last week, if you follow me on twitter or we're friends on facebook, you may have seen my late night cry out for prayer after i found out that my 85 year old grandmother had gone missing. that's right... missing.
my grandmother works here at my office filing and faxing and when she went to leave last wednesday at 2:45pm, she left smiling saying she was heading home for the night. when i finished my dance class that evening about 9:30, i received a call from my mother that no one should ever have to answer. all she said was "april, i don't know how to tell you this, but your grandmother has gone missing" my brain went into a spin and i didn't know what to think. she continued on telling me that she never made it home from work and no one had seen here since she left our office to drive home.
that was my first reaction and a whole heck of a lot of it. angry prayers, desperate prayers, humbling prayers, lost prayers. i sent out a mass text to many friends giving a brief description of what was happening and a cry out for prayer. one friend's response bundled up everything i was thinking we needed ..."i'm praying specifically for a hedge of protection around her" my cousin joseph came and picked me up at my house and i joined in on the search party that had been going on for 3 hours already. we drove and drove and even went to get a spot light at walmart to search off the side of the rural roads around her house where she lives. about 2am, the search party of about 10 cars had been exhausted. we had searched every road, parking lot, neighborhood within a 10 mile radius of her home and her drive to and from work with not a trace of anything. the police departments of the 4 cities/towns she would had driven through to get home were also on alert and the sheriffs of her county were with us and on lookout as well, but nothing had turned up in almost 6 hours of searching. we returned back to her home feeling defeated, but knew we needed to be with family and keep on praying.
we continued praying, but doubts were weighing heavy as 3am approached. the sheriff assigned to our case had been back to the house and wracked his brain and ours for something we might be missing. he had previously worked in a retirement facility and cared for his elderly grandmother and knew how tricky the mind can be as it gets older and begins to fail. his heart was very much into his work that night and he was so careful with all of us. he finally left the house and said he would search all night for her.
not 30 minutes later, i received a call from the lieutenant and detective handling our case. they were giving me an update on filing a possible silver alert when the lieutenant stopped talking mid sentence while i heard the dispatch radio in the background. silence. my family stood around as i had the phone and that's when i heard it. "they've found her" i've never heard such a great combination of words in my life. the same sheriff that had been out the house 30 minutes earlier had found her about 3 miles from her home, driving down the road. our entire family, about 15 of us, rushed to the scene and scooped her up and brought her home.
we came to find out that my grandmother had suffered a mini stroke that afternoon after trying to pay her bill at lowe's and they wouldn't take her counter check. this got her all flustered, put her in a tizzy, and set off a stroke which left her totally confused and not knowing what was going on or where she was. she had covered ground between 3 major cities in our area and had been driving for 12 hours straight, stopping once for gas and for someone to give her handwritten directions back to a road that would lead her home. she doesn't remember much of anything and doesn't know what happened. all she could tell us was "i was very confused and i only had enough sense to pray, keep my eye on the white line, and on my speedometer."
there's no doubt in my mind that my family experienced a miracle last week and that the Lord protected her that night and brought her back home. today was has been such a gift to see this smiling face back in my office and back to work. it's a miracle that she's with us today.
and like i said last week...
"hug your loved ones a bit tighter today
and make sure they know you love them.
life is precious"