I had put forth extra effort and was so happy to finally get the kids to AWANA on time one Sunday evening. As we parted ways, Jason taking the older two and I taking the little two, I said with a wink, “Wouldn’t it be nice to go out?”
I left Grace and Jason Jr. at their classrooms and walked to the church foyer where Jason and I normally meet to go in together. Not seeing Jason, I walked to the nursery to make sure the baby had stopped crying and then went back and waited in the foyer. “Hmm, that’s strange,” I thought. “Jason is usually waiting for me when I get here.” I wondered what would be keeping him.
I decided to try the church library and then the bookstore, since he is usually one of those places when I can’t find him. He was neither place. I was beginning to feel uneasy. Finally, I decided to go sit in the sanctuary to wait for him. It was still early, so the worship team was practicing. I looked up expectantly every time someone walked by.
Then it occurred to me that maybe he took me seriously when I said it would be nice to go out. What if he was waiting for me in the van? I grabbed my purse and walked out to the parking lot. I drive a high top conversion van that usually towers above most other family rides, so I noticed right away that the van was gone. I walked around a little anyway, but I knew where we had parked, and the van was nowhere to be seen. “Maybe he decided to pull around and pick me up” was my next unlikely thought, so I walked all the way to the front of the church and back, but still no sign of Jason or my van.
It had been fifteen minutes since I last saw him and I kept trying to think of things that could be keeping him. Maybe he was just talking to someone. I went back to wait in the sanctuary. People were starting to fill the pews now and still no Jason. Again I walked out to the parking lot and then back to the front of the building. Jason has never, ever left without me or without telling me, not even in anger, so I could not imagine what had become of him. I kept telling myself that there had to be a logical explanation, but could not think of one. It was so out of character for him to have left willingly without telling me that I started to believe that for sure some how he must have left unwillingly. . . . I was beginning to panic, and I confess I really found it difficult even to pray. I could think of nothing but, “Oh, please let him be okay, please let him be ok, please let him be ok.” You get the idea.
Standing in the parking lot, I decided to go see if he checked Joy into her SPARKS class. Trembling I walked to the building and stopped short when I got there. The building was full of people and the sign on the door said that SPARKS was meeting in the south building that evening. Whew, I was glad that I hadn’t walked into a service in progress.
When I got to the South building, however, I couldn’t find anyone. Convincing myself that Joy HAD to be safely with her class, wherever that was, I told myself to get a grip and just go to church. At least I would be where Jason was most likely to look for me. I couldn’t resist making one more tour around the parking lot and once again staring at the spot where the van had been.
The service had started as I once again sat in the back pew. I couldn’t sing. I knew that if I opened my mouth I would no longer be able to suppress the sob that kept threatening to rise in my throat. Where was my husband? Would I ever see him again? How would I get home? What would I tell the kids? How would I make people believe that he hadn’t left willingly? It was forty-five minutes since I had last seen him.
Suddenly he walked through the door and sat beside me. I couldn’t look at him. “Are you ok?” he asked me. “No,” I replied as tears ran down my face. If I hadn’t been so happy to see him, I could have killed him. I had a new understanding of the cliché!
Jason whispered that he had walked with the girls to sign Joy in for SPARKS and found that where they usually meet, Faith’s Truth and Training class was having their annual wooden car Grand Prix race. Faith was immediately upset that she wasn’t going to be able to race because we hadn’t brought her car. Jason dropped everything, ran to the van, drove home to get Faith’s car, and rushed back just in time to get her in on the races. Ah, my hero!
Tears streamed down my face as we walked to see the races. I was immensely relieved that Jason was back, but I still felt numb and trembley and had a very hard time enjoying the race at all. As we sat there watching, Jason suddenly said, “I’ll be right back—I need to go check on Joy.”
“What’s the matter with Joy?” I asked.
“I need to make sure she got to her class.”
“Didn’t you take her to her class?”
“No, I just left to get Faith’s car.” I had to laugh. That was one piece of information that I was glad I hadn’t discovered while he was gone. I think I would have dialed 911 on the spot! Fortunately, she got to her class on her own.
