Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Test Failed....Lesson Learned

I'm pretty sure I failed a test yesterday. Flunked. Bombed. F.

Nathan's first day of 1st grade was yesterday, and I drove him to school and walked him to the classroom. As I left him at his big-boy desk filled with books, I reminded him that he was to ride bus #7 to Miss Heather's house (our sitter) after school and that I would see him at home.

Fast forward to 4:00pm.

Nathan's bus still had not arrived at Heather's house, but I was not overly alarmed because it was the first day of school and things were bound to run a little slow. It was also raining cats and dogs, and that always slows things down.

4:17 pm.....no bus.

4:32 pm....still no bus.

I was started to get a little frantic as it was Nathan's first time ever to ride the bus, and even after repeated calls to the bus barn, I could not get a person on the line. I called Heather for updates several times, but the answer was the same.

Then at 5:01 pm Heather called me and the words she spoke made my insides turn to liquid and my heart stop beating.

"He's not on the bus."

"Oh God!! Please let him be okay! Please protect him and let him be okay!!!!" I had visions of abductions, police at the house, and search teams in the fields around our town.

As we were speaking, Trevor pulled up in her driveway, and I let her go so she could fill him in on the details. I was on the way home, sitting in traffic (if they knew how desperately I needed to get home, they would have parted like the Red Sea!) waiting for a call from Trevor. I gave him approximately 3.28 minutes, and when my phone did not ring, I called him.

I asked him what was going on, and he responded with some inane comment about how hard it was raining.


I (rather rudely) interrupted with, "I don't care about the weather!! WHERE IS NATHAN??!!" Trevor was on his way home to see if Nathan had been dropped off there, which is what the driver of bus #7 had told Heather. Apparently, Nathan had gotten on the correct bus, but then through a series of misunderstandings was taken off and put on bus #29 (which goes to our empty house).

So, when Trevor discovered that Nathan was not home, he went back to Heather's to see if he had turned up there. This entire time we were unable to get in touch with the bus barn, but that is a story for another day. I was still on the phone with Trevor when he pulled up to Heather's house, and he said that Nathan was not there.

"Wait....there he is", were the sweetest words my husband has ever uttered to me. I calmly said "Thank you God!" and told Trevor good-bye. Then I promptly pulled over into the nearest parking lot and burst into tears. Tears of relief and joy that I had not lost my baby.

As soon as I recovered, I got back on the road home. I was still crying, but not so badly that I couldn't see the road. I wish I could say that I handled the situation calmly and with the knowledge that God was in control and that I could handle anything because of that knowledge.

Nope. I was a raving lunatic on the inside and my prayers were not prayers for calmness and peace, or even for grace to get me through whatever might happen. They were hastily thrown together words flung at the heavens in fear and confusion. When I should have leaned on God and let His peace and mercy wash over me and control my reactions, I could only scream in the most primal way to NOT TAKE MY SON FROM ME!

I know what the scripture says about worrying and about placing our trust completely in God, even in times of trouble. I don't usually have a problem with this when the situation is normal crazy, if you know what I mean. People who are sick, schedules bearing down on me, difficult times in my marriage, the death of loved ones, etc, etc. Those situations are built for praying and opening myself up to God's guidance and grace...I have the time to think about God's sovereignty and how I should respond as a Christian.

But in an emergency.....that's an entirely different story. I felt so ashamed after it was all over that I had not immediately stopped and prayed, praising God for being in control. I discovered that it's easy to teach Sunday School and bible study and point out these basic truths to others, with a whole fistful of scripture to back it up. It is an entirely different thing to practice it first hand when you feel like your entire world has imploded, leaving you gasping for air in the sudden vacuum.

Maybe that is the lesson I was supposed to glean from this experience. Although I failed to turn to God with complete faith and trust this time, my prayer and desire is that I will respond rightly next time.

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