When I Lose Myself…I Find Myself

Sidewalk“When I lose myself, I find myself.”

Seven words, spoken to me in passing today by a smiling man on a sidewalk during my daily walk.

He wasn’t really dressed for exercising…or even for the heat. He wore street clothes, not workout gear, and a toboggan in the 80-something degree weather. He had the biggest smile on his face.

I take a walk almost every single day down beautiful, tree-lined Main Street…and I’ve never seen the man before.

“When I lose myself, I find myself.”

Just those seven words, delivered with a great big grin in response to the neighborly “Hello!” I uttered to him in passing. He didn’t explain himself. He just kept walking…and I kept walking…shaking my head in wonder as I continued down the street, on my way home.

The man couldn’t possibly know how lately I’ve been journaling my every thought and prayer to Jesus…how I’ve been in a season of feeling lost, stuck, unsure about what’s next for me…how I’ve literally written the sentence (more than a few times) in my journal: “Jesus, help me find myself again.” Help me find the Mandy who was idealistic, who found enchantment and wonder and inspiration everywhere, who believed that absolutely anything was possible and who I daresay even had a touch of magic running through her veins. Help me find the Mandy that I used to be…the one who had simple, childlike faith. The one who, as a child, literally never stopped singing or humming because I found life so utterly delightful that I had joy overflowing and just had to open up my mouth to let it all come tumbling out.

The one who still dared to imagine that fairytales could and do come true.

The one who existed before life came in and got hard…before a string of heartbreaks caused me to view love through a much less hopeful lens than before…before I dismissed my fairytale dreams and childlike enthusiasm as “kid stuff,” and hung it up on the shelf to gather dust, relegated to the same spot as my ballet shoes and my Barbie dolls and my Uno cards.

The man also couldn’t possibly know about yesterday…about how a friend invited me to tune into a Sunday morning message given by Bob Goff (author of Love Does and extraordinary human being) that was all about losing yourself in service of others. Making yourself small to let God do big things through you. Loving people, radically and wholly and unconditionally. No, there’s no way the man on the street in the toboggan could know how Bob’s message yesterday met me EXACTLY where I was at and ministered to my soul and started to make things in me come alive that had been lying dormant for a very long time.

How I’ve started to suspect lately that finding yourself, is, in fact, all about losing yourself.

“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to Me, you’ll find both yourself and Me.” ~Jesus (Matthew 10:38-39 MSG)

The man on the street in the toboggan couldn’t possibly know these things.

Or could he?

“When I lose myself, I find myself.”

I’m not saying the man on the street in the toboggan was an angel…but I’m not saying he wasn’t.

All I know is, he was sent across my path to deliver a message that has already been formulating in my mind and my heart for quite some time. I just hadn’t found a way to put it into words.

The man on the street in the toboggan helped me find the words.

And I think, friends…he might have even helped me find my way. Or “un-find” my way, as the case may be.

Feels like a good time to get a little lost.

Join me?

 

 

18 Responses to “ When I Lose Myself…I Find Myself ”

  1. Lucy C
    April 18, 2016

    I’ve completely lost myself and I, too, have started looking at life in a much less hopeful lens. I have lived with that magic, lost it through life’s challenges, and then found it again, and now I’ve lost it again to life’s challenging lessons and pain. Thank you for sharing and reminding me I am not feeling these growing pains alone.

  2. Kay Williams
    April 18, 2016

    We serve an amazing God. He always provides what we need, even when we don’t know we need it. I’ve been going through a lot of things the past few months but I was shown so much love yesterday & was prayed & hugged for by many people I don’t know. God is an awesome God! He is using you to teach many people. I bought your book but I haven’t read it yet but I will. Thank you for doing what you do.

