Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Found

“Daddy, where did you find Mama?”

Kevin looked at me, smiling, then asked, “What do you mean, Micah?”

“I mean where did you find her?”

I chuckled, thinking, “As if I were a lost little puppy.”

Indeed.

“I found her in a church building!” Kevin said. Micah sighed, “Oh, good!”

Through the remainder of the day, the question echoed in my heart. “Where did you find her?”

For the truth is, God found me first.

And I wanted to be found, but I did not know it.

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him…
Francis Thompson – The Hound of Heaven

As I wandered, raised in truth but walking with the world, I held onto my tags – they said, “If found, please return me to God” and “My name is Beloved”. But the company I kept and the locations I frequented were unfamiliar with my Owner, and so they did not encourage me to return to Him.

A chorus of prayer was lifted on my behalf, bending His ear, beseeching the Hound of Heaven to seek me out. Family, friends, even strangers.

For a long time, I resisted the temptations thrown at me. Even the ones that were subtly suggested. And then, I just didn’t. My Rock was gone, or so I thought. I had slipped too far, and so what did it matter?

Days slipped into weeks, turned into months, and I moved through life without hope, without joy, longing for my family, and longing for my soul-shepherd.

And then one day, I was careless.

I dared to believe that I could go back. This is a choice I’ve made. I can unmake it, can’t I?

I walked through that day in a pleasant stupor, wondering, hoping beyond hope, believing it was possible.

And when I touched the doorknob to my lonely apartment, He was suddenly there, a presence so overwhelming that I slid to the floor in tears. The unbelievable had become a reality. He found me, His hand caressing my head, my soul panting for Him. And my wandering was over.

“All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"
(Hound of Heaven)


Ten years ago, on the eleventh of this month, I was baptized into Christ, in the presence of family, friends, and in the presence of my husband-to-be (though we did not know it yet!).

And there is where Kevin found me.

My heart sighs, “Oh, good.” It is so good.

Where did He find you?

___________________________________________________________

*As an aside, I have to recognize my children. It is their innocent questions and childlike faith that feeds my own. What would I do without them?

And speaking of children as blog material, you must read this. Just be careful not to slip -my heart melted while I was there and left a big puddle on the floor.

17 fellow travelers shared:

Grafted Branch said...

That was a lovely post. So lovely.

Randi said...

I love the idea of God calling me His beloved. One of my favorites books in the Bible is Hosea. Some people think this is an odd choice but it is the story of Beloved relentessly pursued by her Husband--God, of course. His love has no end and is never worn out from pursuing us, there is nothing we can do to limit His love for us. This is wonderful to stand in everday!

Beautiful post, Elise!

Christine said...

Oh my, God found me when I didn't even know anything about Him. I became His even before I knew what it meant. I trusted and held on to my mustard seed faith because I could do nothing else with my scant knowledge and secular upbringing. And He has blessed me with a daily-growing love and faith that I just do not deserve! I loved this post, Elise! And I love your family- what blessings!

Stacey said...

They better be careful because my tears have mixed with your melted heart and now we have some kind of mess.

Tears. Tears because your post so echos my own journey. I love the Hound of Heaven - so certainly my heart.

Tears also because of the link. I. Am. Speechless. At. Your. Friendship.

Thank you.

QueenHeroical said...

Strange (wonderful) how we are found at the least likely of moments.

And I had to add that I was also baptized in the presence of my husband on the eve of our introduction. Heady stuff thinking back on it.

TaunaLen said...

Thank you so much for leaving my first "random burst of words" on blogspot. I am so glad you found me! Coming here to respond, i find that your post brings tears to my eyes and a measure of comfort to my heart. I so long to put these tags on my 19 year old daughter as she wanders the world. "If found, please return me to God" and "My name is Beloved". What a joyus comfort to be reminded that He has done it long before I could. I lift my prayers on her behalf, begging Him to woo her, draw her, chase her. I suddenly find a longing in myself to find and read "The Hound of Heaven." You have encouraged me today. Thank you.

~TaunaLen

Munchkin Land said...

That was beautiful! Simply beautiful! There is always something reassuring, peaceful, and humbling at the thought that He is always there; always searching for us; and always wanting the best for us. Such comfort cannot be found anywhere else!!

Kari Murphy said...

"For the truth is, God found me first.

And I wanted to be found, but I did not know it."

Oh, *sigh*.

Isn't it the truth?!

A simply beautiful post.

Oh, and my dear husband also witnessed my baptism --- not knowing he was to be my husband. (Though we were beginning to think along those lines...after a couple of days of dating!) It's such a sweet memory to share with him!

Sunydazy said...

Beautiful food for thought today. Thank you for sharing these thoughts from your heart.

Andrea said...

Very similar to my story, Elise. I wanted to be found, but did not know it.
IT was not til I was in my early 20s that I made that discovery that He was there and waiting, although I had accepted Him at age 12.

Thank you for sharing.

Laura said...

Elise, beautiful post. And thanks for visiting my blog. I've printed out the Hound of Heaven so I can read it in its entirety-it's been forever since I have.

Ann V. said...

He found me a cold, guarded high school student, walls of protection built high and secure. Love hurt. And I wasn't going to be hurt anymore.

And He showed Himself, hanging on a Tree, love hurting for me... I fled my walls and threw myself at the foot of that cross. He knew it all. He understood.

I am still clinging.

All is gift,
Ann... whose someday-husband witnessed her baptism at 16 ~warm smile~

tonia said...

you are a very good writer, Elise...you know that right?

Keep writing, please.

Elise said...

Thank you, friends, for reading my story - and sharing yours as well.
May we all be found, for we are all sought.

Beka said...

Such a beautiful post, and so well-written! Praise the Lord that He sought us out in spite of our rebellion, and brought us safely into His fold.
Thank you for these thoughts today. Your blog is SUCH a blessing... I am so very grateful to have found it!!

Cresanna said...

"If found, return me to God" ... you put it so beautifully, Elise. This is where i AM ... needing so much for Him to move ...

"Days slipped into weeks, turned into months, and I moved through life without hope, without joy, longing for my family, and longing for my soul-shepherd."

I was so very close to Him, so Found, but I've been distracted by the busyness and distractions of life. I don't know how to find Him again, but I long for it...

He will do it ...

"He found me, His hand caressing my head, my soul panting for Him. And my wandering was over."

Somehow ... I know He will ...

the Redelsperger family said...

Elise, I don't know if you check the comments on stuff this far back. I almost hope you don't...
Thank you for hearing His call. I don't know if I could count the prayers offered up for you as you moved out on your own. The tears I cried when I knew my friend was hurting, but wouldn't allow me to share in the suffering. I know now it was not my place, not our time to be close. The joy that fills my heart knowing that the prayers of so many were answered that sweet day in the murky waters of the baptistry of Eldorado! That all of heaven rejoiced...
I love you friend. I have adored you from the first day I saw the moving truck!

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