It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where “Home” is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it. ~Erika Harris

Victor Hugo once said, “What a gloomy thing, not to know the address of one’s soul.”

The other day, I saw a beautiful necklace with a little charm at the end. It was advertised as “The Coordinates Of Your Heart” and you could put in the latitude and longitude of where you first met your husband, where you adopted your baby, your first kiss, etcetera.

I immediately thought I would put the latitude and longitude of where Joy’s marker is, because it’s the closest thing I can get to “locating” that lost piece of my heart, and it would be nice to have something tangible to hold on to in moments when I miss her.

And I also thought about how I have been a bit lost. A wandering soul since Joy left us because I didn’t know the address of my heart…my soul.

Was it in the cemetery in Tetonia? Well, a little. In heaven with Joy? Yes.

And I have always said my heart is in each of my children and my husband. So, if my child is at scout camp, part of my heart is there. If my husband is on a business trip to DC, part of my heart is there.

To love fiercely and much is to have one’s heart in pieces.

My heart is not whole here and I alone can’t make it so, because part of the sacrifice of mother is to voluntarily break your heart into pieces and spread them all over.

I know the coordinates of where my children and husband on earth are, but what about Joy? What are the coordinates of heaven? Is there a latitude and longitude somewhere?



Will I never feel home again? Will I never feel settled and un-lost?

I pondered that and I realized something this evening.

I have discovered the address to my soul.

It didn’t just happen all at once, I guess. But, in a way, it did. Suddenly, it was so clear. The coordinates of my heart–perfectly clear.

I had to let go.



Moving to Florida was hard because I was forced by distance to let go of many of the fears and griefs I was carrying. But the lost-ness ended when I watched my friend Colleen get ready for a major life change.

She and her family recently moved to Australia. Before leaving, they sold or gave away everything they owned, with the exception of a few boxes of books and what could fit in suitcases.

My friend lost her daughter last year, and all I could think when I read how they were giving or selling everything was that this was what her daughter wanted for her–that it would be so good to start fresh, with her daughter still a part of her new life.

How come I couldn’t see it in myself?

How often has Joy been trying to tell me to let it all go? I have held on to the black couch that is falling apart at the seams and is missing one foot. Why? Because Joy sat on that couch and we used to watch the sun rise over the Tetons on it.

What about the old furniture and artwork that is outdated and books that are completely falling apart? What about the can opener that doesn’t really work that well all the time? Or the bowl with the dent in it? Or a myriad of other things that are just old and worn and ready to retire?

I just didn’t want to let go.


Unwilling To Let Go

I think I am so good at downsizing, and I am. But, I was holding out. Like the rich young man, I was holding back my little treasures, unwilling to give it up even though Heaven was calling for it.

And why? Why would God want my old black couch?

Of course it was for my benefit. How could I not see?

And my friend Colleen–what kind of courage did she have to let it all go? More than I had.

But, I found it. I found the bravest part of my heart, locked away where the piece is missing that is now in heaven.

And I decided to let it go.

And I am giving it all away. All those things I was hanging onto because of Joy. Because she wants me to let it go.

And we are moving back to Utah and I finally know the address of my soul.

After the last five years of wandering, I finally found it.

My soul lives in Christ, and as long as I remember Him, I am Home and He finds the lost pieces and brings them together.

When I forget, I lose my way and I feel like pieces are everywhere, but when I am in Christ, my children and husband are there, too, and we are forever together, wrapped in His infinite grace and goodness. Even the piece in heaven…Christ encompasses it all and we are one.


It Is Well.

And I know it is well. It’s a happy thing.

And then I can feel wholeness.

I need to be honest, here, though. While my address might be in Christ, there are often times when I am wandering and away. I am distracted and sinful and prone to mistakes of epic proportions and then I don’t feel calm or peaceful.

And it is so much more noticeable because missing Joy when I am like that feels stabbing and piercing with every breath. So I don’t like to lose my way. But I do sometimes.


Sometimes I Am Turned Away…

How great is the goodness of God that He will always take me back and make me feel Home again.

We have wandered these past five years in mourning and agony of soul, not even knowing just how heartbroken we were–not realizing how numbed and detached we felt from the world and things going on. Moving to Florida helped us to wake up out of that slumber and realize that life still goes on and we had to live it.

Leaving home was the only way I could go back. And I knew it, even when we first arrived. When I was kicking against the pricks, I felt that the only way I could return was to say goodbye and never go back.

Because I am not going back. I am returning a different person. A new person, with a new life. A new family. A new mission. A new beginning. I was so afraid of it before. I was just biding my time, waiting to get back to Joy. But now, now–I want to be with her more than anything every day, but I want to do it right. I want to love my way back to her, and I want to love fiercely.



And my family is not just my loves, my children and husband. No, my family is also you and the lady at the grocery store, and the guy waiting in line, and the cashier and the customer service person and the woman crossing the street and everyone.

And I love that we are all children of the same God and we can love each other while we are on the journey buying milk and eggs and walking our dogs and doing the glorious little things….

Loving people that way is the only way I can stay in Christ. It’s the only way to be at Home with my soul. So, I love people. I am not great at many things–I don’t have amazing decorating talents and I can’t sew or bake my own bread, but I can love you. And I can love people the way Christ did. I can try. And loving people keeps me Home.

So, even though my address on earth is changing again, I finally know the address of my soul.


Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau