I'm so lost!  Where am I?
© Betty Sue Eaton
My husband, daughters and grandchildren and I attended a family reunion in the high Rockies.
When the time was over, we were returning home when we arrived in Montrose, Colorado
where my husband's sister lives. Apparently, he turned at the wrong stoplight; and as we drove
around trying to find her street, he kept searching and seemingly couldn't find the correct
intersection. The search went on for several minutes with me keeping my peace knowing that
he gets irritated with me when I try to give him directions. Finally he pulled over to the curb and
stopped as the girls and children behind us followed suit. They asked from their vehicle, "Are
you lost?" He responded, "As a matter of fact, I am! I have no idea where in the world I am!"
Looking in our personal phone book that I had brought along, I found that Mary Lou's home
address was North Fifth Street, not South Fifth Street! Then the way became clear!

Getting lost in familiar places is a most terrifying experience that shakes our senses to the
core. It is generally due to not paying attention to cues and clues about our direction. Trying to
start life over without a loved one is very similar to that experience. We know the path as well
as we know the inside of our own homes, but somehow things have become shuffled and
disoriented in the midst of grieving. Now when we wish to get back into our normal ~ but
anything but normal, routine of life, things are not as they should be. Our sense of direction
has become skewed, and we are confused as to what to do next to get back on track.

Perhaps the first thing we do is turn to a friend for help, or a member of church, or work, or -,
or-, we could probably go on searching for someone, Anyone, to help us out. In a sense, that is
like the old adage, the blind leading the blind. Friends, co-workers, even a member of church
has not lived our lives, walked in our shoes, suffered our losses. They will have empathy and
sympathy for us, but they cannot put our feet back on familiar territory unless they are reading
from the same map that we are.

It is all too easy for someone lost in the land of grief to find comfortable "neighborhoods"in
which to stop for comfort, to find haven and solace, but those places can become traps from
which we may never escape. Closing ourselves in at home, shutting out contacts even with
friends, or worse yet, going to unsavory places such as tranquilizers, drugs, alcohol, even to
bars to forget how we are hurting and lost might represent such "neighborhoods". There is only
one way to get back onto safe familiar roads and that one way is to go to God for directions.
He knows the depths of our grief; He knows the confusion of having our world torn apart. After
all, it was His life plan for our lost loved one that was fulfilled. He suffered the greatest loss of
all mankind in the death of His beloved son, Jesus Christ, who paid for everything we would
suffer without Him in our lives.

When we become lost, confused, disoriented, and terrified at the thought of going on through
life without the one we lost, we must turn to God for comfort, for getting us back into our own
well known life "neighborhood". Only then can we move on again with confidence that we are
going in the only right direction, God's way.


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Life After Loss
I didn't learn everything I needed to know in Kindergarten, but reading Betty's column reminded
me of a valuable lesson I learned in first grade. It's a good life lesson to pass along and
appropriate to be placed here.

When I started school in the first grade, I was terrified. I was so afraid I would get lost and do
something stupid. But looking around the classroom for the first time, I realized that all I needed
to remember is that my desk is behind Joe's.  Joe had bright red hair and lots of freckles, and he
was easy to spot in our class. So every day, I just looked for Joe and sat behind him.

This worked for me for several weeks and my fears subsided as I began to concentrate on
learning. What habits we learn without even trying. Walk into the class, look for Joe, sit behind
him, and get out my paper and pencils. That was easy enough. Or at least it was easy until the
day Joe was absent.

Suddenly, not only was I lost, but I my whole world seemed different. Nothing was the same
anymore and it even felt like I was in the wrong class. My teacher, realizing my confusion,
directed me to my seat - the fourth one in the row across from her own desk. As I sat down, I
knew that I couldn't depend on Joe anymore.  I realized I had to depend on my teacher, so I
noted the distance from her to my desk. Never again did I get lost when Joe wasn't around.

Sometimes, as Betty stated so well in her article, we need to remind ourselves that although
others come and go in our lives, we need to keep our focus on the Teacher - our great Lord
who never changes. Never.

Times change. Things change. People change. Suddenly, nothing seems like it will ever be the
same again. But God never changes. He is the same today as He was in the beginning. Trust in
His never- changing love for you.  ~ Ferna
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