Photo Essay: Hold Me Up, Lord

When our eyes are on our circumstances we panic. When they are on God we are at rest.
— Quote from - Millie Stamm in God Always Has a Plan B by Sarah M. Hupp

Sometimes life isn't pretty. Thorns lurk to the side to puncture us when we aren't expecting it just as those near this rose. A classic example of this happened a few years ago, before my youngest granddaughter was old enough for a cell phone. Something awful happened that left me unable to focus on the peace of God. I panicked.

My daughter had left for work, Rachel's older brother for school. She missed the bus. A neighbor with children Rachel's age watched every morning to make sure she got on the bus when her children did. This particular morning she did not. Unable to leave the daycare children in her home, the friend called Wendy to let her know.

My daughter called me and soon I was headed to their house, a little aggravated. Things usually worked like clockwork. Wendy woke up Brandon before she left for work. He woke up Rachel as he was leaving for school. Occasionally one or the other missed the bus. On those mornings Wendy would call me and I'd get which ever one missed the bus to school. 

I pulled in the driveway, opened the back door and called for Rachel. She didn't answer. She's still asleep, I thought, and walked back to her bedroom. The bed was empty. I began looking through the house, the beginnings of uneasiness forming in my gut. I called out to her and searched through every room, even closets. No Rachel. 

I called Wendy and she called the school. She wasn't there. Panic now pulsed my veins, certain Rachel had been kidnapped. If only I'd arrived a few moments earlier she'd be safe. I called 911. Wendy clocked out of work and headed home as shaken as I.

The police arrived. They looked through the house and about the neighborhood. Nothing. They notified the school they were searching for her and finally after what seemed like hours, the school reported her there. She'd been outside playing when the next door neighbor saw her and asked if she needed a ride to school. This is a kind and generous woman, someone we wouldn't be afraid for Rachel to ride with, if only we knew.

The officer snapped his phone shut and told me Rachel was safe at school and they were calling Wendy. With trembling legs, I lowered myself to the front steps of their house and cried uncontrollably with relief. The officer shuffled from foot to foot, not certain what to say or do.

Everything turned out okay. This time the thorns pricked our emotional skin, but didn't puncture. But in those moments, that terrifying space of time when we thought there would be an Amber Alert sent out for our precious child, it seemed impossible to not panic. I couldn't focus on the peace of God. I just needed Him to keep her safe and hold me up and see me through. And He did.