The Bottom Line!

Jadyn and I are united after her rescue.

Jadyn and I are united after her rescue.

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.

Behind Jadyn is the area she was lost.

Behind Jadyn is the area she was lost.

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……

This is the Bottom Line!

The Bottom Line!

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!



  1. Ken, we had a similar situation in our area here in Virginia when a young autistic boy who could not speak was lost in a wilderness park. It was on the national news so you may have heard about it. The outpouring of love and prayers for this young boy brought about an amazing discovery and rescue after he was lost for over 24 hours. God works miracles still and when we are at the end of our own strength, we have nothing left but silent pleas to our Great God who always hears us!

  2. I was at the end in February of 2006. I was taking a mixture of narcotics, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Tylenol #3 #4, Oxycodone, and Methadone. I was mixing them on a 3-4 hour rotation, sleeping no more than 4 hours a night and still trying to maintain employment and smiling so no one new how bad the pain was. To let you know how bad the pain was, I knew that hell couldn’t be as bad as the pain i was having. then came an amazing surgeon who was a gift from God. She looked at my chart and at the prescribed treatment and said that she wasn’t going to waste our time by doing the injection and then she recommended a surgery that took the pain away immediately. Then God let me quit the narcotics “COLD TURKEY” with no withdrawal symptoms even though I had been taking them for 6 years and 51 weeks. After hitting rock bottom because of pain I can now handle whatever is thrown my way. I can say God has given me some very unusual gifts since that time.

  3. This touches a very deep part of my soul and my heart. Yes, I have had that moment at the mountain, but in a different scenario, but just as frightening, just as moving and the words out of my mouth along with I love you, is “Thank God…thank God….thank God you are safe.” My son was nearly molested and truly by the grace of God, circumstances allowed someone to interrupt what would have been a far more destructive and harmful event than a six-year-old should have had to face. That event was a pivotal event in many ways in regards to trust, in regards to responsibility, in regards to so much. And I do believe, through all the pain, God kept saying to me, as I said to my son, “You are safe…I am here…no one will harm the ones I love…”

  4. It was bad enough when I lost a kid in the supermarket, but in the bush.. I thank God that we have Him. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, thank you Lord.

  5. We lost my daughter Delaney two years ago for about 20 minutes at Seaworld in San Antonio. It was the WORST experience….and that was only for 20 minutes! So thankful this turned out how it did…can’t imagine the world without JJ!!

  6. I want to thank you for the encouragement I just finished watching fully alive. In two days I go into surgery and sometimes I feel like giving up, but I am not quite ready to give up, after watching and laughing I will continue to fight until the Lord takes me home and I continue to pray to know the difference. I needed to laugh and I will continue in the power of His resurrection in my life. Again thank you

Leave a Comment