  3. Sandra
    April 19, 2016

    Hi Mandy. I long for the time when I was younger and new at love and relationships. My first love relationship at the age of 20 was the best time of my life, I have never experienced that joy since then and its now 20 years later. I long for the purity and innocence of my being and of my existence, when life was full of endless possibilities and so much to look forward to. I believed in happily ever after and I had it with Ricky until I ruined it by entertaining my attraction to another man. I have been so damaged and seen and done so many impure and ugly things since then, I will never be that same person again. My worldview is completely and irreversibly tainted by “reality” and no matter how much I wish to find that 20 year old self again, she has been destroyed and that kills me. I often wonder if I hadn’t broken up with Ricky, where I would be now, maybe I would be living my happily ever after (or as close to it as possible), but I will never know….life doesn’t always give one second chances. 20 years later and I still live with regret…so to Ricky wherever you are…I am so sorry for being so cruel at such a hard time in your life, I lost the best man I have ever met and to the 20 year old me…forgive yourself for bad decisions… I miss you both so much!!

  4. Neeka
    April 19, 2016

    Mandy, it seems like we are, most of the times, experiencing similar situations and it’s healing to know that I am not alone. I am trying to not focus on me so much but to focus on God’s love and serving others. But, of course, sometimes flesh (self) gets in the way and I revert to feeling sorry for myself. My aim and endeavor is to live each moment as this is the place where God wants me to be. He sees and knows all and only has the best for me.

  5. Mylene Corpuz
    April 19, 2016

    I lost myself and i admit until now i can’t find..i didn’t still know who i am??im still in the journey of searching it and im not loosing hope that He will give me the way..

  6. Patti Lacey
    April 19, 2016

    I’m very much at home with exploring too. It widens my perspectives of understanding people, places and culture. I’m at the stage in my life where I prefer to walk with company. I would wonder why he was dressed so warm. (Athletes dress warmer to lose weight but some dress warm when they are sick or they may be trying to hide their identity which may be a concern.) It is good that you were polite. I usually say a prayer for someone when I don’t know them.) Be very cautious of someone that you have never seen walking down the street. Let another man invite or approach a man who you do not know before interacting. It is best to have conversations in an area where others are present so you may test any knowledge.

  7. cookie
    April 19, 2016

    This is really great words and wisdom combined Mandy! This is exactly what I feel right now. Reading this is like putting my own thoughts into words. I feel lost for several past months until now. I’m fervently asking God for direction and which way to go next or should I stay? I have been wrestling with these questions and still hasn’t gotten any answers yet. Looking back before the year ends, I had an argument with a very close friend and the year ended badly for both of us. By the time I noticed that he blocked me on FB that’s the time I sent out a sorry message to his email but I am not getting any response at all. At the same time, my career is on a struggle. I had this status where my career is at stake or should I move on and search nearby for better opportunities. I have been given different roles and promises by the management but still not getting the documents I need to be regularize in a certain position. It is a struggle for me but I kept looking up to God for strength and courage. I know my strength is never perfect but He is perfect. Again, just few days ago I sent out another message to my friend just asking how he is doing but still to no avail. I know it’s hard for me to reach out to him since we are miles away. I’m still praying for that person and already forgave him regardless if who is at fault. Career & Relationships both collide but I’m trusting God for his purpose and mission for my life. I know He has something great and mighty in store for me. Thank you for the words Mandy. I am so blessed! P.S. I’m here in the Philippines and I just bought a copy of your new book. I’m crazy about the wisdom poured in every page.

  8. cookie
    April 19, 2016

    This is really great words and wisdom combined Mandy! This is exactly what I feel right now. Reading this is like putting my own thoughts into words. I feel lost for several months now. I’m fervently asking God for direction and which way to go next or should I stay? I have been wrestling with these questions and still hasn’t gotten any answers yet. Looking back before the year ends, I had an argument with a very close friend and the year ended badly for both of us. By the time I noticed that he blocked me on FB that’s the time I sent out a sorry message to his email but I am not getting any response at all. At the same time, my career is on a struggle. I had this status where my career is at stake or should I move on and search nearby for better opportunities. I have been given different roles and promises by the management but still not getting the documents I need to be regularize in a certain position. It is a struggle for me but I kept looking up to God for strength and courage. I know my strength is never perfect but He is perfect. Again, just few days ago I sent out another message to my friend just asking how he is doing but still to no avail. I know it’s hard for me to reach out to him since we are miles away. I’m still praying for that person and already forgave him regardless if who is at fault. Career & Relationships both collide but I’m trusting God for his purpose and mission for my life. I know He has something great and mighty in store for me. Thank you for the words Mandy. I am so blessed! P.S. I’m here in the Philippines and I just bought a copy of your new book. I’m crazy about the wisdom poured in every page.

