Thursday

The Lost & The Found

I stood on the crowded concrete walk looking for my oldest two in the throngs of children bursting through the school doors. Spotted, their eyes find mine and ask the same question that comes each day, "Can we stay and play?"

I nod my head, they drop backpacks at my feet, grab their baby sister's hand and run to the swings. I find a spot to sit and visit with other mothers.

It doesn't take long for my toddler to find a mud puddle from the rains that soaked the ground the day before. I collect her shoes and tug her resistant hand. It's time for homework and time to stir dinner in the crock pot.

My oldest helps with the youngest and I search the playing field for my son. I don't see him. I ask his sisters. They look too, calling and looking.

Searching. Looking. Pacing.

He is not there.

I try to slow the heart that beats faster with that very thought.

I ask around and pick up my pace, trying to remember if his shirt is yellow or orange. The crowd has thinned, but my voice is thick.

I call his name. I search and grab my phone. Others are hunting him too.

And then I look into the future of a life without my son. I pray that thought away....

Suddenly, he stumbles towards me from a forbidden wooded area that surrounds the elementary school. I can tell by his trembling lip and his older sister's stern face, he knew my heart was in my throat.

"I'm sorry, Mom," he cried. This is my sensitive one. With just a look, he crumbles. I hugged him close, taking in the scent of this one-day man. Tears formed and I blinked them away.

He continued to apologize until we got home. I accept it over and over. "Let's talk about this. What happened? You know that you aren't supposed to go into the woods. I thought you were lost."

Wiping his nose on his sleeve, "I didn't know I was lost. Some friends asked me to come with them to help collect pine needles. I knew I shouldn't. I gave into temptation," he said as he hugged me tight, willing my forgiveness. I hid my smile and my tears in his hair.

"You are forgiven. But you disobeyed." I doled out a consequence (a small one since he had already punished himself so severely).

Later as I recounted the event, I saw it differently. I was the lost. Searching for something unimportant in a place I shouldn't be. Trying to do things on my own, pleasing the people around me, giving into temptation.

But He was searching for me. He was calling my name. Even now, when I stumble off the path, neglect the Word, seek fortune, and altogether, fail. He rallies a search party, shines His light into the darkness of my selfishness and draws me near.

He leaves the 99 for the one.

To find me.

Luke 15:4
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?"




42 comments:

Angela said...

I read that story to the toddlers tonight. Didn't go that deep with them. But boy does it ring true. And I'm thankful He went searching for me.

Sharon said...

and all God's people said, AMEN.

(very glad you found your little boy. And very glad our heavenly Father found me)

Angela said...

Thanks for reminding us all of this!

mamaK said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post! I needed this knowledge tonight!

shana said...

That was a wonderful reminder. Thanks so much!
Blessings,
Shana in MN

*TARA* said...

Just Beautiful. What a light he shines through you.

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

Beautiful! Such a perfect reminder of His love for us. And I'm so glad your boy is ok, how scary that would have been.

But Momma said...

Wow...you made my eyes sweat! Beautiful post.

The Mama Bird said...

What a beautiful post! Just beautiful!

se7en said...

Parenting is not for the faint hearted... I tell you the heart stopping moments really are heart stopping. I am so glad it turned out okay for you.

Liz said...

I think every mother knows that feeling of panic when their child has wandered off and can't be found....Great post and reminder of His love...

Chic Mama said...

Doesn't seem possible does it?

And your post was positively heart-wrenching, and captivating.

Jennifer said...

That was a beautiful post and one that all parents can relate to. Thank you for sharing.

Shara said...

Thank you for that, Kristen. I needed it today.

Shara said...

Thank you for that, Kristen. I needed it today.

Jenny said...

Oh my ggodness, my heart broke for a few minutes. I think we have all had those moments when we cannot locate our kids and all kinds of thoughts go through our heads. Great post. Glad you found each other.

mommagurl32 said...
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mommagurl32 said...

This post brought tears to my eyes this morning...what a loving God we have! Thanks for sharing and lifting us up this morning!

content2be said...

This is one of my greatest fears. I'm so glad he was found. And thanks for the reminder that our Heavenly Father always welcomes us back with outstretched arms when we return to Him. "I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see."

everyday mom of one said...

A wonderful and timely reminder. Thanks

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

There's nothing scarier than when one of our children is lost, even for a moment. When my daughter was 3, I lost her in the house. I couldn't find her upstairs, so I went downstairs and discovered that the front door was standing open. So I searched the yard. The street. And started knocking on doors. Total panic.

Finally found her inside a neighbor's house. Turned out that their daughter had come over and asked Lily to play, and Lily had gone on over without bothering to ask me (or close the door behind her!). I don't think I've ever been so scared--or so relieved--in my life.

Jennifer (Niffer) said...

You make so many moments teachable and You have wonderful insight. I so enjoy reading your blog. thank you for the time you put into this.

I had a similar scary moment with my 6 year old. as my dad accidentally thought it was his day to pick up my daughter. Scary!

Dawn Ward said...

What But Momma said..my eyes are sweating, too! Beautiful! Thank you for sharing, and I'm so glad you found your little boy safe and sound. Rejoicing also that He loves me so much more than I can even begin to imagine.

Grateful for Grace said...

Amen and amen!!

Beautiful testimony, Kristin. Beautiful.

(I have a carnival [don't really like that word for this...but I guess it's the correct word] that I think you would enjoy. I'd love it if you stopped by.)

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Wow- that is quite powerful this morning!

~ Kristie said...

Thank you so much for this!

Robin said...

You made me cry again. Thanks.

Carrie said...

Great Post Kristen,

Thanks for bringing it HOME!
C~

Maureen said...

It's the worst feeling in the world. This post brought tears to my eyes. Your words are so powerful. Thanks for the reminder about being lost.

City Grace said...

thank you for this reminder and for your encouraging words so often on your blog. so thankful that He comes after us when we are so set on wandering and running. and so glad that you found your son!

mary beth said...

nothing compares to that feeling when you do find them, and God rejoices in us finding Him too! And what a burden is lifted from us when we find Him waiting there with outstretched arms, ready to love us unconditionally! Thanks for posting your precious thoughts today, it was sweet to be reminded!

Carla said...

wow! that is so awesome. You never fail to make me stop and use the everyday things in life and relate them to my spiritual walk. Thank you for that!

Rhonda said...

I so needed to hear that... thank you for sharing....

Sally said...

Sweet!

Squirly Girls said...

What an amazing story! Isn't amazing how God uses our children to teach us? I hope your words will touch the hearts of other readers who do not know Him.

Anonymous said...
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bevysblog said...

Wow... so powerful. I can only imagine what you were thinking.

As for us being lost, I know I get lost daily, and my Father calls me over and over. Thank goodness He loves me even more than I could ever hope to love my own children.

Betsy Smith said...

Incredible post today Kristen!!

Sara said...

Kristen, aside from the subject matter being so heart felt and true, you have such an eloquence with your words. I've always thought that of you. Even from the first time we had bible study together. You'll get a book deal soon. I just have a feeling it's going to happen soon.

-Sara

Wade's World said...

You just made me cry...

UnfinishedMom said...

aMEN AND aMEN.

Theresa said...

Tears. It is really easy to get "lost" when we give in to temptations...thank goodness our Heavenly Father has been there and was victorius!