Last Saturday morning started off how most of my Saturday morning’s start off: a run on the Olentangy River Bike Trail. Little did I know, the rest of the week that followed would be dramatically different than I had planned.
After a wonderful 5 mile run, I walked up to my car and was greeted by a park ranger. He had just pulled up to patrol the bike trail and found my passenger side window shattered. He asked, “Do you notice anything missing?”. I said, “Uh yea, my entire purse is gone”. Now, all you moms out there, I know what you’re thinking. “Why would you leave your purse in plain sight?!” Let’s just say I learned my lesson and will no longer be leaving valuables in my car!
As I sat in the park ranger’s Jeep calling credit card companies and fighting back tears, I started thinking about what just happened. So many thoughts were running through my head. Why would someone do this? Why was I so stupid as to leave my purse on the floor? Why didn’t I leave my purse at home? Why did I come to this park at this particular time? Why would God allow this to happen to me?
As the park ranger wrote up a report, took photos of the damage, instructed me on what I needed to do to get my stuff back, I began to process what had happened. Later that afternoon, I decided to make this whole experience a joyful one. How? I would document and cherish the moments when I regained lost items.
Saturday afternoon after the incident, I got a call from the Columbus Parks and Rec Department. They found my wallet underneath another woman’s car they broke into just a few miles down the road. My credit cards, license, buy one, get one free Chipotle Burrito Bowl coupon and a few other things were missing but my social security card and health insurance cards were still there. Praise the lord!!
Monday at work I visited security to have a new employee id made and received all new keys for the rooms in the Ronald McDonald House.
The weekend was a little chilly driving around with no window but Monday evening I came home from work and my window was fixed! Safelite came out to my house and did the work on site. I could drive again!
Tuesday during my lunch hour I faced the grouchy folks at the BMV and received a new license. Now I could legally drive and my picture wasn’t half bad either!
Tuesday afternoon I received another phone call from the owner of a car wash. He found my number inside my planner that he found on top of a car wash machine. Not just my planner, but my house keys, work keys (that I already had replaced) and my checkbook along with several other people’s stuff the thieves had taken and left. I was SO thrilled to get my planner back. I felt lost without that thing! Thank heavens for that car wash owner who was nice enough to return my stuff and meet me later that evening.
Just yesterday, I got a new debit card and the fraudulent charges from Speedway were charged back onto my account. Those thieves moved quickly!
Now, a week after the broken window and stolen purse I have most of my personal belongings back or replaced. Despite losing most of my valuables, I still had a great weekend and found great joy as I celebrated each moment that lead me back to “normalcy”.
Having my window broken and my purse stolen reminded me of how broken this world is. How badly this world needs a savior. I, fortunately, have that Savior and I am so thankful to know God. Without Him, this experience probably would have flipped my world upside down. Instead, I chose joy. Yes, my stuff was gone. But at the end of the day, I wasn’t hurt. My friends and family were still there for me. I had learned a valuable life lesson (the hard way!) and I had the God of the universe on my side!
“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me”. – Psalm 27:5-7
Today I would encourage you to find joy in the little things. This world is full of broken, depressed, drug-addicted, grouchy people. But, this world is also full of GOOD people, funny people, helpful people and people who would drop anything to help you. We will always face trials, bad days and tough times but it’s our choice to chose joy in the midst of them!