My family has regularly visited Disneyland since I was in kindergarten. It’s my favorite place in the world and some of my best memories have come from those trips. At one point during the long car ride to California, my parents would remind my siblings and me of exactly what to do if we got lost.
As I’ve visited the park over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of lost children frantically looking around for their parents or any recognizable face in the sea of people. (It even happened to my sister.) They are often crying or screaming, but loving cast members and employees often help these distraught children reunite with their families.
In our busy lives, it’s easy to feel like a lost child here on earth, frantically searching for our Heavenly Parents. There are times when we feel close to Them, but sometimes we feel completely alone and terrified, just like a lost child at Disneyland.
As a lost child holds hands with a trusted character, they might feel somewhat better, but nothing comforts them like seeing their parents’ loving faces. Similarly, nothing can replace the feeling of God's love and guiding hand in our daily lives when we feel lost and alone on earth.
Just as my parents taught me what to do if I got lost at Disneyland, we’ve all been taught what to do when we feel lost, scared, or abandoned on earth.
1. Look for good.
It’s easy to look at every negative thing in the world when you feel abandoned by God. While some things could definitely be better, there are so many incredible things to focus on. Give thanks for all you’ve been--even your trials. You’ll see God in the details of your daily life when you take time to recognize your blessings.
2. Turn to family and close friends.
Just as cast members can be a comfort to lost children at Disneyland, your friends and family can be a great support when you’re struggling. You have so many people who would be more than happy to help you, but you have to open up and let them into your life.
3. Serve others.
Serving God’s children is an amazing way to feel Him in your life. When you seek out opportunities to serve, you’ll feel closer to the Savior and shift your focus from your own struggles.
4. Be obedient.
It’s so important to obey God’s commandments to feel Him in your daily life. Every commandment He gives is for a good reason, and when we do what He asks, He blesses us in ways we might not even know we need.
Nothing brings you closer to God than prayer. If you’re feeling abandoned or lost, put more effort into your prayers than you normally would. Be sure to thank Him for all He has done for you and share your struggles with Him. Be vulnerable. He wants you to tell Him about your life, and when you do, He’ll help you and you’ll see His hand in everything you do.
6. Read the Book of Mormon.
Scripture study and prayer go hand in hand. Elder Brian K. Taylor said it best in his April 2018 conference talk, “Am I a Child of God?”: “When you feel hurt, lost, scared, upset, sad, hungry, or hopelessly abandoned in life’s extremities--open the Book of Mormon, and you will come to know that ‘[God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so].’”
7. Listen to conference talks.
Speaking of conference talks, listening to them is a fantastic way to invite the Spirit into your life. Hearing the words of inspired modern-day prophets and apostles is comforting in trying times, and they might say something God needs you to hear.
8. Remember your purpose.
You aren’t here by chance. You were a spirit child in God’s heavenly kingdom before you came to this earth and He has a divine plan for you. This life is full of trials and feeling God’s love can be difficult, but remembering your purpose as a child of God will help you feel His love and guiding hand in your life.