A few years ago, when I was attending Faith Fellowship in San Leandro, Pastor David Silvey* called me out with a prophecy.** He said that I would get the answers that I seek, that he could see the police coming to my door, could see me falling to the floor. Years have passed, Pastor David and I have each gone through our individual wilderness times, but managed to find each other again. The other evening I was attending a Bible study he teaches at Lift Ministries, and he mentioned this prophecy. It is the first time since it was given that either of us has brought it up. It was, I believe, the first service in the new building which is to be the new home for the church. He was teaching in front of the group assembled, and he said to me, "I haven't forgotten the prophecy I gave, and it will come to pass. I see the two men coming to your house. I see you falling to the floor."
I have thought about this prophecy often throughout the years. I have tried to place it here or there, or to imagine this or that. The falling to the floor part has always thrown me. I am NOT a demonstrative person. When I sat at a table in the police department facing two detectives and they informed me that a bone has been found that was thought to be a child's bone, which was thought to possibly be Michaela's bone, I felt a wave of grief wash over me. I felt my throat close with what threatened to become tears. But I held myself. My unconscious mind was not about to allow me to show my grief. I was quiet for a moment, swallowing it down before I trusted myself to speak. Allowing myself such a display of emotion as falling on the floor just doesn't sound like me.
And honestly, as time passes, it gets harder and harder to even purposely get down on the floor! The joints are cranky, and collapsing just doesn't come naturally to me anymore! It would take an awful lot to make me fall on the floor, and it's been difficult to imagine what that might be. But I realized the other night, as I was hearing Pastor David speak those words again, that what I had always imagined in considering this scenario is that what the police would tell me would not surprise me. Somehow, deep inside, I would have been expecting their words for more than 25 years. It would not be a shock. I envisioned myself saying, "Okay. Thank you." Then I would close the door and turn away from them.
This is because as much as everybody pats me on the back and encourages me to have hope, I have not really had a lot of that. I have thought about Michaela being found alive, I have created elaborate fantasies around it, but I haven't really believed it was possible. The hope that I have had, well, it has been a different kind of hope, more of an eternal kind of hope and trust in God to know what he is doing. But in spite of the long-missing girls who have been found, in spite of the leads that say that Michaela is in this country or that country, in spite of the fact that I still write letters to her, I have not really and truly believed it is likely that Michaela is still alive. But how could I? If I really, really allowed myself to believe that, I would be setting myself up for the most crushing pain and disappointment the world can hold. Believe me, I had enough of a taste of that in 2009 when Jaycee Dugard was found and I was so sure Michaela would be found with her. But worse, if I really, really, really believed Michaela was still alive, I would have to live with the likelihood of all the terrible things she would have been enduring all these years, and still enduring. Neither of these outcomes is easy to embrace.
What I realized the other night is that there is only one thing that would cause me to fall down, and that is if the police came to my house and told me they had found Michaela and she is alive. Yes, that would be what would bring me to my knees.
My prayers changed slightly that night. I just simply asked God to remind Michaela of himself wherever she might be. If she is in a place where she is having difficulty escaping for any reason, God would be the one who could find the way. "Remind her of yourself, Lord. Give her strength, set her free, and lead her back to me." Michaela was actually a strong believer before she was kidnapped. If she is still alive, who knows what might have happened to her faith. It's been a fiery trial for my faith, and I have been safe at home with my family. But one thing I do know, and that is that once you are God's, you are God's, and though you may wander for a year or half a lifetime, he will call you back to himself, and that would be true for Michaela as well.
That's all. That's my prayer. That's my hope. If you pray for Michaela, I'd appreciate it if you would join me in this prayer. It is the first, most essential step to freedom.
And Michaela, if you are out there, just call on God. He will hear you, and he will respond. He will pick you up and spin you in circles, dance with you and laugh with you. I know, because he did this with me. He will teach you, strengthen you, show you the way. If you are interested, you can read some of my spiritual journey on my other blog, at www.just-sharon.com. Just have faith, ask for help, and know that just as God is still here, still loving you, so am I.
Love you forever, forever my baby girl.
*Pastor David Silvey teaches Thursday night Bible study at The Lift Ministries in Hayward at 22580 Grand Street, right off A Street. The building is green and currently not marked as a church because it was recently purchased and is in the process of being renovated. Also, Pastor David has his own blog, which can be found at http://davidsilvey.wordpress.com/
**It occurred to me as I was thinking about this blog that there may be people out there who are not familiar with the notion of prophecies, or who think it is something confined to Daniel, Isaiah, Revelation and the like. Actually, it is just one of the gifts that is given to Christians. Jesus told his followers that it was better for them if he left them, because while he was here he was with them, but after he died he would be in them, in the Holy Spirit.
It was never difficult for me to get this. When I began exploring Christianity, the first book I read in the Bible was the Book of Acts. This was in the 1970's, when the Charismatic movement was sweeping through the Catholic Church, and it was a priest who told me to start there. It was quite an eye opener, completely challenged my idea of what Christianity was all about. What I wanted to know was why I'd never heard any of this before.
If you are interested in knowing more about this, I suggest you read the book of Acts in the Bible. Everything in the Bible after the book of Acts teaches about the gifts of the spirit in one way or another, but for a quick reference, 1 Corinthians chapters 12 through 14 is a good place to start.