Do you lose things easily?
Some people are just more prone to losing things. Keys, wallets, cell phone, kids…
Generally speaking, I’m not one of those people. I’m pretty organized, therefore, I pretty much know where everything is. Now I will admit that every now and then, my memory lapses and I can’t remember where I put something. But I know it’s in a good place, I just have to remember where that place is!
So when we lost our cat Purrl during our move, I was truly devastated. I mean, this wasn’t a set of keys or a box of decorations or even a photo album or two. It was our sweet kitty. And we had lost her.
She had gotten into the moving trailer at our previous house and without us knowing, rode all the way to the new house roaming around that big scary trailer! By the time she got to the new house (a 30-40 minute ride) she was beyond scared. She was spazzing. As soon as the door was lowered, she bolted. Never to be seen again.
When Dustin told me what happened, he knew I would take it hard. He took me into the bedroom (away from all of his cousins and brother!) and gently told me that something bad had happened to one of the cats. My first thought was that she had been killed. But then to my utter dismay I realized that this truly was far worse. She was alive, but lost.
She was alone, scared and had no idea where she was. And I had no idea where she was. I immediately began walking the neighborhood calling for her.
There was no trace of her. It seemed she had just vanished. We talked to neighbors, posted pictures but to no avail.
Our hearts where heavy. There were tears, nightmares and sleepless nights and many, many prayers.
After a couple of weeks I knew it was still possible to find her, but I began losing hope. Three weeks. Four weeks. I had finally accepted that we would never see her again. I imagined her with another family instead of the other possibilities. And I encouraged my kids to do the same.
But they just wouldn’t let it go.
They were still praying. They still talked about her as if we would find her any minute. They still asked me to drive slowly through the neighborhood with the window down calling her name. So we did.
I felt silly. And I was really sad for them. They really just needed to put this behind them. We could always get another cat. But it wouldn’t be Purrl, they said.
Then the craziest thing happened one morning last week. I answered a call-waiting call. I don’t always answer these phone calls. I mean, usually I will just call you back.
But I answered because I saw that it was my neighbor. And I knew that she had taken on finding Purrl as her own personal mission.
The details are a little fuzzy, but the conversation went something like this:
Teresa – “I’m so glad you answered your phone! I think I see your cat!!”
Me – “What!?”
Teresa – “Yeah, Cady and I are on a walk and I think I see your cat!”
Me – “Where are you??”
Teresa – “Just around the corner from you.”
Me – “I’ll be there in a second!”
I hung up and jumped up from the couch (well, jump is now a relative word when you are 8 months pregnant, but you know what I mean).
I screamed for the kids. Grabbed my keys. Ran (another relative word) and got the cat carrier. Made sure we were all in the car and flew down to where Teresa and our cat was.
As I made the short drive I was praying that this would actually be her. What if it wasn’t? What if my kids were once again disappointed? I was envisioning driving them back home slowly with tears of disappointment streaming down their sweet cheeks and me trying to explain that God sometimes answers with a “No” but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t care or love us and that for the rest of their lives they would be faced with situations like these, but we are still called to trust and believe that He is good and… Yeah, I can get carried away very easily.
I didn’t have time to rehearse any more of my speech, because we were there. There was Teresa, her sweet Cady and she was pointing.
“There, under the van.”
I looked and immediately knew, it was our Purrl. She was crouched underneath a van, she looked wary and scared. I walked very slowly up to her, talking my kitty talk. I knelt down in front of her and reached my hand out to her. She came right to me and began rubbing my leg. I was so happy she knew me. The kids, watching from the van, now ran to us. They were loud and excited and I tried to hush them so that they wouldn’t scare Purrl. That was silly. How can you hush such celebration!
We put her in the cat carrier and quickly deposited her in the van. I turned and hugged Teresa and thanked her. There were tears streaming down my face. She began to cry some too. I turned and looked at my children, they were crying too. But these were tears of gratitude and thanksgiving and rejoicing! Not the tears of disappointment that I had braced myself for.
We cried all the way home and so did Purrl, poor thing.
I put her on the floor of the laundry room. I let her out to get familiar with her new surroundings. She immediately crawled up into my lap, put her paws on my shoulder and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed me, purring her loud purr. She remembered.
It’s funny, my kids didn’t seem all that surprised. They knew she would come back. It was just a matter of time.
So can you guess what God taught me through this?
I don’t often lose the things that I have control over. But when I lose control, I often lose hope.
Watching the faith and expectancy of my kids challenged me to once again grab onto that child-like faith. I was worried that I would have to restore their faith in God if things didn’t ‘work out’. But that is such a grown up problem, isn’t it? They just simply believe. They don’t have preconceived notions of how God should work or how He should provide or how He should answer. They just keep praying, keep believing, keep expecting.
What a challenge for us all.