When You Feel Like You’re Losing Yourself

“We are all so ruined, so loved, and in charge of so little.” Anne Lamott

Our daughter Maggie is getting married in 46 days.

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When she got engaged in November many people asked with concern in their voices “How are you doing?”

“Great!” I responded.  “Austin (her fiancé) is terrific and I’m excited for them!”

And then, last week, driving down highway 100 at 4:00 in the afternoon, thinking of the possibility that Maggie and Austin may move to California (you know, like, at the opposite end of the world, and a continent away from daughter Katy), I found myself sobbing and thinking “I’m NOT ok!  I’m losing my baby!  I’m losing my family!  I’m losing my identity! I hate change!”

I. Am. Out. Of. Control.

Yes, I was a tad over-dramatic, but give me my moment.

Everything feels like it’s slipping, slipping, slipping out of my hands, out of my control, like the gooey “gak” I used to make with the kids when they were little.

Change.  Loss.  New beginnings.

I’m not the only one.  I have young friends who are graduating, some going back to school, and others who are moving, some taking big new risks.  My sister-in-law after much prayer, just resigned from a job she’s loved for years.

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing myself and sometimes finding myself.  Sometimes both in the same moment.  Can you relate?

Driving down the highway, swiping at tears, and wallowing in my loserdom I was interrupted by my phone ringing.  It was a close friend who said, “Did I just pass you on the highway and are you OK??!”

To me it was a Hagar moment.

A personal reminder from God that He is El Roi, the God who sees me.

Hagar… Abraham’s servant who he slept with to “help” God out in getting an heir (don’tcha know) and appease his wife Sara who then got jealous and abused Hagar so she and her son Ishmael ran away into the desert to die.  (Quite a story smooshed into a single sentence!)

There God showed up and reminded Hagar that He is the God who sees us.  Always.  No matter what the circumstances.  We are always found in Him.

But not “seeing” like a gawker driving by an accident.  Instead, a “seeing” that numbers the hairs on our heads and knows our past, present and future.

It’s a seeing that stoops to write in the dirt, that stops to single us out in a crowd, that has the conversation in the heat of the day at a well when we think we’d rather not be seen.

It’s a “seeing” that enters into our pain and reminds us that everything will change, except God.  We’re never lost to Him.  And we are always secure in Him.

When’s the last time you felt like you were losing yourself?

8 Comments

  1. Laura, this speaks so beautifully of the surprising, clever, attentive ways that our Lord tells us He loves us, right when we need it! You are an anointed writer!!! Thank you!

  2. Laura, I should first of all mention again how much I enjoy your blog. Often it is just the thing I need to get through the day when God seems distant and faith seems to be hanging by a thread. I can totally relate to your situation. Our youngest has been in South Korea for the past two years and we haven’t seen her or her husband for almost 1 1/2 years. They are flying in at the end of the week and the days this week are crawling by so slowly….. 🙂 All I can say is that I’ve marvelled at how God has brought so many good things out of the experience they have had. My husband and I had the same experience when we left for Africa as a young couple and had to bond to each other. Our parents must have felt the same. All I can say is, hang in there, they’ll be fine and so will you….and thank God for Skype! 🙂

  3. When did I last feel I was “losing myself?” When I read your last blog on praying our fears. I’d prayed scripture and prayed “whisper prayers,” (I’ll explain sometime) but never my fears. After all, I’m a guy who’s in control of everything, right? So, I tried it while on a walk with my dog. The next thing I knew, I had to find a bench, sit down and make sure nobody saw me before I could collect myself again. Countless efforts to “be myself” with God were proven false when I prayed my fears just once and really leveled with Him about how petrified I am about…everything. I. Am. Out. Of. Control. Indeed. But just as harsh as the realization of my own fears was the sense of peace I finally felt when I gave them to God. After all, he knew them before I prayed them. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Dianne Dannhaus

    April 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    What a great posts Laura per usual. Of course I feel your joy and pain. I’ve shed a few tears as well. I miss the days of us all being under one roof. On the bright side I’m gaining a daughter and you a son.

    See you soon.

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