It was a mundane day, plain old ordinary – until Anna got out of bed. The simplest chore became a game of concentration. After kisses liberally dispersed and the last little body seen entering the school building, Anna slumped over the steering wheel of her mini-van and wept.
The head pain was becoming much more than she could handle. Even with the powerful narcotics, the pain was intense, unrelenting. Only days ago she was forced to resign from her office job. Fluorescent lights and staring at computer screens caused nausea. Everything grated on her nerves: chewing, breathing, the radio, fellow office workers.
No money coming in also caused strife with her husband. Without her check, it severely tested their relationship. Besides the money, the unexplained pain that Anna dealt with every single minute of the day was also to blame for the tension. Jay would come home and see Anna in bed while the children played. He saw her as lazy and having a low tolerance for pain.
Suddenly aroused by honking behind her she looked around trying to remember where she was. She saw the school but was she picking the children up or taking them? Checking the time, she decided it was still morning so she turned on her blinker and pulled into traffic. Forgetting what she was doing and where she was going, Anna drove aimlessly for hours. Nothing looked familiar. The traffic was becoming heavy and she was not sure where she was or maybe even, who she was.
When the children were not picked up after school, Jay was called. He was irritated at first but when Anna still did not come home, he was alarmed. Neighbors searched the country roads. One flew his small plane above the fields looking for any sign of the van. Night time came and still Anna did not come home. Jay was frenzied by this time and praying for her safety. The next day police put out fliers and alerted nearby stations.
Anna continued driving, not knowing what else to do. Totally confused and disoriented, she drove slowly on the interstate, backing up traffic and causing motorists to become disgruntled. When she tired, she pulled over and fell asleep. Upon awakening, she pressed on, trying to put together the pieces of her life that she could remember. There was one thing, one thing only that could put a smile to her face. She could remember the name Jesus. She called out to Him and she felt no more anxiety but Anna was still lost on a major highway going farther away from memories that could not be recalled.
She finally came to the end of the road, as unlikely as that seems, and read a sign, “Lake Michigan.” She looked toward the skyline and she could see skyscrapers. Chicago, she was in Chicago. Why was she in Chicago? Where were her children? She saw a cell phone on the seat beside her. She quickly turned it on and dialed the first number that came to her.
“Jay?” she asked tentatively.
Jay, deliriously happy asked, “Anna, is that you? Where are you, honey?”
Trying to put pieces together, she stammered, “I, I’m not sure. I think,” then the phone died.
Jay punched in her number. Nothing. At least he knew she was alive but that did nothing to alleviate the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He relayed the phone conversation to his family and they prayed for her safe return and thanked God for the call.
Anna lay down the phone and assessed the situation. She came straight one direction, why not go back the opposite until things got familiar and she could find her way home? She pulled off at a gas station to fill up, asking the attendant what towns were on down the road. Nothing sounded familiar so she got back in and prayerfully drove to somewhere, hopefully driving closer to where she belonged.
Hours after the call, amazingly, she pulled into her driveway. Overjoyed people spilled out of the house. As Jay held her, he had a heavenly realization of how Anna’s physical pain was real and devastating. At the same time, memories flooded back as Anna looked at each family member. While trying to recount her time on the road and answer each question, Anna and Jay both praised God for bringing her home safely.
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