Jason was very kind, apologetic, and patient in answering all of my incredulous questions. My last question to him was, “So, if I had left without a word to run home to get something for the kids, would you have been angry?”
He smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, I probably would have,” was his honest reply that melted my heart. Here was a perfect example of how a soft answer turns away wrath. Well, Jason was fine, Faith got to race her car, Joy somehow made it to her class, and I gained a new appreciation for my husband, so all was well!
AWW! Sounds like me and my husband! You’ve definitely have a “keeper” 🙂
I know what it is like to panic over something when there is nothing to be worried about, but I can see why you were scared, and I’m glad it all turned out to be something to write about!
These are the reasons they sell haircoloring kits and these are the reasons we buy them!
I would have been scared too, but what a sweet daddy thing to do 🙂
Whew! Sorry you had to go through so much stress. I get freaked out over stuff like that easily too. I should know better though – my hubby just has no sense of time!
Ah, miscommunication – the thing we all struggle with… Pleased you can look back at events like this, laugh and feel closer than ever to your husband!
Chad Thomas Johnston says
*Whew!* Insane how the little things can make you lose your mind, huh? 🙂 Ha! Enjoyed reading the post. Your family sounds truly blessed, and truly fun. 🙂 Keep it up!!!
this last one brought water to my eyes. Thanks for sharing
I think you handled that marvelously! You’re right that is a wonderful example of a gentle answer turning away wrath. I love how when we are walking with God we are able to see our circumstances through His eyes. Great story, thank you for sharing it with us!
Elizabeth Grimes says
Oh! I’ve been that scared for a few moments before too. This is where cell phones and text messages come in handy I’ve found. 🙂
I have totally panicked in the middle of Wal-Mart when I couldn’t find my husband. He would never leave me but somehow I thought he might have..
We women worry so much, don’t we? I can understand your being upset. It’s part of our job description. 🙂 Glad everything was okay.
Ahhhahahaha . . . Your husband sounds a lot like mine – he would have been apologizing all over himself too! Of course, that is only if he didn’t have his cell handy. So glad it all turned out well!
Esther, if it’s any consolation, I would have inwardly panicked, too, while struggling to remain calm and praying the whole time. You handled the situation well.
Two of my children were in the Awana program when they were quite young. Nice reminder.
Susan Evans says
Oh, what a sweetheart your husband was! I’ve panicked so many times when things just didn’t seem right. The fact that you went 45 minutes without seeing him must have really had you stressed out!
I do that ALL the time!!!! Probably at least once every two weeks. And I start imagining my life without him or picturing going to visit him laying almost completely lifeless in a hospital room. Completely irrational. Last week when I was out of town visiting my brother, I couldn’t reach Dave and after awhile (and I mean only a few minutes) I started looking for a plane ticket because I knew I’d need to get home quicker than my car could get me (It’s a 15 1/2 hr car ride). You are not alone 🙂
Naughty of Jason not to tell you he was popping home, but then again he went home for a good reason.
That must have been very worrying.
I’ve been there myself. Funny how our minds race back and forth with trying to calm outselves down and then getting irrational… Glas it worked out and he was so sweet about it.
Mai Bateson says
Soon..I will get to experience this.. and it was so sweet! You amazingly handled it.. 🙂
Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club link up.
Fawn Weaver says
I had an experience like this before except I knew exactly where Keith was! He was standing not too far from me in line for some delicious BBQ in Los Angeles. The only problem is the delish barbecue is in a, let’s just say, not so great part of town. For some reason, out of nowhere I was so afraid for his safety that I just began crying my eyes out. He came back to the car and saw his wife with tears everywhere and when he asked me what was wrong I sounded like a little id who had cried so much she was out of breath and couldn’t get a legible word out.
We still laugh about it to this day. (but we’ve never gone back to that place for BBQ – it was really good…but not worth all those tears :)).
Awww… I’ve had things like that happen that kind of shock me into a reality check. Little moments like that are wonderful reminders to appreciate the little moments. Your husband sounds like a sweetheart 🙂