The Search is Over

I was in my car when the 1985 song, “The Search is Over,” by Surrender came on the radio. I had not heard it in years, and for a moment it reminded me of being a 13-year old girl pining over some boy or another who refused to acknowledge my existence in a reasonable way like a bouquet of flowers, box of chocolates, or a boom box blaring a romantic song outside my bedroom window. (Then I remembered it was my Whitney Houston album I played at such somber times of adolescent angst—not Surrender.)

Looking for Love…

Lost in thought about those days when I would cocoon myself within my four lavender bedroom walls and lament my imperfect body, wardrobe, and life’s entirety, I had a most random thought of a certain guy. He was never my crush, or who I fixated on when I drowned myself in pity, or of whom I even had a fleeting thought when I sat idly and listened to sad songs about people who once knew love.

I heard the lyrics, “The search is over. You were with me all the while,” and I thought of God.

I was surprised at how my brain went from unrequited teenage infatuation to the essence of the total and complete love that is God.

Yet it made sense to me because—in the time since record albums were replaced with cassette tapes, and cassette tapes were replaced with CDs, and CDs were replaced with music subscriptions, and music itself degraded into some sort of homage to one’s booty—I’ve searched for many things. I have searched for the perfect man, house, job, couch, school, church, outfit, plants, publisher, vacation, vocation, doctor, and dog.

I have spent so very much time on a search of some sort.

Nothing Compares

What I found is that none of it compares to my relationship with God. In all of the searching that so often felt paramount to my satisfaction, to any chance of happiness, all I really needed was what I already had. An abiding God, who faithfully stands at my side, humoring my distractions, patiently awaits my many detours, and holds me upright despite wayward falls.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. // 1 Corinthians 15:58


In all of the searching that so often felt paramount to my satisfaction, to any chance of happiness, all I really needed was what I already had: an abiding God. #BISblog // Click To Tweet

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With Us All the While

So much of our world’s searching can be done in vain when we look to other people, things, accolades, and acceptance for value.

Meanwhile, the love that God has for us is priceless, unconditional, unwavering, and inexhaustible.

Anything else you are looking for is just a distracting spin on a turntable. It may take you round and round and fill your head with noise, yet the only thing I know that stops this pesky search innate to our humanity is God.

I may not have realized it when I was thirteen, but He’s so much better than a boom box blaring outside my bedroom window. Besides, if you think about it, you’ll see He’s been with you all the while.

The Search is Over #BISblog // Click To Tweet

Lara Patangan is a freelance writer and mother of two boys. She is currently working on publishing her first book about her mid-life mission to do works of mercy. You can find out more about her here.

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  • Reply
    Ellen Mongan
    February 18, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Do you remember the old words to a secular song,
    “Once you have found Him never let Him Go! “
    He is worth the search. The journey once taken leads you to the heart of God.
    In God alone I place my trust! He is the song in my heart.

    • Reply
      Lara Patangan
      February 19, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      Ha, Ellen! That is a perfect song for him too! So true. It’s funny how he can all at once be satisfying and leave us longing to know him better. Certainly, the best search of all!

  • Reply
    Paula Veloso Babadi
    February 18, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Another insightful piece that spoke to my heart. Thank you for sharing your journey and reminding us all of God’s ever present love.

    • Reply
      Lara Patangan
      February 19, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you, Paula! It was kind of nice to reminisce and realize what a better path I am on now than looking for something better in all the wrong places. Grateful.

  • Reply
    Betsy Langbo
    February 18, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Beautifully said – I could completely relate to your memories and felt like this could also be said about my life. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Lara Patangan
      February 19, 2020 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you, Betsy. I am glad you could relate. Part of the joy of writing about my spiritual experiences is realizing I am not alone. That’s such a comfort to me — I guess that’s why he gave us the Body of Christ!

  • Reply
    Melanie Adams
    February 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    I lost my husband suddenly and unexpectedly almost two years ago. I don’t know who I am anymore.

    • Reply
      Lindsay Durrenberger
      February 20, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Friend, I’m so sorry. Praying for you right now.

    • Reply
      Lara Patangan
      February 21, 2020 at 7:41 am


      I am so sorry. For different reasons, I think we all feel like that at some point in our lives. I know what a lonely and lost feeling it can be. As with everything, the only thing I know to do is to trust in the Lord, rely on him, be gentle with your self, and remembering you are a beloved daughter of Christ is always a good starting point. I will pray for you.

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