Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IMís, etc) (11/04/10)
TITLE: Badge #316
By Anita van der Elst
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‚ÄúPrayers for Nora,‚ÄĚ she read the title, her voice slightly quavering. ‚ÄúOh, this is the best thing anybody could‚Äôve done for us. What a great way to share with Nora as she gets older, how all these people prayed for her when she was so sick!‚ÄĚ
Lisa and I had compiled the messages posted by friends on Kristia‚Äôs Facebook wall over a six-week period. These well wishes and prayers had encouraged Kristia and Toby during the week that their two-year old Nora was hospitalized for a serious lung infection, and for the five weeks while on continuous IV antibiotics at home. Printed out, there would‚Äôve been twenty-three pages.
I thought back to about a year previous when Kristia explained to our women‚Äôs small group how she had decided to overcome her reluctance to join Facebook.
‚ÄúYou know about my childhood,‚ÄĚ she reminded us, ‚Äúhow my mother was very abusive and refuses to acknowledge her mistreatment of me to this day. Even after Toby and I were married, she continued being abusive towards me. When she refused my request to meet with us in family counseling, I realized it was time for me to ‚Äėdivorce‚Äô her and my step-dad. It‚Äôs been very hard for me to not have a mom to go to with my questions and concerns, especially now that I have two little girls, and,‚ÄĚ she patted her beach ball of a tummy, ‚Äúwith this third one coming.‚ÄĚ
Our heads bobbed sympathetically.
Kristia revealed more of her story. ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt seen my biological dad in twenty-four years. But from the time he and my mom divorced, when I was only a year old until I was ten, I spent weekends and vacation time with him. Then he disappeared from my life. I was not given a reason why he was gone.‚ÄĚ
She sighed deeply.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve always wondered what happened. I‚Äôm wondering now if maybe I can find him through Facebook? That‚Äôs happened for other people, right? Also I have three younger half-sisters that I loved very much. Do they even remember me? Well, I believe the Lord is leading me to look for them.‚ÄĚ
She paused again and looked around the group. ‚ÄúWould you pray about this with me? That if it‚Äôs the Lord‚Äôs will that I find my dad and my sisters, that they‚Äôll show up on Facebook?‚ÄĚ
Of course we agreed to pray.
Only a couple weeks later, her face glowing, Kristia excitedly shared with us.
‚ÄúFirst thing I did after I signed up on Facebook was to do a friends search. I typed in my dad‚Äôs name. Wow! There were a lot of guys with that name! But I scrolled through and then I saw it‚ÄĒhis picture. He‚Äôd changed some but then I looked at his eyes.‚ÄĚ
Her own blue-green eyes sparkled, ‚Äú‚ÄėThose are MY eyes,‚Äô I thought. No mistaking it, we have the same eyes! So I sent him a private message, saying, ‚ÄėI think I‚Äôm your daughter. I‚Äôm not expecting anything from you but if you want to contact me, I‚Äôm here.‚Äô And he did! Like, within hours! He said he and my sisters have been looking for me too and they all want to get together with me as soon as possible!‚ÄĚ
Joyful tears flowed as we celebrated with Kristia this answer to our prayers.
After reuniting with her dad, Kristia‚Äôs mystery was solved. She said, ‚ÄúDad told me that my mom was behaving towards him in ways that drove him crazy, which I can understand quite well now. So he chose to stop all communication at that time‚ÄĒa decision that haunted him all those years. But God was reminding my dad of me each and every day. In his job with the sheriff‚Äôs department, after he left me, the badge number he was given was 316. My birthday is March 16th!‚ÄĚ
A coincidence? We don‚Äôt think so.
A number of visits have occurred now between Kristia and her long-lost family. Their many comments posted on Facebook chronicle each visit; photos of smiles and hugs reflect heartwarming affection. Her three girls delight in playing with their cousins. It‚Äôs easy to see they‚Äôre all related.
That song about God having the whole world in His hands runs through my mind as I look at Kristia‚Äôs Facebook wall. I‚Äôm revising it a little. God has the whole cyber world in His hands too.
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