Truly, there are few things that could rattle us as parents more than running over our own child. The day that I ran over Annesley in our 12-passenger van in our driveway is one of the worst of my life, if not the worst. Really, how does that happen?
When I was writing Lost & Found, this is the chapter that nearly did me in. I cried, I prayed, I groped for the words to clearly illustrate the raging emotions tormenting my heart, I wrestled with God. I don't ever want to have to write that story again.
I lived with such terrible guilt and fear after that incident. God did a formidable work in my life, but what has the outcome been for Annesley?
Annesley is 13 years old now. She sings and performs in a choir and on the youth group worship team. She loves children and told me today that she wants to be a nanny. She is cheerful, creative, and a good friend. She also starts high school in the fall.
When I tell our story to an audience, hers is the narrative that elicits an audible gasp, and I think that's simply because every parent fears that we cannot protect our children from accidents like this one, but I assume it's also because most people jump to the worst possible outcome in their heads. Annesley didn't die. In fact, of the three harrowing stories told in Lost & Found, hers is the one that doesn't have permanent ramifications.
Except in her heart. She tells her story, too. She tells it with gratitude and awe that God saved her, and dare she believe that He saved her for a purpose? Yes, because we all can believe that of our own stories. Our lives here? They aren't useless, even if no one ever writes a book about us. Our stories are written by the God who loves us so very deeply, nothing we can write into our own personal histories is ever beyond the improbable scope of His grace and mercy.