Lost and Found-ness

It took me fifty years to realize I was lost. No one knew I was lost – my life had all the trappings of found-ness. I was a pastor for heaven’s sake. I had spent twenty-five years in church-related ministry, and most of my days were consumed with writing or talking about Jesus. And yet I was lost, confused, soul weary, thirsty, and bone tired. I had succeeded in mimicking aliveness, but I was nearly dead.

In desperation, I picked up a book by Henri Nouwen titled In the Name of Jesus…Β  I heard a familiar voice… It was the unmistakable voice of Jesus! He had found me! He had been hiding in the pages of Henri’s book, and my heart began to tingle with anticipation. The numbness of my soul began to dissipate , and I could sense the beginning of a wild and new way of living.

Five years ago I decided to start listening again to the voice of Jesus, and my life hasn’t been the same since. He has not been telling me what to do, He has been telling me how much He loves me. He has not corrected my behavior, He has been leading me into His arms. And he has not protected me from the danger of living, He has led me into the dangerous place of wild and terrifyingly wonder-full faith. ~ Michael Yaconelli

Michael and I were both 50 when we tripped over grace and landed at a place where conventional Christianity (as we’d known it) left us lost and weary. Michael died at age 61. He had 11 years to revel in his found-ness.

I’m 55. I may only have 6 more years, like Michael. I may just have 6 more days. That I don’t know. This I do. I’m going for the found-ness. I’m abandoning the proper, decorous Christian life of convention and correction and correctness.

I’m listening. I can finally hear that Voice telling me how much He loves me. I’m stepping off and falling into His arms. Michael was right. It’s dangerous. It’s radical. In most Christian circles, it’s wildly unpopular.

That’s grace for you. If you’re going to take it, you better be willing to dish it out. Are you ready for a wild and new way of living? I’m always looking for traveling companions.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

41 thoughts on “Lost and Found-ness”

    1. Lori –
      I was given my first Nouwen book at 21. I didn’t get a lot of it then, to be honest. Now he’s one of my favorites!
      Thanks for the 10! I can use all the points I can get!! πŸ˜€
      ~ Debbie

  1. It’s so popular to say, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship,” but oh,how sweet to realize those words mean something, that they are true. Blessings on you, dearest, and let’s do walk together!

  2. So glad you left the stuffiness of a religious lifestyle… and found grace, Debbie! May we bask in its wildness everyday! God bless, good friend.

    1. mt –
      Well, my friend, it certainly took me long enough!
      Yes! I like that: May we bask in the wildness of grace every day!
      That’s now my prayer.
      Thank you!
      ~ Debbie

  3. Debbie, I have no idea how I missed this except we were on the road most of yesterday. I’m glad I found it and now have found-ness too πŸ˜€ You and Heidi have helped me taste again the sweetness of that book. Thank you, dear friend.

    1. Debby-
      Thank you so much for introducing me to Michael.
      My heart sank when I read of his death (thinking of “our loss”) and then soared (thinking of his gain).
      I’m trying to slow down on my reading and savor as I go. Heidi and I both highlight as we read (whether it’s a “real book” or on Kindle).
      I try to stay a few pages behind, just to see what strikes her (or doesn’t). I find it to be so fascinating to look at what touches someone.
      I’m also reading Blue Like Jazz and Emperor of the Air. Quite an interesting and challenging combo!
      Thank you again, my friend, for such a kind gift!
      ~ Debbie

  4. I am in the wildness of His love. Life has been such that without that love I know long ago I would have been washed out to sea. I am on the journey and glad that every once in a while my boat crashes across yours that I may peek into the “2 Minutes of Grace!” Thanks Deb!

    1. Hello Pastor J!
      I can’t think of anyone I’d rather bump boats with! I’m gearing up to shoot the rapids. What do you think?
      ~ Debbie

  5. Ahhhh, you gotta know I LOVE this–wonderful, right up my alley, right where I’ve staked my claim and pitched my tent (with full kitchen and bathroom facilities). (I need to find this guy’s book, seriously.) Thanks, Debbie–I’m sighing with peace and restfulness, floating on His Grace. God bless you–much love, sis Caddo, S.G., P.G., etc

    1. Dear FF Caddo –
      I did know you’d be making the trip! I didn’t know you’d be bringing the kitchen, but I think it’s a grand idea!
      My heart is encouraged to see your floating face again!
      much love,
      ~ Debbie

  6. Love this so much. . .I’m crying. I just keep crying today, but good tears! I can tell by all the comments that you have wonderful traveling companions. So glad there is room for us all to fall into His arms. God bless you in all your wonderful found-ness today! love and prayers!

    1. Dearest Deb –
      What a wonderfully eclectic group of sojourners we have!
      It’s just how I pictured the trip. πŸ˜€
      Love and prayers to you, my wide awake (in more ways than one) friend,
      ~ Debbie

    1. Judi-
      Do you know what’s really special about that? I already knew it. I can feel you walking with me. I think you’re a few steps ahead but that’s just fine by me!
      Thank you, my friend,
      ~ Debbie

      1. Wrong on ahead…I’m the one starting my “talk” season and my dream is to travel with that trailer so I think you are ahead!!!!!!
        LOL πŸ˜€

  7. God bless you over and over again, Dear Deb

    Do leave me a seat .. This train ain’t leaving me!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings
    ann

    (P.S….grateful for the “groanings which cannot be uttered” … my heart is singing but my lips are silent)

  8. Ever since my issue with asking God questions in catechism (which I mentioned to you in another of your posts), I’ve never been a conventional Christian. I’m with you on this one. I must say, I needed to read this today. I’m a bit off, so thank you, and thank God for leading me here. Blessings.

    1. Oh Lori –
      I hope you’re feeling a bit more on. I’m so sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’m only now seeing these comments.
      It’s terribly sad, the damage just a few words can do.
      I’m so thankful you were able to hear God’s quiet, gentle voice over the teacher’s loud, harsh one.
      Grace and peace and love to you,
      ~ Debbie

      1. Thank you, Debbie. Your calming spirit calms me right through the screen. I’ve been sick as of late, and it’s why I’ve been ‘off.’ Also, I had a very ‘loud’ spiritual experience a few years after that teacher in catechism. God was revealed to me through Christ. I was a teenager at the time (ages ago), but it’s something one can never forget. Blessings to you.

    1. Sue –
      My dear sweet friend…
      We started out at the same place oh so very long ago and here we are, all these years later, landing together someplace altogether different – the both of us! Now isn’t that something!
      Isn’t that just like Him! πŸ˜‰
      You are a treasure,
      ~ Debbie

  9. “I’m going for the found-ness. I’m abandoning the proper, decorous Christian life of convention and correction and correctness.” I’m coming along for the ride!

  10. So many of us have stepped out of the confines of church into the wonderful arms of grace and love. It means so much and radically changes who you are and how you see the world. Blessings.

    1. Dear Joss –
      It does, doesn’t it?
      Having been a life long Christian, I wasn’t looking for anything more than what I’d always known (this side of heaven). I was waiting.
      Now I’m not! πŸ˜‰
      ~ Debbie

  11. WOW! I know how you feel. I had been deeply involved in ministry all my adult life (I still am in a different way) and 7 years ago I made the same kind of change you write about but didn’t fully know how to explain other than I really wanted a relationship with Jesus. So now I feel free and very much loved. Thank you for your post.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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