You stare at your baby in your arms, rocking back and forth in the room you’d imagined would be a place of solace. You’d envisioned breastfeeding as beautiful and quiet, gentle and spiritual. But the feeding feels like work, physical work. You’re sore. You made rookie mistakes those first few days and your body has paid the price every three hours since.
Then there are the tears. The feelings of dread and joy and fear and magic, all wound up around this little life, this child who knows nothing but how you are the only one: the one with the milk, the one with the arms, the one with the body that held him. And your moments in the rocking chair are so full of that intensity, the power of being one small person’s Only, that every hope you held for your life before this being arrived—the woman you would be, the God you would know—seem to crumble around you.
You’ve entered a new world and you don’t know how to pray anymore.
We lose things all the time. The sunglasses we adored, the wedding band that slipped into the ocean, the dream of how we would live our one beautiful life. You lost prayer. Once you realized you lost it, it was already gone: sunglasses dropped from a careless hand in the parking lot.
The reality, though, is that the things we lose never cease to exist. Yes, the sunglasses are crushed by the passing car. But always the materials remain, even as the cleaning truck swipes the pieces into the chaos of the landfill. Even as the wedding band slips to the bottom of a sandy sea, and plankton glide through its wide, golden tunnel.
And the dreams we once clung to? They wait, quiet. They wait, like prayer, to be found.
Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God as something we should seek, run after, and pursue with our lives. But what about when it feels too abstract to catch hold of? What if what we thought we were seeking actually turns out to be our own performance and not God at all? What does it mean to find?
It’s such a cliche, isn’t it? Lost to Found. Losing and Finding again. Can we find God or is it possible that only God can find us? Is it all—both—at the same time?
You move across the country with your baby and your husband. You lose the part of you that once had a “career,” the part of you that “ministered” and now you stare at yourself in the mirror in this strange new land where no one knows you or loves you, except for the two people in your home.
You ask the God who feels so distant: “Can you love me, if I’m not even me anymore?” And you’re not sure that God hears you. Maybe God stopped listening all those months ago when you stopped talking.
And you have not been found in this place. You have been lost here, in the middle of California, alone on a Wednesday morning. You are lost.
This is our story. How sometimes the finding happens in the ordinary, everyday places. This is our story of grace dispensed in the mundane of our lives.
And there, in our weaknesses, our frailties—our daily work of stuffing the laundry into the dryer and searching for a parking space, pushing our kids in the grimy, squeaking swing, and learning how to make sense of every dream given and taken—God is finding us.
Finding us. Finding us. Finding us.
Micha (pronounced “MY-cah”) Boyett is a writer, blogger, and sometimes poet. A former youth minister, she’s passionate about monasticism and ancient Christian spiritual practices and how they inform the contemporary life of faith. She recently released her first book, Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer. Boyett and her husband live in San Francisco with their two boys. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at michaboyett.com.Leave a Comment
Wow, I remember those days. It’s wonderful to finally realize that we are never beyond His reach or His sight. Great post!
I love how God uses the ordinary to teach us the extraordinary! Thank you for sharing this post today!
Kim J says
Loss, loss of marriage, job, and my health, but this Is where God met me. In each and every one, he have me his sufficient grace to meet my needs. Although I lost some of the biggest parts of who I was, he has shown me who I am in Him, and little by little I am learning that he is so faithful!!
Micha – just love everything about this. And been praying, sitting on a post about your book for some time. This felt like God’s green light. 🙂 Have a great day.
Rebecca Rouse says
Thank you for sharing from your deepest part of you … I love your writing. Also on a journey regarding prayer so I’m loving your “Found”. I read of your new baby and my mind flies back– 50 years last December he came into our lives … what a gift. Oh my goodness I had no idea how hard it would be just to simply “Mother”.
Thank you dear — please keep writing!
Tears here. Thank you for this reminder, these poignant words of truth.
This is my story too–down to the details: A full-on amazing, glamorous, accolade-filled career that I loved to a new baby I loved even more after a move across the country where no one knew me or loved me (other than my husband and baby)– just like you wrote, yes. I felt so so so lost. And then a year later we moved to another country where I had more beautiful babies and felt a different kind of lost. Five years later and I cannot tell you the change that has happened in my life and heart since I leapt into the vast unknown of lost-ness– It would take pages to write out, so I will just say that yes, the paradox of being found in being lost = a remarkably precious gift. Thank you again for your words– God be with you.
Thank you for sharing your story. It took me back to a time where my husband and I moved with our 4 month old baby to a country I had visited once and where he was born. I can still remember the first day sitting nursing my son looking outside at the trees and unfamiliar sounds feeling like I was lost. We eventually moved back home but life was never the same. God found me in the midst of the pain and loss of a life that I could never get back as I lost my marriage, job and nearly lost my son. Praise God for his loving arms finding me.
Tracey Layman says
Loved your book. Learning about Lecto Divina and it is wonderful
Tania Runyan says
Gorgeous. And resonates so well with your book, which is also gorgeous.
Beth Williams says
Everyone has losses of one kind or another. As a youngster I moved 5 times in 7 years. We ended up in FL–hot muggy FL! In my 20s I gave up church and God. He never stopped pursuing me. Then in my thirties we moved to small (Johnson City), TN. I knew no one. The only way to meet people, I thought, would be to attend church and get involved. I did and found some good friends.
Along the way God was pursuing me. It wasn’t until years later in my 40s, married and going to a small Christian Church that I truly met and fell in love with Jesus. It was a Wednesday night Bible Study at church. Something the pastor said just clicked. I went to his house & talked with him. Shortly after that I was re baptized-this time I was immersed in water. After that time I have been craving more and more of Jesus. I want to hear good Christian music, listen to good preachers, do Bible study, and pray super hard! I love a quiet afternoon just listening to Praise and Worship music and meditating on God!