Friday, June 19, 2009

Part 4: Lost and Found

I woke up Wednesday and looked for my camera once again before breakfast. I still couldn’t find it. Unbelievable!! I could hardly stand it! I just couldn’t imagine what had happened to it!! It HAD to be in that suitcase; and yet, it wasn’t!!

I walked down to the dining hall for breakfast. As I walked, I thought about the reality of the situation. In times of unknowns, I think of a story I read in the book “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow (though, when searching for the story, I found it through Max Lucado). You can read the short little story through the link provided (which I highly recommend! It‘s helped me a lot!), but what it basically says is you don’t know what you don’t know. Don’t assume anything and don’t worry. I kept thinking “remember the horse” every time I was tempted to let my imagination run wild with the possibilities of my camera’s fate.

I also thought about how the camera would eventually be replaced. If I never found it, it would be a loss for a while, but nothing compared to what everyone else at the Home was going through. June is when “Mom” died (she was Jerry’s wife, Sandy. She passed away two years ago. They are the ones that started the ministry; and adopted many of the special needs kids that live there). During the week, I heard little things about her here and there, and still saw remembrances of her all around the area (like a note made on a calendar about how she “went home“ on that day). I regret that I was never able to meet her. She was undoubtedly a remarkable woman!! I was wowed by some of the stories I heard; like how one of the kids (who doesn’t talk) pointed upwards toward heaven when he viewed her in her casket at the funeral. Or, the kids who visit her grave; listening to the ground and saying that she’s waking up. Greater still is the story L.A. told us about how Medina wondered why God only took Mom’s spirit and not her body. He had prayed for an answer, and felt like the best way to explain it was in relation to Butchie (who apparently likes to wander around a lot). He said that if no one could find Butchie, it would bother everyone if no one ever knew what happened to him. L.A. said that they knew what happened to Mom. If they hadn’t had her body there, everyone would wonder what had happened to her and would never have that closure if she had just mysteriously vanished. I thought that was a wonderful way to describe it!!

Seeing and hearing everyone’s great love for Sandy was so touching to me. Losing a replaceable camera is nothing compared to losing an irreplaceable human life (especially a life like hers! What a woman!!). Thinking about all of that helped me not to think about the camera, and to just enjoy the beauty of the ministry by thinking about Sandy and how her legacy lives on. Because of her and Jerry, we were able to come to the Galilean Home and spend time with so many wonderful people (including those adorable babies!). The camera was less and less at the forefront of my mind as I just enjoyed the blessings of those little ones at The Angel House that day!!

After being at The Angel House all day (as usual!) I went back to the Mary & Martha House to hunt for the camera before dinner. I took off the comforter and the sheet (to see if the camera was mixed up in there somehow) and I even lifted up the mattress and box spring to see if it had fallen inbetween them and the wall (or gotten under the bed). I looked all around, and then I decided to unpack my suitcase for probably the fifth time. This time, I thought I would unfold everything too (even if it was a t-shirt and was as flat as a pancake!). And wouldn’t you know it, in a pair of folded jeans, there it was!! It was in my suitcase that whole time (of course)! I was relieved, and I thanked the Lord over and over again!! I then vaguely remembered that I didn’t want the camera getting bumped or damaged by sitting in the suitcase, and sort of remembered putting it in the jeans so it would be “cushioned” and safe from damage. I also laughed when thinking about what Jim (aka “Mouse”) had said earlier that day about how he sometimes hid his own stuff so well that he forgot where he hid it. Yeah, I definitely did that!! I felt silly, but was glad that I didn’t have to feel sillier had I started to let my mind go wild with suspicion that someone had taken it. What a waste that would have been! I’ll admit, the thought did cross my mind here and there, but I rebuked it and kept thinking of the horse story. ;) I’m glad I did! (The following picture is the "I'm so happy I found my camera" face lol).

It was in that moment that I totally understood the story in Luke 15:8-10: “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Before that day, I don’t think I fully understood the depth of that story (even though I had read about it in “Captivating” recently). Granted, everyone gets excited (and relieved) when they find lost money, but I guess I couldn’t relate to a single “lost coin” like I could a lost camera. Though, I could finally relate to that woman now! I had found something precious to me that I thought was lost, and I went about telling everyone (with great excitement) that I had found it!! Even though I was glad to have found my camera, my heart was even gladder that that story had become so crystal clear to me and that the idea of that great joy sunk in! Finding my camera was a relief and a joy; but how much MORE SO is the relief and joy of God when a precious lost son or daughter is found!! As the Eldredges had pointed out in their book, that last verse says that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God”. Did you catch that? The ANGELS OF GOD are the ones WITNESSING the joy! WHO is it that has such joy in their presence? It’s GOD HIMSELF! Your Father in heaven REJOICES with great joy in the presence of His angels when you repent! Consider Zephaniah 3:17 which says: The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Amen!! That says it all!!!

Well, I had survived yet another attempt from Satan to steal my joy and shift my focus. Once again, God turned the whole thing into a blessing and a learning experience. The whole thing was my error to begin with, but God used my mistake as an opportunity for something good. He’s so awesome that way!!

I felt like Wednesday was indeed what they called a “hump day”. I had not only gotten over that hump in the week, but the hump in the trip. It was all downhill from there. Not only was I feeling content, well-adjusted, and at home there, I was looking forward to my next adventure even more; my trip to the prison to take some of the babies to see their Mamas……….(to be continued).

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