March 21, 2008
The case of the stolen mind!
I am drained, physically and emotionally. It has been a very long day...week...month. Today, the stress really took it's toll on my mind. My mom, Ella, and I had been out shopping all day It was a very successful day - I found a new bedspread, sandals for Ella, and an Easter dress for myself. We went out to look at the house and played with the placement of the azaleas in the flower bed for a bit. We decided that the bed needed a bit more to fill it up, so we headed back to Wal-Mart late this afternoon to get a few evergreen bushes/trees (not sure of their technical name). Mom went out to take the plants to the van while Ella and I picked up a few groceries. We were to meet her out in the parking lot. At this point in the day, I was exhausted, Ella was in her *crazy tired mode* (or "CTM", as we call it), and it was time to get home. I got the groceries into the van, then had to pick up and carry Ella to her seat (Part of my exaperastion with her was her inability to keep her shoes on all day - I had to carry her because, once again, she'd let them fall off her feet. Note to self...4-year-old is not ready for slip on shoes). With the van all packed up, we quickly headed home. As we left the parking lot, I had the sneaking suspiscion that I did not have my purse. I had my cell phone in my hand and of course, I had my keys, but where was my purse? We pulled over to search the van and sure enough, it was not there. In a panic, we turned around and raced back to the store. As we re-entered the parking lot, I thought I could see an employee near the spot where I'd left my shopping cart, so I was hopeful that he'd found my purse and put it inside. My mom runs into the store, speaks to a manager, and is told the purse had not been turned in. Again, we search the van...still no sign of the purse. Now I'm freaking out. At this point, we consider the purse stolen from the cart where I'd apparently left it. The manager writes down my name & number, promising to call if it turns up. He tells me to file a police report. I decide to call Paul first, to see what to do about the credit cards, etc., and I just break down in hysterics. I guess it's the pressure that's been building for so long. I was especially distraught at the thought of some stranger having pictures of Ella. Paul calmly reassures me that it's not the end of the world. It's going to be ok. I tell my mom to go back inside to be sure that no one had found the purse. I call the police and begin to report the crime. As I'm giving the dispatcher my name and information, my mom begins banging on the window, shouting that they'd found the purse!!!! At the same time, the dispatcher is telling me the same thing (the manager was on the other line with the police!). I run inside with Ella and sure enough, there is my bag. I cannot tell you the range of emotions I covered over the course of about 20 minutes. It turns out that the man I'd seen when we first came back to the store was another manager who'd found my purse and locked it into an office for safe keeping until someone claimed it. Somehow he missed the other manager who was looking for my purse until he called the police.
What could have been a disaster turned into a story of God's mercy! I could not believe that someone had not taken off with the purse. I really had a taste of what it feels like to be violated by a crime of this nature (horrible!). I'm so thankful that it was only a taste and not the real thing. Obviously, I have too much on my mind right now and I need to take a step back and allow God to work peace in my life so that something like this doesn't happen again. I am still reeling from the incident and I probably won't sleep well tonight because of it. For some people this might not seem like a big deal, but I am usually so good about keeping up with things. I've never lost a purse or a phone or much of anything. I did lose one of my favorite jackets a couple of months ago and now this. I am being pulled in too many directions. Oh God, help me to prioritize and do only those things which you lead me to do.