Last Sunday, Doug came to meet me in the Primary room after church. Right as he walked in, he asked if LJ was with me. He was not with me and the panic hit instantly. I have often joked that if I was a super-hero, I'd be "Worst-Case Scenario Girl" but I had no idea how fast my superpower could work until just that moment when I thought of all of the horrible things that could happen to my little boy. He could get outside and get hit by a car, he could fall in an irrigation ditch, or countless other things. Doug handed me The Lion and ran back into the busy hallway to look for LJ. Without any hesitation my heart offered up a prayer that my boy would remain safe and that I would know where to go to find him. I considered going outside so that if he did happen to be in the parking lot, I could get to him quickly. Since I did not have my phone, however, I felt a bit paralyzed because I had no way of letting Doug know that I was heading outside. During my moment of hesitation, LJ came charging into the room with tears streaming down his cheeks. (I hate that he was sad but I hope he gave himself a good scare.) I knelt down and he gave me a big hug. I am not sure if it was just by chance that he came into the room or if someone spotted him and brought him to me. I sent a friend out to find Doug and let him know we were all together.
I am sure that all parents understand the relief that flowed over me when I first spotted LJ after he was missing. I thought of how relieved our Heavenly Father is when we choose to come back to him. It also made me think of the parable of the lost sheep. Previously, I have thought, would a shepherd really leave his 99 other sheep in order to seek out just one. Is just one that valuable? Thankfully, we don't need to have 100 children in order to gain a greater understanding of the value of "just one". With his omniscience, I am sure that Heavenly Father doesn't freak out like I did when LJ disappeared, but I am certain that his gratitude is the similar to mine when I saw him walk through the door.
It reminds me of a story related to me while helping Connie Jean type her personal history. When she was younger, she had been a young women's leader for a prominent church leader's daughter. A few years later, Connie Jean and her husband had moved to Kanab, UT. (For those unaware, Kanab is a very rural area.) One day, the church leader and his family knocked on the door. They had been in the area and the daughter wanted to visit Connie Jean. Upon answering the door, Connie Jean said to the church leader, "How did you find me? I didn't think the Lord could even knew where I was!" He looked right into her eyes and said, "Connie Jean, the Lord always knows exactly where you are." (He let that sink in and then, with his typical humor, he added that he had asked at the gas station where Connie Jean lived.)
I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is so aware, not only of where I am, but also of what I am going through emotionally, spiritually and physically. I am grateful that his hand is "stretched out" constantly for me to receive aid in bearing my burdens. I am grateful for that bit of understanding coming to me this week. (And here's hoping that I got the lesson down now so LJ needn't ever run off again.) I am grateful for the calm in the moment provided by the spirit and for LJ returning safely back.