Last September I received a phone call in the middle of the night, and I missed it. My dear friend was calling to tell me that her son (also a friend) had gone missing. She had just taken him to college 6 short days early. It was very unlike him to not answer text messages or to not be with someone else. He went to a party, left alone---never to be seen again. The picture at the head of my site is a photograph that I took while searching for this young man. One of the early nights of searching, I turned around and took this picture. Little did I know till a couple weeks later that God was there. (look closely at the sunset)
Myself and many friends spend 10 long days searching an area about 2.5 hours from where we lived. Some of us drove up and back every day and some of us stayed. It didn't matter, God moved our hearts and we knew right where we were called to be. We collected search parties of hundreds of people, people came out of the woodwork, donations came out of the woodwork, people who were completely new to our lives came out of nowhere to come and help search for this young man.
We hunted residential areas, country, mountains, waterfront, took boats on the waterfront to search.
I specifically about 4 days into the searching dropping to my knees on the beach crying out to God to help us find him -- give peace to his mother, just let us have a clue, let us hear God's still small voice directing us where to go. Crying and crying face first in the sand. WHY COULD THIS HAPPEN!!!
After frantic searches, thousands of posters, dogs, police, friends, family, strangers, HE WAS FOUND. He was found in the water. We may never know what happened that dreadful night, but one thing I do know is that PEOPLE STILL CARE. People amazed me during this time. The love, support, generosity was amazing.
I hear so often --- I was abused, it's engulfed my life, I don't know how to function.....I have advice: PICK UP ONE FOOT AT A TIME AND ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD. My friend will never get her son back. But even though I
was abused, I am here, I am healty, and I AM ALIVE!! What more can I ask for. I have amazing family and friends in my life that impact my everydays. WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR????? Or is your heart so engulfed in hate for your offender -- you will never truly love or feel love and you will never truly be able to be thankful for what your life is now---A GIFT!!!
What does this have to do with anything?? Forgiveness---love---caring---understanding---
IF YOU DON'T REACH OUT, IF YOU DON'T STOP THE SILENCE, IF YOU DONT SHARE YOUR STORY---no one can make an impact on your or you on them. FORGIVENESS will release you from the pain of yourself, so that you can add value and change peoples lives!!!
I have been absolutely shocked at how many times I happen to mention my abuse and how many times the person I am talking to say "I HAVE NEVER TOLD ANYONE......"
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE....work on your hearts, pray, read, connect with others, but I pray for each and everyone of you to be able to FORGIVE---IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER!!
Here is to the first day of the rest of your life. Love to you all, praying for lives to be changed.