She had been lost for three hours at 10,500 ft in mountain wilderness. Panicked, I had run in every direction and called her name until my voice was gone.
I could close my eyes and see her blond hair and innocent blue eyes. She must be terrified. I remembered the swampy area farther up the mountain between the creek and the road—a stretch of bog covered with almost impenetrable brush and potholes full of mossy, stagnant water.
I clawed my way uphill through thick brush that fought my every move. Often I would sink thigh-deep in small muddy pools. The strenuous effort plus the altitude and stress dragged me to the brink of exhaustion. Don’t let her be in here I prayed as I slogged ahead. Please. Don’t let her be in here.
Then I fell into a small pool of water. . I struggled to get to my feet but I could not move. My strength was completely gone. My voice was gone.
Trembling there on my hands and knees, I realized I had reached the end of myself.
I couldn’t go another step, I couldn’t shout Jadyn’s name one more time. I could only weep and pray.
“Dear God, I have nothing left….. Take all the stuff I thought was important.” My voice gave out completely, so that my final plea was a silent one. “Lord, I cherish this little girl more than all my possessions. If need be, take my life. Take me. But please bring this baby back.”
Today I came across the rescue picture and was reminded of one life changing moment that happened during our reunion. People often look at the picture of me holding her hands and ask, “What did you say to her?”
I remember the exact words I spoke to her.
I memorized them.
In a raspy whisper, over and over I said, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” Those are the only words that would come out of my mouth. And as those words spilled out, they echoed back from somewhere else…. And I love you, Ken!
Those are the only words that matter. Forget the spread sheets, bank accounts and social status. When we are on our knees and have come to the end of ourselves, it is then we know the truth……
the ones we love,
the ones who love us,
the ONE who loves us most,
That’s the Bottom Line
- Have you ever come to the end of yourself?
- What is your bottom line?
Read the entire story in Fully Alive! Get a bonus DVD of the Movie!