I was 6.
We were at J.C. Penneys.
My mom was in the bra and underwear section and well, ew…
Gross…
So I remember making the conscious decision to walk across the isle into the dept where all the pant suits were at.
They were hanging on those circular racks and looked to my 6 year old eyes like velvet drapes which hid the entrance to a magical land.
I would walk around the racks.
With my hand outstretched.
Feeling the coolness of the 100% polyester pant suits that had become the doorway to my castle.
I remember stopping, separating the size 12 pant suits, and walking in.
WOW.
I was alone in my castle.
No one knew where I was.
There was such a rush of power in that moment for a 6 year old child.
I was in charge.
No one could find me.
No big person could even fit in here.
This was my land.

What seemed like hours passed although I’m sure it was minutes.
I remember needing to pee.
So I hopped out of my polyester castle for a moment to find my mom.
She was gone.
I can remember the pace of my already rapidly beating heart double.
Fear.
Rushing.
Running.
“Mommy?!”
Nothing.
I was lost.
She was gone.
The world as I had made up only moments before felt more make believe than real.
My reality was falling.
Moments later a nice Farrah Fawcett looking employee asked me if I was lost.
Walked me to a counter, and there was my mom.
Though I saw disappointment in her eyes, I felt nothing but safety.
The safety only being found can bring.
The weight of being lost had been lifted and I was back home.

Go with me for a second.
I wasn’t lost only when I realized I was lost.
Those last seconds of frantic panic.
I was lost when it felt amazing.
When I was fighting make believe dragons in my castle of polyester.
When I was walking around the racks choosing the perfect kingdom.
The second I turned my back on my mom and the icky cream colored bra she was holding, I was lost.

Some of you may be in the middle of your imaginary castle.
Some of you may be racing and screaming for your mommy to find you.
Some of you may have just now turned your back on the truth of God’s love for you even if you feel like He was paying attention to something else and you didn’t want to stand in the department that makes you uncomfortable.
All of this equals one thing.
Lost.
Wherever you find yourself right now.
Take a deep breath.
Look for the Farrah Fawcett look alike who works at the dept store to take your hand and lead you home.

It’s better that way.
C