Posted by: JennyRain | December 18, 2009

Lost. Missing. Stolen.

Yesterday is definitely a day that I do not want to repeat.

The experience of losing and finding our sweet pug yesterday gave me a glimpse into some areas of life that normally would not have crossed the window of my awareness.

As John and I searched throughout the day, we were almost consumed with anxiety.

Twenty-four hours later, my body is still processing out the toxic anxiety hormones and adrenaline that kept me going yesterday. I awoke with a headache. I have to remind myself to unclench my shoulders and stop clenching my teeth.

The anxiety that we both felt gave us a heightened awareness of other families struggling with loss.

If what John and I experienced was even one-tenth of the anxiety, pain, and stress that families who have missing, lost, stolen, or runaway children must feel each day that they face without the return of their child – we all need to be on our knees daily praying for them, offering hands and hearts to be a lifeline of support and assistance.

John and I felt so incredibly supported by our communities. Throughout the day we received emails and calls letting us know that we were being prayed for and offers of assistance. Even though we were very much alone going through our experience, just knowing that there were others pulling for us bolstered our confidence and encouraged us to keep looking.

I think about the families who have been looking for children for weeks, months, years. They face this stress every day, many times support for their search has long disappeared, but yet they press on in hope.

May our prayers continually be with these families and may our hearts and hands be willing to help.  

I learned that there is a power in community that is unparalleled in our society – yet I so often forget that community is there.

We are designed to function in community. We function best in community. Community is a force that can move mountains that we could not move alone.

I learned yesterday not to underestimate the power of community and to remember to allow the community into my life to help me in my time of need.

For those families who feel alone in their search for loved ones… may you have a community step up to link arms with you in  your search. May that community never weary as they seek to show you kindness, love and support.

We learned never to underestimate the creative energies of children.

It was our local elementary school that enabled us to find our pug. My husband waited all day for the school to let out and then passed flyers out to each child for their walk home.

When I inquired as to the usefulness of this tactic, John responded, “Children have not been jaded by the world. They still want to help others. Kids see things with a purer eye and so they notice things that we adults might not.”

John was right.

It was the kids who had seen our neighbor post a flyer on the mailbox earlier in the day. Within five minutes of handing out our flyer, they had connected it to our neighbor’s flyer and we found our dog (who had been hanging out at our sweet neighbor’s house all day… eating doggie food and chewing on a pigs ear… such is the life of a pampered puggie).

The beautiful innocence of each child we encountered helped me to understand the depth of suffering and loss families who have lost a child must feel… this characteristic of children is incomparable. May you feel the love of others around you who see the value of your child and can offer a supportive word, shoulder to cry on, or comforting presence in your pain. 

There are two stories that kept me company as I searched yesterday.

The first was about a Shepherd who had one-hundred sheep. When one strayed, this Shepherd left the flock and searched and searched until he found what was missing. It was so comforting for me to remember that God sees and cares for very deeply those who are missing. As I walked I wondered if God felt the same anxiety I felt over the missing?

The second was about children who came to Jesus to touch Him. The apostles were critical and devalued the children’s desire to connect. Christ, however, exalted the efforts of each child and reminded His apostles that, “the kingdom of God belongs to such as these…anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Children are so valuable to God… they have His heart and He is not ashamed to admit it.

If you are dealing with loss this Christmas…

I cannot even imagine the pain and suffering that you must be going through if you are dealing with the loss of a child. I will not claim to understand. I pray that your story has a happy, redemptive ending. I pray that you find your child again and have many long and wonderful years to spend with them. I pray that you have a stalwart of community support that is long-suffering and encouraging with you. I pray that you have days of release from your anxiety. And though I may never know you, know this… I pray… because I now know you exist, that you are suffering, and that is something – though it is small – that I can offer.

For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31.11, 13 



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