In 1981, Adam Walsh was found murdered and decapitated, actually only his head was found. Sorry. Gruesome, I know. You’ll see why I mention this in a moment. (If you’d like to read Adam’s story, you can go here.)
If you don’t know about Adam, he was abducted from a mall in Florida. You have probably heard of his father John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. On the anniversary of Adam’s death twenty five years later in 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the federal statue called the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which also created the sex offender registry.
If you saw yesterday’s post, you read about Susette Williams’ new book The Day My Parents Got Lost. It brought up a scary memory for me of what happened to my daughter.
Right after the abduction of Adam Walsh, I lost my five year-old daughter in a large department store at the mall. To say I was freaked out would be an understatement.
We have given our sweet daughter many nicknames over the years, so I’ll just call her by one…Merf!
As we were shopping, I was looking around in one of the women’s departments (don’t remember which one). Merf was next to me. She loved to feel fabrics when she was little, especially soft ones, and would occasionally crawl under the clothes on the racks and feel the fabrics.
Thinking she was right beside me, or under a rack, I said something to her. But she did not answer me.
I called to her. No answer.
I looked around, and under, and called again. No answer.
Starting to panic, I called a little louder. No answer.
Now getting frantic, I yelled out in the store for her, but she did not answer.
At the same time my mind raced through all the horrific scenarios that could happen, my heart felt as though it would jump out of my body. I prayed, “Oh, God! Help!”
As I started to search everywhere for her, my ears perked up as I heard someone calling my name from somewhere within the store . . . “LYNN!”
I looked around and a very dear friend was just coming through the entrance of the store. I waved to her.
From halfway across the store, she yelled, “Are you looking for Merf?”
“YES! Where is she?”
“She’s right here by the door!”
I ran to get her.
After smothering my daughter with kisses and practically squishing her insides out with my hug, I asked her why she didn’t stay by my side.
She said she couldn’t find me and, as she knew which way we came in, she went to the double set of doors and waited in between them because she knew I would come out that way.
Oh, be still my heart! It still shakes me up to this day.
With all the evil in the world, it is highly important that we teach our kids and grand-kids to stay close to us or whoever is in charge of them at the moment. We want to teach them with love and gentleness so we do not scare them. However, a little apprehension is a good thing.
And, at the same time we explain closeness to them, we need to teach them that staying close to the Lord, as our heavenly Father, is of utmost importance. As His children, we are never alone or without His help in any situation.
When Jehovah-shammah (Jehovah or the Lord is present or there) came as Immanuel (God with us), He said, “I am with you always.” (Matt. 28:20 almost all versions)
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
(Ps. 46:1 NIV)
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