photo credit: Ben Coplin of The Crossing Church  

we still don't know what happened.

two teenagers realized they were lost in the Cleveland National Forest sunday, and made the 911 call that probably saved their lives. their phone died right after calling to describe as best they could where they believed they had lost their way. because they called, people immediately began to search for Nicholas and Kyndall.

days, a thousand prayers, and dozens of searchers - many of them volunteers - later, they were found.

Nicholas was found wednesday, a mile from his car, exactly as he'd described in his emergency call. it took another day to find Kyndall a little ways away on a ridge, disoriented and dehydrated, both of them. but both of them alive. rescued.

i only knew about this because a very new online friend posted on her instagram feed that they would be praying that night at her church for these two teenagers to be found. i joined their prayers, though not in person, and continued to expect the worst.

then, tonight, i walked into starbucks to see the huge title of the OC register scream at me "weak, but alive". relief flooded, and in that moment, more than one of my prayers was answered.

they were safe.

that was one.

the other one had been spoken on the drive to starbucks. i have been feeling so disconnected, lost, and was just longing for God to speak into me. jesus, speak.


ever since i watched my first episode of parenthood last week, my heart has been longing, asking a question without ever verbalizing it. both episodes i've seen of that show now have ended with a scene where Max and his heart are fought for.

Max, maybe eight years old, has just been diagnosed with asperger's, and they're all reeling. in the first episode, when they realize he unexpectedly wants to join his team to play baseball that day, his entire extended family drops everything and rushes to get ready for the game. they had just sat down to a lovely backyard lunch, but they leave all that, calling out "you get his uniform?" "i'm snack mom this week! help!" and they are all delighted to fight for this young boy.

the second episode ends with Max's dad putting on a pirate costume to enter his world, try to understand him, to reach his heart. as they run around the yard with red handkerchief-heads and tennis racket-swords, my tears fell for the second time in two episodes. over a dumb television show. but i knew where the emotion was rooted.

i want to feel fought for. i want to believe that i am worth fighting for. worth whatever it takes to rescue this heart of mine. 

there have been moments i believed this, little glimpses into the father-heart of God, into his love, his delight for me. and yes, i have been rescued. but i need to be rescued every day. from the lies, the self-deception, the accusing voices. i need to know: are you on my side? will you fight for me, rescue me? am i even worth it?

and tonight? he answered yes.

in the stories of the many rescuers that went out to fight for the lives of these kids. the ones that got lost themselves in the process, the ones that were injured. one even had to be hospitalized; he was lucky to be alive, the sheriff's department said. people prayed, people searched, people risked their lives to fight for these two teenagers.

and my God fights for me. he doesn't let me stay in my same old ways of self-loathing, believing defeated-enemy lies. he risked GAVE his life because my alive-heart is worth it to him.

and so is yours.