There aren’t really words sufficient enough to describe the sudden state of shock that strikes a parent when they realize their child has runaway from home.
In our case, there wasn’t any indication of unusual behavior from our daughter that would have led us to believe she was planning to runaway from home … until she was missing. On this day, she made a clean break from the ones she loved the most.
Shortly after realizing that she was missing, my mind felt like I was watching a tragic scene from my own movie. I wanted to quickly snap out of it, as if it were all just a nightmare, but it wasn’t. My daughter’s disappearance was the harsh reality I would have to face for many agonizing months to come.
When I look back on it all, it still seems surreal to me. The worst part was knowing I played a part that led to this tragic day in our lives. I was left with not only the burden of the runaway, but my own emotional state of brokenness that weighed heavily upon my heart for many years. As I felt all of this barreling in on me, I knew I couldn’t bear the burden on my own. I could no longer make up any superficial remedies that would heal my deep wounds. On this day. I hit rock bottom … and there was no way out, other than to lean completely on God.
I remember walking into my daughter’s room with my mind racing to a million fearful thoughts. I felt frozen, paralyzed with fear … it seemed time stood still. I wondered how I could make it through another moment with the emotional pain piercing threw my soul like a sharp knife. I imagined myself on an episode of Dateline, frantically describing my daughter’s disappearance. The still silence of her room penetrated my ears with a sound that was deafening. I repeatedly said to myself, “Is this really the story of my life?” The words echoed back at me, “Yes! This is the shocking story of your life!” I knew it was time to finally face the cold hard truths about the many things that led to this day.
With no where left for me to hide from this shadow of darkness, I prayed to God and saw the light. I have searched for words to describe what took place in this moment for me, and there are simply none that could adequately give reverence to such a moment, other than it was the grace of God pouring over me.
Overwhelmed by my despair, and in the lowest, most weakest moment of my life … was suddenly a strength of great magnitude. I was lifted from the gloom of this dark place, given a glimpse of a bright future, and the promise of recovery for my family … Oh, what a magnificent vision of hope!
This wasn’t just any kind of hope, like hopefully things would get better. No, this was the kind of hope placed into the heart of my soul. Suddenly, I saw my life in a new light, and had a conviction so strong that I was forever transformed. What once was so vacant and empty inside of me was filled with the omnipresence of God.
My whole life had been overturned, it went Topsy Turvy … but in an instant there stood the surrounding comfort of His love. There was an immediate sense of healing that soothed my wounds in this still moment … a place in my heart that had been untouched by any other, and was just waiting for this missing piece inside of me to be forever filled.
This is as best as I can describe such a miracle that had taken place on the worst, and yet most beautiful day of my life. A moment that otherwise would have been impossible to endure was filled with the essence of grace … and the wondrous glory of how God can change the heart of a woman.