I’ve been missing lately and it’s for good reason. My family is healing from a very traumatic event that happened just over a week ago. Evelyn and I came home from visiting my husband, Chris, for lunch at his school. We stayed for a long lunch, and left because Evelyn really needed something for her molars that were coming through and it was nap time. We drove the (less than a mile) drive to our house, and came in our home the same way we always do, through the garage. I set Evelyn down in the living room, unloaded my hands, took off coats and boots, and was trying to convince Evelyn it wasn’t time to eat or play. We were going to pick out some books to read and wind down for nap time on mommy’s bed (she loves this routine). But she didn’t take it well. In fact, after a minute or two of crying in the living room, she eventually followed me down the hallway screaming in protest at the top of her lungs.
She met me in the kitchen. I gave her something for her teeth, scooped her up into my arms and headed back towards the hallways and into her bedroom. Since she wasn’t in the greatest mood, I had to sing a couple of her favorite songs and dance a bit while I changed her diaper. We finally finished and headed straight across the hall into my room where her blanket was and all her naptime books. Only something was off.
I got one step into my room and noticed something on my carpet. Brown spots, it looked like muddy red footprints. I looked up and my bathroom light was on and the door was shut (our bathroom door doesn’t shut easily, or at all usually). I was trying to figure out why Chris was in the bathroom because there was just no way he could have beat us home. And what was all over the floor? My mind was racing with possibilities. I took one step towards the door while I started to whisper “Chris..?” and then I stopped. I heard someone inside the bathroom. The person was sniffing and I heard a faint “thud” sound. I flipped into instinct mode and heard God tell me to run out of the house. I backed myself and Evelyn into the hallway, down the hall and back towards the living room. I was in disbelief that someone was in my house and had been in there with us this whole time. I grabbed my phone off the table by the front door and ran outside.
I called Chris and said “there is a man inside our house, I’m calling 911. Click”. I then called 911 while I got inside my car. It was freezing and we had no shoes and no coats on. I don’t remember much of the 911 call other than she said police were on there way and not to move. Evelyn was oblivious of the situation and was eating popcorn that she found in a cup in the center console (thank you Jesus!). A few seconds later Chris got to us. Seconds later the police arrived, several of them. They pulled out their guns and ran inside the house. It seemed like an eternity until they came back out.
Then finally, the police came back out. With a tall, large, half naked, man covered in blood and in handcuffs. I went into shock. I stayed in shock for several days (honestly, I’m still in shock). I kept replaying that moment, where the police actually do come out of my house with someone. It actually happened. There was a man in my house while Evelyn and I were also inside. Being loud. He was even between us for a couple minutes.
The past week has been a blur, to say the least. An amazing friend took us into his home and helped us take care of pretty much everything. Our families have been amazing, and countless other friends have helped us in so many ways too. There are so many things to still sift through and process. So many decisions to make. So many feelings to actually let ourselves feel.
We are displaced and shaken, but we are okay. God was (and is) watching over us, and he was keeping that man inside that bathroom. We are safe now.
We are so grateful for the all the prayers and words of encouragement that have been spoken and prayed over us. We serve a mighty God who can bring restoration and restitution to our hearts and minds.
I hope you hug your loved ones extra tight today. Living out of two hampers worth of stuff in a home that is not our own has taught us even more clearly that stuff means nothing. Family, people, and relationships, mean everything.
Psalm 91 has been life giving for me in this season. I hope it brings encouragement to you today as well.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
We will be back soon.