They even had a name for these holy moments and spaces in time - "thin places".
I love this concept especially because I've had those moments when I felt so close to heaven I could sense God's presence.
Today was one of those days.....
After some super busy months a dear friend of mine and I decided to go off and have some very rare girl time - pedicures, lunch, and some good catching up.
I got home just in time to say hi to my kiddos and skip out the door again for a much-needed hair appointment.
When I returned my kids needed some attention so I talked to them for a bit and held them, but I still needed to wash my newly colored hair so I went upstairs to take a quick shower.
Ever since summer hit around here my 3 youngest kiddos have had some serious wanderlust. They just want to go out exploring the world! But unfortunately they're little and it's a big dangerous world out there. We've really struggled keeping them safely in our fenced-in backyard because it's much more exciting to be in the front. We have added extra padlocks and special locks on doors, and we've tried to be vigilant about herding them back in when they escape (which is often -- they are little Houdini's).
Well somehow while I was upstairs, the little kids (typically the 2 older/naughtier ones lead and Mason the 2 1/2 year old just follows along innocently) went out in the front yard to ride their bikes. One of the older girls brought them back in just at the time Dave came back from work.
That's right when I came down from my shower.
Dave always takes a second to greet every family member when he comes home, so he quickly gave hugs and asked the kids how they behaved today(he brings a treat home if they were really good), but he had to rush out to pick up the registration sticker for our suburban that is almost expired.
Right after he left he called me because he realized he hadn't greeted Mason so he wondered where he was. That's when we realized Mason wasn't there with us.
We all looked around the house and called his name but didn't see him, so I sent my older kids out to just look around outside. No sign of him anywhere. I stayed back with the little kids, and looked carefully in each bedroom and all the little hiding places in the house in case he had fallen asleep somewhere. Again no sign. I checked the garage, the backyard, the front yard, and in and around all the vehicles. Still nothing.
My kids were still coming back empty handed so at this point I was starting to get really worried. I gathered my littles and we went out walking the neighborhood calling Mason's name. At this point it had been at least 45 minutes and I realized I better call the police.
I had to go back to the house to meet the police man who was the nicest man (thank goodness). He asked a bunch of questions and then had me take him through the house while he checked every nook and cranny. Dave and the kids were all still out looking everywhere with other policemen, and many neighbors had also joined in the search.
I really had hoped he'd find my little guy under a bed somewhere, but he didn't so I started to panic (which means in my case hysterical crying and hyperventilating). I can't even tell you the horrible scenarios that played out in my mind in those few minutes.
Just at that moment a sweet friend came walking up my steps, and it was just what I needed. I still cried and wanted to know what was going on, but she was there at the right time and place to be my comfort and a shoulder to cry on. I just know she was sent to be there at that time for me. She just kept telling me everything was going to be ok and that people are good.
And she told me the greatest thing in the world..... she happens to live right next door to our church, and she had looked out her back window to see my 3 wise and beautiful girls on their knees praying to find their little brother.
Well, our friendly policeman had already looked in the backyard, but he decided to check around again. A few minutes later he came out with my little boy all covered in sand. He had been playing in the sandbox and fallen asleep. Apparently he'd rolled around in it a bit because it was all over him. He said he was pretty camouflaged back there and it was no wonder we'd all missed seeing him there.
Lea (who had gone out looking with Tanner) told me through her tears when she returned home that she and Tanner had stopped by the road to pray, and that she knew Heavenly Father helped us find Mason.
Happy ending to the scariest experience of my life.
But it was a tender eye-opening experience as well because an angel was sent to strengthen me, and I felt God's presence.
And I'm so happy my kids know who to turn to in times of trouble...... I hope they'll always remember even when things don't turn out exactly the way they hope.
Sometimes we notice God's presence when we need Him the most.
But He's always right there.
Those thin places come more often than we realize.
I've felt those thin places when I've held one of my newborn babies, or when I prayed in the mountains, or when I have pondered scriptures and had my eyes opened to beautiful truths, or when I've sat in the temple with my sweetheart, or when I've had enlightening discussions with my teenagers, or when I sing about Jesus with my sweet little ones.
I always feel at those times that I just want to be more holy so I can feel that way all the time. I feel more love for everyone, and it's easier to be patient and feel happy.
I love that God doesn't leave us here alone.
He's always there reaching out to us ready to help.