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Where’s Ana?

12 Sep

Almost every parent has had it happen at some point in there child’s life. Most people can remember when it has happened to them. It is that frantic moment when a child gets lost. When you realize your child is missing it is by far and away one of the most awful feelings a parent can experience. I had the displeasure of experiencing it this past weekend.

Our family took a trip with my parents to the Camden Aquarium in New Jersey. With four adults and five children you would think it would be difficult to lose a child. I can assure it is not. In fact, I am convinced that the chance of losing a child actually increases with the number of responsible people present. It happens because every person assumes someone else is watching, when in fact no one is.

We had managed to leave the aquarium and meet up at our cars only to find that our two year-old daughter was not with us. My heart dropped and I know my husband’s did as well. He searched the parking lot. I ran back into the aquarium. It was only minutes but it felt like time was standing still. Fighting fear with prayer, I tried to silence the thought of every possible horrible scenario. “What if…” “What if…”

As soon as I entered the building there she was. She sat in the arms of an employee behind the welcoming desk, smiling and squeaking a little toy shark that they had given her to distract her. She was not at all panicked. It never felt so good to see my daughter and hold her in my arms.

As I continue in this journey of parenting, one fact becomes clearer and clear over time: I am not capable of protecting my children from all harm. Last week it was my son rolling off the bed and splitting his head open. This week my daughter gets left in the aquarium. Talk about a double dose of insufficiency. Still, I know my God is sufficient.

More than physical harm, as our children grow older, my greatest fear is that they will walk away from the truths we have taught them. Even so, should they roll off their firm foundation and get hurt or walk away and find themselves lost, I know this to be true: God will still be holding them in his arms. He can heal them of their hurts and hold them until they find there way home and that is what I am learning matters most.

By Charity Gutierrez

Published September 12, 2011 in What’s Around Town Metro Jackson, Copyright 2011

A little note:

After sharing this story with my precious Aunt Becky, she laughed her usual sweet laugh and told me, “Hey, don’t beat yourself up… Even Mary lost Jesus.”

Luke 2-43-49 (NLT))

43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, 44because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.48His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”[a]

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