don’t really know us. They can’t—which implies living lost means isolation and loneliness as well.
At the end of the day, what kind of life have you settled for?
You don’t have to stay settled there. I know you know that! You’ve probably spent your fair share of time saving inspiring pins to Pinterest, liking thought-provoking Tweets, and sharing challenging social media articles delineating ways out of your rut. And yet, here you still are, plugging along your fairly aimless, settled path.
“When we live lost, we settle for a lesser life, a part far too small. And we are subject to the frustration that results in drinking too much, eating too much, sleeping too much, working too much, complaining too much and judging others far too much. But once we get our bearings, become oriented, then we are able to do what we were created to do… love. Be loved by God, love God back and help others experience the same.”
– Search & Rescue by Michael Thompson
Finding a Way Out of the Rut
What you may be missing is the community you simultaneously work to impress and to keep “out of your business.” The façade and the wall, disabling your capacity to live found, rather than lost.
Found implies being known, recognized, treasured, and in its rightful place. Living found, then, might look like walking in authenticity and integrity—being real and really being who you present. It also implies knowing who you are and where you’re going, which is almost entirely described within the context of community.
Community is Key
This brings me to my point: You cannot live life fully—“found,” if you will—without the people around you. Your deepest sorrows and longings, anxieties and pleasures, stumbling blocks, and goals are connected to others. For healing, breaking down the walls of your heart, becoming authentic and known, you have to involve people in the process. You must know that you are not alone, and you need to be involved with a safe, supportive community that can impact you and your marriage profoundly.
Letting Ourselves Be Found
You may feel uncertain about opening up in front of a group. A normal, self-protective stance is to remain hidden. Yet, we’ve found when you are given the opportunity to connect, the fear of vulnerability tends to lessen, and the lure of being known awakens your desire to connect. The relief of finding understanding makes it even easier to disclose your mess. The potential to also relieve the pain and deep loneliness behind your façade can effectively motivate you to share your story as well. The group experience is about getting your bearings, becoming oriented, finding your footing, and helping others experience the same. It is about linking arms so you are no longer stuck living a lesser life, feeling lost.
And as a result, you start to realize that you are not alone in the battles you are fighting. The themes, vices, heartaches, and strongholds are common and familiar to others. The specific details are unique, but the patterns are not. As you sit in the group, listening to others share the raw truth of their stories, it becomes clear that you aren’t the only one in this trench, and you are all here to help each other find a way out.