Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sleepless in the Valley

Many years ago, my daughter used to ski at Wintergreen near Calgary. She was the teeniest, tiniest seven-year-old on the hill.

Not a skier myself, I would wait dutifully at the bottom of the run in the warmth of the lodge until she would appear exhausted but smiling and head back to the T-bar. After a few runs, I would run outside and force her to come in and eat something. My little ski bunny!

However, at least once a season, my baby would not appear at the end of the run. Her ‘buddy-up’ partner would arrive solo, shrug her shoulders and go back up alone. Dang. What a sickening feeling to a parent to be separated from your child with no means or ability to reach them.

Thankfully I would find young snowboarders–typically random strangers-who would take on the challenge and go on a hunt. Minutes would pass as I anxiously waited for a sign. Sure enough, he would appear, holding a set of skis, my daughter flung over his shoulder fireman lift style. Whew.

For a mother who was known to yell, ‘Don’t run’ whenever the girls were on the playground, and ordered bubble wrap in extra-large rolls, losing her on a ski hill was far out of my comfort zone.

So, flash ahead over a dozen years and imagine my horror a few nights ago when my daughter called me atop some mountain, in my car, lost on a logging road in the middle of nowhere. She could not give us a definite road, visibility was poor, the car was stuck on ice and slowly slipping. With the rescue team from a local conference center in one ear, and her in my other, the night went on for hours as they tried to locate her.

I was proud of her ability to keep her head. She never got angry or blamed anyone for her predicament. She was cold, hungry, scared but doing fine. As was I. Until the car died.

Now she was on a dark road, with no power and the car lights were off. I lost it. I'm not proud to admit it, but that's the sad truth. My sweet husband was sitting on the couch praying the whole time. I got off the floor (okay, so I was holding it together, but not in style) and handed him the phone.

“The car is dead. FIX THIS!” and with that, proceeded to walk into the kitchen for a well-deserved melt down.

Oh, you woman of faith you! Clearly God is in control . . . as long as the car is locked, warm and she has power to keep her cell charged. You Hypocrite! You viper!


They found her a few minutes later.

We all learned a lot that night. My husband learned that when he married me two years ago, he inherited three women who can, at times, become hysterical when left in the dark. Tia learned that God has his hand on her 24/7 – even when the lights go out.

And me? I learned that when your daughter is stuck up on a mountain, it doesn’t matter whether she’s seven or almost twenty, you will do anything to move that mountain and be reunited.

Crazy love.

Which makes me consider how much God desires to be united with us. So much so, He sent his only child and was temporarily separated from him to make a way for us to be with him forever. To walk with him and never be alone . . . not even on a dark mountain.

Kinda like the footprints poem, except I’m so stubborn it means he has to fireman lift me off the floor sometimes when I forget about His love for me.

In the meantime, I’m considering moving the whole family . . . to a province without any mountains! 
Enjoy one of my favorite parent-child reunion scenes!

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