I am a runner. I have always been. I will always be. So is my daughter. Not long ago, my daughter ran away from home, and during that time I learned how God has protected and cared for my family. Here is the story of how God has taken care of us.
Six Long Days
For six long days I did not know why she ran, if she was held against her will, nor did I know if she was alive. What I discovered through all of this was how deep, how wide, how wide and how powerful is God’s reach and concern. I have been so very blessed beyond measure during this exceptional time. It is as if God had planted seeds of protection years before and they bore fruit during this season. I learned the lesson God taught his people when they were in exile:
“For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,'
I am courageous and brave. I have always been. I will always be. This past week my daughter was placed before several strong young men. They offered her many things. They questioned why she didn’t want more alcohol, drugs or other mind altering chemicals. They said that others would have taken them. She said she didn’t want to. She went back to her Junior High and asked the principal if she could come back to the school. She has had to read and hear all of the stories about how she scared everyone by running away. She came back to us and she was honest about her experiences on the street. She is courageous and brave.
I am loved and cared for by a family, a community and an almighty God. So is my daughter. When she went missing the number of people who shared their stories of missing and exploited children was overwhelming. The number of people who passed out flyers and spent hours looking for her was overwhelming. We had a pastor, a bishop and several friends and family praying together in our home for her safety and welfare. When she returned I was amazed by the stories she told of how our community is taking care of people on the street. I believe that the Christmas miracle in all of this is that there is a family, a community and an almighty God who loves and cares for each and every one of us.