Ben's Ted has been missing. Again.
As of yesterday, it had been almost a week. I had looked everywhere. It was not in the crisper drawer(s). Not behind the oven. Not in the couches, or in Emma's sock drawer, on top of the hot water tank, or behind the desk where my shoe had been. I could not find it anywhere.
Ben was really starting to miss Ted. A few days ago he started crying for no apparent reason, so I lifted him into my lap to talk. I asked him what was wrong, and he cried, "I miss baby Ted!" Poor kid. He's not one to show his emotions like that, so I knew it was really bothering him. "Buddy, do you remember where baby Ted is? Do you know where you put him?" He looked at me and replied, "He gone forever!" and then he collapsed into my chest sobbing. My heart broke as I held him.
Last night I put him to bed, still without baby Ted. He hadn't mentioned him since the sobbing-in-a-pile-on-my-lap episode, but I decided to bring him up again. While we prayed, I said, "...and dear Jesus, please help us find baby Ted. Ben misses him a lot." When we were done, Ben was a little surprised. "Mommy, you ask Jesus to find baby Ted?" I stroked his head. "Yes, baby, Jesus cares about the things that are important to you. He knows you miss Ted, and He wants you to find him, and we can always ask for His help."
Ben considered this for a moment. The sheer magnitude of a huge God that created everything caring about his Ted was something to marvel.
"Mommy?" he asked in his cute little voice. So deliberate in his speech, wanting to make sure I understood. "Did Jesus say yes, or no?"
Oh, the lessons we can learn from a child.
The fact is, God does answer each and every prayer. Sometimes He says yes to our requests, and sometimes He says no. Sometimes, He says wait. But our requests are heard by God, and He answers every. single. one.
Isn't that fantastic?
Now I know that every person alive has heard God say no to some request or another. And that hurts, because we don't understand it. I don't know why my sister died at the age of twenty-three, it doesn't make sense to me. But what does make sense to me is the fact that God is in control, and He knew it was her time to go, and whatever that reason was, I won't understand it on this side of heaven. That's OK, because I know He loves us completely.
Last night, God said yes.
I prayed a lot last night, as I went through the house, searching for Ted. I felt led to a pile of laundry in my room, and behind the stack of bedding that we had borrowed for the new bed, was Ben's baby Ted. Since that pile of folded-neatly blankets had been there since before Ted had gone AWOL, and did not look disturbed, I had not yet looked behind it. But there was Ted.
My friend Kelina was over and we went into the boys' room to give Ted to Ben. But Ben wouldn't wake up. I was so excited to see his little face when he saw Ted, but I was literally shaking him, holding his arm and using it to smack himself on the head, and he slept through it all. I tucked Ted under his chin, held in his arms, kissed him and left the room.
This morning, Ben came running into my bedroom with the biggest grin on his face and Ted in his hands. "Hey, Ben! Oh, look, there's Ted! Where did he come from?" I asked, and he grinned at me. "Jesus found him!" he replied, his face lit up with joy.
I smiled at my boy. "Yes, baby, He sure did."