The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
On September 17, 1994, this happened:
It was truly one of the best days of my life.
I look back with only fond memories and absolutely NO REGRETS!!
Fast Forward 20 years later and this is what our family looks like now:
What a difference 20 years can make. I couldn't have dreamed up this family God has given us. Despite my desire to control and even plan for 6 children, I did not picture this.
The stories of God's leading, faithfulness, and provision in our lives over the last 20 years could fill books and books. I pray that I always give Him the glory for what He has done.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 did not go as expected. Rick and I hadn't planned anything major for our anniversary, just a lunch date, because we are hoping to take a trip in February as our celebration. Despite that, I had no idea how this day would turn out.
I woke up that morning as always getting everyone ready for school. Rick, Cody and Lauren left around 6:45 AM for school. Abby, Sam, Isaiah, Laila, and I left at 7:35 AM. It was a typical day, or so I thought. Many mornings, after I drop off the kids, I run errands. On this day, I only had one quick errand. Then, Laila and I headed home. We pulled into our driveway at 8:30 AM.
While I was driving, I had received a text. So, when I pulled into the garage, I checked it on my phone and went to answer it. Laila jumped out of the truck and headed into the house.
As I was answering the text, I heard a few unusual things all in a matter of seconds.
1. I heard a male voice say, "Hi" to Laila
2. I heard Laila say, "Mom, are you coming in soon?"
3. I heard our sliding glass door.
I came right in and Laila said to me, "Mom, there was a man in our yard."
I started asking her questions.
1. Did you know him?
2. Was he in a uniform(thinking maybe it was a cable or utilities guy)?
3. Where did he go?
I scanned the backyard, saw that our gate was open, ran around to the front of the house, but he was nowhere in sight. So, we came in and I immediately called Rick. To be honest, all that happened did not fully register at that moment. I didn't realize he had been in our house. Laila just said he was in our backyard. Rick said to lock up the house and let him know if anything happened. So, I did. I then went upstairs to take my shower. While I was in the shower, it hit me. I didn't even check to see if anything was missing. I immediately went downstairs and saw that my laptop and cords were gone. I ran back upstairs and saw that Rick's laptop and cords were gone. Then, I panicked.
I called Rick again and told him our laptops were missing. He said to call the police and he would come right home.
Then, I asked Laila more questions. She was able to describe the man in great detail. I love that she said, "He wasn't a kid, but he wasn't a man." We figured out that meant he was in his late teens or early twenties. I also discovered that when she said he was in our yard, he was actually on our steps with our sliding door open. Most likely coming back into the house to get more stuff. It seemed that our arrival home interrupted him.
Once Rick got home, we immediately began working on securing our info that is on our computers, changing passwords, logging out of different programs, etc. We waited for the police to arrive.
After about an hour and a half a police woman arrived. She was great. Laila explained everything to her. We discovered during that explanation that Laila had closed the sliding door on the guy and locked it!! She was so smart to do that. Our little hero. After the police woman left, she proclaimed that she is going to be a police woman when she grows up. She certainly has the skills for it!
It was after all the hoopla settled down, it hit me. The emotions of all that had happened finally sunk in. My first reaction was fear. Fear of what could have happened. Laila and/or I could have been hurt, BADLY. But we weren't. So much more could have been taken. But it wasn't.
My friend, Sue, made this comment on my fb page:
"So thankful you all are safe. This is a terrible feeling. Do not let it overtake you."
Yes, yes, yes! That comment centered me. It helped me to settle into gratefulness rather than focusing on the fear of what happened.
I also dealt with the "What ifs". What if I had come straight home instead of running an errand. Maybe he wouldn't even have been able to get our computers. What if I had gotten out of the truck right away when we got home. Then, I would have seen him. BUT, then he would have seen me. So many questions about if I should have handled it differently. When I saw the verse that I put at the beginning of this post, I stopped asking those questions.
I just have to trust that God is in control! I just have to be grateful!
Thankfully, we have had an unexplainable peace in our home. We have all slept well. The kids have handled it surprisingly well. Even Laila has not been bothered by her encounter. I don't think she fully grasps the intensity of what was happening.
Rick and I still did our lunch date, but is just wasn't the same.
We kind of just sat there and stared at each other.
But, you know what? The "Thief" can't steal the 20 years of marriage away from us that we have experienced. That is here to stay.
Now we are dreaming about the next 20 years.
I am so thankful for this man in my life. If you know him, you know how blessed I am!
This is an anniversary we. will. not. forget!
I could think of no better way to end that day than this right here:
On a side note. I have many skipped blog posts still to do(August and September). One of the results of losing our computers is that I am still trying to recover photos from the last few months that weren't backed up. Thankfully, we still have them on cameras and Rick's work computer. I think that I will be able to get most of them back. BUT, it is just one more frustration in this process. We are dealing with our insurance company and finding out what our coverage is for an incident like this. It is a pain, really and it will most likely take weeks to get it all sorted out. You never really realize how much you use your computer until it is gone. God is providing and for that we are so grateful.