  9. Brooke H
    April 19, 2016

    Wow! God works in mysterious ways. I usually never click on links on Twitter but for some reason I did today. I’m in a great relationship, about to graduate college next week, he’s leaving for the military, and I start my internship in May. So many exciting things are happening right now! I too feel so lost… I can’t seem to find myself again. It is so frustrating having to go through this. I’ve felt God pulling on me to get back with him but like many people I’ve thought “ok. I will tomorrow!” And then it never happens. But this right here and seeing Matthew 10:38-39 above has made me realize… In order to find myself again, I have to seek him! Blessed to serve a God that loves us and wants us unconditionally!

  10. Jasmine Q
    April 19, 2016

    I think this was your angel in disguise!

  11. Amy Looney
    April 19, 2016

    Mandy, I am right there with you right now…going through a difficult time with uncertainty about my job and what the Lord wants me to do and uncertain about a budding relationship. The one thing the Lord keeps blasting at me is “Trust me. I’ve got this.” Girl, I will be praying for you, and please do the same for me. I think you’re absolutely right…we have to get lost sometimes to find ourselves!

  12. Amy
    April 19, 2016

    I agree! You have to get lost to be found. I posted a similar quote on my Twitter the other day, uncredited. “Lose yourself in the things that you love, as that is where you will find yourself.”

  13. cookie
    April 20, 2016

    This is really great words and wisdom combined Mandy! This is exactly what I feel right now. Reading this is like putting my own thoughts into words. I feel lost for several months now. I’m fervently asking God for direction and which way to go next or should I stay? I have been wrestling with these questions and still hasn’t gotten any answers yet. Looking back before the year ends, I had an argument with a very close friend and the year ended badly for both of us. By the time I noticed that he blocked me on FB that’s the time I sent out a sorry message to his email but I am not getting any response at all. At the same time, my career is on a struggle. I had this status where my career is at stake or should I move on and search nearby for better opportunities. I have been given different roles and promises by the management but still not getting the documents I need to be regularize in a certain position. It is a struggle for me but I kept looking up to God for strength and courage. I know my strength is never perfect but He is perfect. Again, just few days ago I sent out another message to my friend just asking how he is doing but still to no avail. I know it’s hard for me to reach out to him since we are miles away. I’m still praying for that person and already forgave him regardless if who is at fault. Career & Relationships both collide but I’m
    trusting God for his purpose and mission for my life. I know He has something great and mighty in store for me. Thank you for the words Mandy. I am so blessed! P.S. I’m here in the Philippines and I just bought a copy of your new book. I’m crazy about the wisdom poured in every page.

  14. April 20, 2016

    I think we all have feeling of being lost. But just like God brought you through past seasons He will bring you through this one to. I can relate to feeling frustrated about feeling “stuck.” But I just imagine that when nothing is happening God is still working behind the scenes.

  15. April 20, 2016

    Interesting… I don’t know how I got to your site really? I was doing a bit of research on relationships and Women’s Christian Conferences, and I ended up on your site. Interesting because I writer and author (self-published) and I have been asking God the exact same thing and feeling the same way; lost, stuck and very unsure of what is next for me. My name is Cinderella Field by the way and I can tell you that deep down inside I know because I have lived my life single, married and all the in-betweens that go along with it, and God does have a plan for all of us; me, you and anyone else that may be feeling this way. So, just hold tight, He is around the corner…just TRUST HIM! I feel better already. Thank you! 🙂

  16. April 21, 2016

    Losing yourself to find yourself….Scary thought. It must take courage. Be brave!

  17. April 28, 2016

    There’s nothing wrong will losing yourself, it’s how you find yourself again that matters the most. xo

  18. May 5, 2016

    I have been lost since the year begun.

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