Have you ever lost something really valuable and important to you? You want to search until you find it, until it is safely back in your possession. When it's gone your thoughts turn to obsession and even your dreams can be haunted by the loss.
Sometimes a loss cannot be replaced. There is no price on it, and money can't even buy it back. A couple years ago I misplaced my wedding ring. To this day it's still gone, and my finger often feels bare. I do have a new, different ring to take its place, but I still don't have that completion that my wedding ring gave to me. It was given to me on my wedding day, backed up by beautiful vows to give it meaning. I have come to the conclusion that I probably will never find that ring again. I still have my commitment and covenant that I made verbally with my husband, and a ring will never change that.
The loss I've experienced this week is something that cannot be bought with money. I wish I could run to the store and purchase what I need to take this ache away.
A week ago yesterday I had an unexpected visitor. I was busy getting ready for a party I would be having when this girl came knocking at my front door. I'm always tempted to ignore the knock and hope they will go away. Sometimes I feel like I don't have time to be friendly and polite. Sometimes I don't want people barging in on my life I've created for myself. I don't need distractions, and I'm often selfish. (That's really hard to admit)
This girl was selling something but she wouldn't tell me what. She asked to come into my home and promised it would only take a few minutes. I couldn't tell her no. I was immediately softening my hard protective shell, and invited her in to sit at my table.
We talked for an hour and a half. She wanted to sell me books, and she was very good at her job. She wasn't demanding or rude. She was very understanding and didn't want to pressure me into purchasing. She's a college student trying to raise money after all so she certainly wouldn't be judging me for not having the funds to buy from her.
As we talked about everything in life, I didn't want to let her go. I wanted to learn more and more about this girl. I know she was very focused on making her sale, but I was focused on earning her trust and friendship. There was something so compelling about her, that I became obsessed you could say.
God has never given me this strong overpowering feeling before. I don't know if it's the fact that she professes her country does not believe in God that draws me to her, or if it's something else. As she left my house I began to research Estonia, her home.
"According to the Dentsu Communication Institute Inc, Estonia is the least religious country in the world with 75.7% of the population claiming to be irreligious. The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that only 16% of Estonians profess a belief in a God, the lowest belief of all countries studied."
Regardless of the reason for me pursing her, which I don't even fully understand, God has placed her in my heart. I cannot forget her, or let her go. I want to do everything in my power to find her again, and to be her friend. That's all I ask. I want to give her my friendship, and I will not be satisfied until I offer it again.
Before she had left my house that day, I invited her to my party three separate times. She never promised to come as she is very dedicated to earning her college tuition. She made it pretty clear that she did not have time for anything else. She was very courteous about it, and I greatly respected her for it. But I sensed a desire to connect within her also. My kids loved her too.
She did not come to my party that night. I was sad, but not too disappointed as I knew she wouldn't. She told me so herself. I normally back down when told no, but I have felt such a burning in my heart that I will not give up.
The party I had was Missions Passport. You can buy purses, scarves, or jewelry made by women in Thailand who have escaped prostitution. These women are able to provide money for their families in a respectable way. I wholeheartedly support this company. I knew my friend would not come, and I might not ever see her again, but I felt strongly that I should buy her a purse. She seemed very intrigued by the idea of the party, and I wanted to give her a gift.
For the past week, every single day I have gone out searching for my friend. I have driven the streets of my neighborhood again and again looking for a sign that she is nearby. She doesn't own a car here, and has to travel by bike. I check every lamp post to see if her bike is propped up on it. I look at every sidewalk to see if the bike rider resembles my friend. But alas I cannot find her.
I have stopped driving the highway because I have a better chance of finding her on the city streets. Every day I go out of my way and drive through the neighborhoods to see if she is there. My kids are always on the lookout for her. My husband has been looking, and I've gone in the direction he pointed searching for her. I sit on my front steps reading in the hot heat just to maybe catch a glimpse of her riding by. God has placed this girl on my heart, and I cannot remove her.
I don't know what I'm going to say when I find her. I might just weep. I have cried so many tears of frustration over this. I have looked everywhere I know to look. I've searched everywhere, but where she is.
The only way I have to describe this feeling and ache that I have over finding her, is the story in the Bible of the lost sheep.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" Luke 15:4-7
To me, this girl is my sheep. I am surrounded by other people, and they don't matter. I can think of nothing but the sheep that I have lost. I don't know why God has given me this desire, but it's there. I need to find her. And when I finally have found her, I will REJOICE!
I see and understand the symbolism so strongly in this Bible passage. God feels this way about all his lost children, and we matter so much to him that He is in agony over the loss.
I don't know that I will ever see my friend, Birgit, again. But I do know that I will not stop caring, and I will not stop searching. She is here for one more month, and I am determined to find her. If it's God's will, I know it will happen. I will do all that I possibly can to make it happen.
I want her to know how important she is, how much she matter's to God. She may believe in Him, she may not believe in Him, but He certainly believes in her.
If you see my friend, Birgit (pronounced "Ber-giht"), come knocking on your door, please invite her in. Tell her that I'm looking for her, and tell her that I will find her.
She Found Me