Well, today is going to be kind of a downer post. I apologize in advance for that but this is something that we are thankful for! (I can safely speak for Shane on this as well.)
Yesterday, Shane and I experienced about two hours in the life no parent ever wants to go through.
Shane got a message from Terri around 4:40pm stating that M had not come home off the bus yet and was wondering if she had gotten off there. Shane said no and so it began.
M was missing, her cell phone was turned off, and no one had seen her; not the bus driver (she didn’t get on the bus), no answer from the school, she wasn’t at her friends Tae Kwon Do gym, etc. Without even thinking about it, I began to pray: “Dear God, please keep her safe. Allow her to find warmth and shelter until someone can get to her. Please have someone recognize her and offer her a ride to where she belongs. Please keep her safe. Please keep her safe. Please keep her safe…”
Immediately, I felt anger. We have been having issues with M for the last couple of months. . The issues range in things from general disrespect and attitude, immaturity and lack of responsibility and now this. But as time went on, it turned into fear for her safety.
After talking to Shane a bit and sensing growing panic, I told him it was probably worth a visit to the Sheriff’s department. This day in age, you can never be too safe.
Shortly after he had stopped by and was filing a missing child report, one of her friends had located her sitting by the school and called Shane. Luckily, there was a Sheriff nearby that was able to bring her back to town.
From what we were told, she was pretty shook up. The excuse we were told was that she had the impression that one of us (Shane, myself, Terri or Mark) was going to be there to get her after school. After talking with Shane, neither one of us had talked to her in depth since Friday when she went back to her mom’s. Terri and Marc knew nothing of going to get her. After about a half hour, she then changed her tune to “I missed the bus.” She claimed that her phone had died and that she had tried to call us from a gas station but their phones couldn’t call out to cell phones. I doubt we will ever know the whole truth but I am just so thankful that God was able to keep her safe. Especially since the weather was a bit chilly yesterday. But the fear that I saw on Shane’s face even after she had been returned to her mother’s house was heart shattering. My husband was home but he wasn’t with me.
From the time that he got home from his men’s group until the time we went to bed, his eyes were glassed over, his voice was monotone and there was a constant crease in-between furrowed brows.
As we got ready to pray before bed, we realized that we, as her parents, had to pray for patience, understanding, knowledge, wisdom and strength. We need to be firm but loving and compassionate. We need to discipline but be patient and understanding.
When I woke up this morning, I had a reassuring passage from my dad sitting in my text messages. He sent me Proverbs 31:28-30.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful , and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Even though I had not told him or my mom what had gone on, it was like he knew. He knew what I needed to hear after an exhausting evening of supporting and comforting Shane.
So, Dad,. thank you for that! Also, I apologize for all of the horrible things I tried to pull as a child. Going through it now myself with M is not fun. If only she could feel what regret is going to feel like years down the road.
Even though she is home safe, I’m still repeating this verse:
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
However, this experience made me think of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. How many times has he been waiting for us to show up in His house? How many times has He asked us “Where were you?” and we made excuses as to why we didn’t show up? Probably more than we would like to admit. But, he still opens His arms to us and shows us love, compassion and forgiveness. For that, we will forever be indebted to Him.