Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lost and Found

What happens when you're can't read maps...

you have no phone, and it's about to absolutely pour?

     So last week I took a two-day trip to the beach with my almost-cousins.  It was an absolute blast.  We spent the whole first day at the beach with the sun and weather perfectly meant for us.  Imagine 82 degrees on the South Carolina coast, with just enough cloud cover to keep you from burning, but enough sun to warm up every part of you.  The waves were big and great for bodysurfing. It was absolutely beautiful...until it destroyed my phone. 
     I realize the depth of my stupidity at taking my phone out of my car and onto the gorgeous beach. However, in my defense, my mother HAD asked me to keep my phone with me in case she needed me.  You see, I was set to move 4 days later, and we were finishing up details for my trip.  Moving on, I was splashing and swimming about, enjoying myself like it was 1999 again when I wore my Little Mermaid swimming suit with pride.  My cousins and I were having the most epic wave rides ever as well.  Unfortunately, when I came out of the water for a moment of peace, my sort-of-aunt informed me that one single rogue wave had plunged across my things out of NOWHERE, and savagely attacked my phone in the process.  My heart fell as I ran up the embankment (yes- that's ALL THE WAY UP THE EMBANKMENT) and my eyes found my poor soggy phone.  
      We tried SO hard- really we did. We prayed, played, reset, banged, and roasted my phone in all ways possible to save it from it's saltwater disaster, but it was all to no avail. So I sadly let it give up it's tiny electronic ghost and enjoyed the rest of my vacation.  So I know this seems like such a funny little story with no real meaning or importance other than a $160 insurance bill, but that's because I've yet to explain the damage that this really caused.  
      Sure it was frustrating, but let me tell you, what really was hard, was driving home the next day. 
No mymap.
 No phone calls to Mom and Dad.  
No help.
  No memory. 

Nothing but me and the map book my dad made me bring...that I didn't know how to read. 

     I fully recognize that this might seem, but let me ASSURE you- at the moment it was ANYTHING BUT. I can honestly say that even though looking back on it, it was the most humorous situations I could have been in, it was also one of the most faith-building.  Now I don't know how many of our readers are church-goers of any kind.  Rest-easy that we love and appreciate every single person, regardless of their individual beliefs, and if you feel at all that this part about my faith could be offensive, you are more than welcome not to read it.  But alas, it is who I am, and I cannot and will not change that- even for just a blog post.  I share because it taught me something important, not because I believe in the power of brain washing.  ;) 
      As I set off driving down the maze of highways and backroads that would lead me on a 5-hour (supposedly 3.5 hrs to begin with) I couldn't have been more worried.  I kind of giggled to myself as I filled up my gas tank at a nearby station at my predicament, but the seriousness of actions, and the reality of the consequences hit me as I realized I had NO clue how to get home.  Quietly, humbly, and trying to keep calm, I turned off the radio, and asked my Father in Heaven to direct my turns and lead me to home.  I promised Him sincerely that if He told me where to turn, I would turn, even if it required going back and forth until I had found the right path.  I set out more carefully after that, turning back on the radio for something to keep me awake. 
     The next few hours were filled with driving cautiously along until something would spark my memory and a sure knowing that I should take that turn, or that merge, or that off-road.  Small signs like ugly Lion statues in front of an old house, or a really disgusting Billboard poster, are what triggered these redirections of my path.  After about two and a half hours, a monstrous storm set in above me.  Remember this is in North Carolina now, and when we have a tropical storm off the coast, the weather can be downright hideous. The rain was crashing down with such force, I could barely see the road around me. Several times I contemplated stopping and allowing the storm to pass.  After all- I had no possible way of communicating with my parents if I ran off the road or had any kind of accident, and I was making my way home turn by turn.  I simply slowed down and allowed the storm to pass a little slower.  
    I cannot describe to you the rush of relief that came to me when I pulled in my driveway; the comfort at knowing I was Home.  
     All I could do was say thank you to a dear Heavenly Father who had seen me safely home, every single step of the way- giving me guidance and instruction, inspiration and confidence.  Now I come to understand that power that this small and somewhat entertaining circumstance has as an example in my life. How many times has He taken me by the hand, turn by turn, to let me walk by faith, and return to my Heavenly Home?  How many times has He blessed me with Tiny signs and precious miracles to guide me?  How many times has He comforted me while the storms of life raged around me, battering me with their winds, and their torments?  And how many times are there yet to come when He will whisper the directions to me, and allow me correct my course, should I stray?  Every time I had to turn my car around was another time in life when He lets me repent, and forgive me.
      The most beautiful part to me- is knowing that I will one day be able to return Home. It won't be pulling in the driveway, and just happy to see my house, it will be an all-encompassing peace that brings me to my Eternal home, with my Heavenly Father, and my eternal family.  

     I may have destroyed my phone, and put myself into this predicament, but what a blessing in my faith it was- showing me in small ways that He is ever present in my life, and I CAN return home, no matter how Lost, no matter the storms, and no matter the decisions that turned into mistakes. 

I am so grateful for the blessing of being able to return home someday, and the knowledge that I will never have to be Lost; that I can make it step by step, 
and Turn by Turn.