Here’s the sentence that has been echoing in my mind: “The most fascinating part is that the woman heard the description of the missing person and did not recognize herself as the lost soul,” reports a journalist in our local community newspaper.
He was talking about a woman who was part of a tour group in Iceland. There were about 50 people in the group; when they discovered someone was missing, they all participated in the search. They were looking for an “Asian woman, about 160 cm, in dark clothing and speaks English well.”
The group searched the craggy, rock-strewn volcanic region until 3 a.m. The search was called off when they realized the missing woman had been with them the whole time. She was earnestly and diligently searching for…herself.
“The confusion apparently arose from the fact that the woman changed her clothing and freshened up during a pit stop. A faulty head count was also part of the equation,” writes Andy Prest in Find Yourself While Searching for…Yourself. “But the most fascinating part is that the woman heard the description of the missing person and did not recognize herself as the lost soul.”
Your “Missing Persons” Report
Here’s an exercise to do with a friend or family member: ask them to write a “Missing Person” description of you. Not just your physical appearance — ask them to include your personality, beliefs, values, behavior, attitude and approach to life. How would they describe you emotionally, spiritually, mentally, professionally, socially? Encourage them to include your weaknesses, failures and faults.
You might also write a Missing Person report of your own. How would you describe yourself? Pretend you’re part of an Icelandic tour group who spent hours searching for a woman who was with them the whole time…they don’t want to repeat that experience, so they’re asking everyone to provide a detailed description of themselves.
You probably don’t need to be encouraged to include your weaknesses, failures and faults in your Missing Person report. You’re battling those all day long. Maybe all night, too. Acknowledge them, but spend more time on your strengths and victories. How is God shaping and growing you?
Echoes of Belonging
Something dawned on me this morning as I was writing to God. I realized that the more I learn about who Jesus was as man and Messiah, the more “found” I become. Sitting in silence, allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through me, accepting insights even when they reveal things I don’t like…those moments are transformative. They reassure me that I’m not missing, and I’m not missing out on anything. They bring me closer to home — to God — where I belong.
Do you feel like you belong? I’m not talking about belonging to a group, community, church, or even a family or spouse. It’s good to belong to people you like and even love. But you’ve already learned that people, jobs and organizations come and go! They change. Sometimes they disappoint, betray or even reject you. Sometimes you outgrow them, or they die.
He’s the One You’re Really Searching For
The belonging I’m talking about surpasses anything this world has to offer. It’s a sense of belonging to God, of knowing how much you matter — and believing that He has never, ever stopped searching for you. Jesus knows your name; you are not a “Missing Person” to Him. No matter how you feel or what you’re battling, you are not alone.
Slow down. Let the Holy Spirit catch up to you. Tell Him about the missing pieces of your heart, the holes in your soul, the loneliness and emptiness you feel. Learn how to fight the lies Satan wants you to believe. And then listen. It’s hard to sit in silence because of all the thoughts that crowd in and scream for attention…but if you show up daily, it does get easier.
If you slow down, He will catch you. And you’ll realize that He is the one you’ve been searching for the whole time.
With His love,
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