BAD IS NOT ALWAYS BAD
"Where is she?" Our "perfect" Corin is never late, especially on a school night. She left a few hours ago for a volleyball game at school, but no one has seen her. She took the car to pick up two friends, then seemingly disappeared.
Thus, the nightmare of our lives began. We paged our sixteen-year-old daughter all through the night with no response. By midnight, the police were called in and the official search began. But only after all the fathers had driven for miles looking for the three young teens.
That night, during every minute of that terrible experience, I grew ill. I began to vomit, and was sickened at the thought of what could have happened to them. Our only prayer answered at that point was that the car had not been found.
The night was quiet as the family stayed up and agonized awaiting a sound, any sound. Perhaps the car would pull up, garage door open, a telephone call. It was pure torture, one I would hesitate to put any human through.
As my heart pounded through my chest and my breathing was desperate, I could only cling to God's promise of love for me. For a few moments in time, my only relief would be Him telling me that He would never allow anything to happen without His consent.
He knew Corin would be missing before that night. He knew where she was. He loved her more than I. That should have been enough for me. And it was, for a few moments. I could only respond to His voice by a quick sigh but then the torture would continue in greater strength.
As the sun rose, our desperation grew to unbearable weight. Even my husband, who had been hopeful all night, began to panic. Words can never describe how we felt and what we experienced. For hours we lived every frame of drama which could have happened to our daughter.
What frightened us the most was that she had never given any clue to this behavior and surely she must be held against her will, or she would have contacted us by now.
What happened to her? Where is she? Was she dead or alive?
Three hours after we began our prayer chain that morning we received our first telephone call. Although the nightmare wouldn't be over until afternoon, at least we knew they were safe and fine.
It took a month before I gained my appetite back from that episode. However, it took only days to see that Corin was a changed girl for life. God allowed this bad thing to happen because bad things are not always so bad.
You see, He knew she has begun to hang around some bad influences. It was as though God stomped out her nonsense almost immediately and put an abrupt end to her direction before she had even realized what path she was walking.
God knew the timing had to be right and the extreme situation necessary. Corin changed after that terrible night. We all did.
So what happened to our responsible child? That memorable night turned out to be a series of poor choices made by peer pressure to drive into Chicago. Allowing one of the leaders to drive, Corin panicked when they got involved in a car accident. Afraid, lost, they drove around the city trying to find a way home and a way to reverse all the damages involved with their secret adventure.
Up until then I have always thought it was the bad kids that ran away from home. Some may be. But now, I think it is the good ones that cannot forgive themselves for their sin. She knew we would forgive her and God would, but she couldn't bear the thought of coming home to face the consequence, the reality of her own sin.
So, from that night, our 'perfect" Corin discovered she could make mistakes and still be loved. And I discovered that bad things could be good.