As a small child one of the first prayers I ever recognized as being answered was a petition to the Lord to help me find a lost thing. I remember one Sunday searching for a lost shoe to go to church. I was very young and we were late. I prayed and prayed and searched. I finally found it in some obscure cupboard. I think finding a lost thing may have been a common first answered prayer for many of us.
Later in my teenage life, I had some very significant answers to prayers regarding finding lost things. I found an earring I had lost months earlier, an expensive ring I lost at the beach at night, and the same ring I lost in a huge field in a sudden rain storm. Finding each of this items was a miraculous answer to prayer for me. These experiences helped build my testimony that there is a God in heaven who does love us enough to answer our prayers, even when our prayers are not for something of eternal worth.
When Camille was in the hospital and I was praying for her to be made well, I thought back on all these answered prayers over little things. I wondered why the Lord would answer so many little prayers for me and not answer this most fervent and important prayer. I had never wanted something so much. I knew He could heal her. I knew He could raise her from the dead if he would just say the word. Why would He not? And yet He didn't. When I changed my prayers to asking for strength to accept Him will concerning her, only then did I feel the peace that only He can bring.
Those days weeks and months following Camille's accident, I felt lost. When my brother told me he was worried about me, I told him I was worried about me too. How could I ever find wholeness again? How would I find joy and happiness in life? How would I find myself when part of me was buried in the grave?
The month of December 2010 seemed to me to be a month of finding lost things. I shared earlier on this blog that I finally found the video tape of Camille's first 8 months of life. What a gift this was. It is a treasure and by far the best gift we received this season. But I also was able to find many other little insignificant things all month long.
I found the lost bag of pajamas I bought at the store and left there thanks to an honest stranger. I found an earring back for Sabrina that no one else could find in a thick shag carpet. I found a doll dress for Lauren that we had searched for over and over. I found Sabrina's glasses for her. I found a lost medicine that I had been searching for in a place I had already looked several times. I found Jon's lost keys in the food cupboard behind the baking items. I could go on and on.
Now I know that I have become a better "finder" since becoming a mother. I think mothers just know more of where everything is. But this month has been different. In each case, I have searched and used all my "Mother" finding ability without success. And then I have offered a prayer and tried to follow my feelings about where to look. In each case I have found the item.
Sometimes it has been immediate. With the earring back I was sure it was lost. I felt all over that shag carpet. I asked Sabrina where she was when she lost it. All the cousins and Aunts and Uncles had already looked for it already and not found it. I came down from a nap to look as well. I was not finding it. I said a quick prayer in my head. Still I could not feel it in the thick shag. I sat up and told Sabrina we would have to go get another one. I looked down to my right and there it was sitting on the carpet right next to me.
Other times it has taken some time. Jon had been missing his keys for over a month. I had prayed several times trying to find them. No luck. Then one day in mid December I went to look for something else in the pantry and found them some baking things. It took a bit longer than the earring back, but my prayers to find this lost thing were answered. The keys were found.
And how many times did I pray to find that Camille video? Countless times. How many times had a searched? Countless. And yes at long last that prayer too was answered and the video was found.
All this finding in December got me thinking about how the Lord can and does find Lost Things. He finds lost keys and toys and shoes. And He also finds the lost and weary soul. Talking to Jenny Nygard on the phone a few days before Christmas brought back to my mind how I felt in those early days - how lost I was. In the days after that conversation I have seen just how "found" I have become in knowing once more who I am and how richly I have been blessed.
And so I wanted to offer to any who read this (especially my own children someday) my testimony of the Lord's ability to find lost things both small and large. If you feel lost or out of touch with your Heavenly Father or forgotten by Him, I say to you that He has not forgotten you. I know this with a surety that words cannot convey. You are not lost to Him. And if you turn to Him in humility - not having to understand all His reasons and methods - just in humility to accept His will for you, He will get in touch with you. He will help you become Found. It may take time, years even, but He will make you Found.