(J & Oscar at Pine Valley 5/13.)
J and 3 other Boy Scouts were lost out by Lake Mead while on a hike. A leader became ill and asked to stay behind the group to rest. My son and the other scouts had gone with the main group back to the cars, but then went back when that ill leader and scouts with him didn't arrive. They found the sick leader and went for help, got lost, and ran out of water, while my husband and the remaining scout leader tried desperately to find them and help the ill leader. The temperatures were over 112. I was at home, and then my parents' house, holding my cell phone and praying my heart out.
The boys could call me and 911, but they couldn't get through to the leaders and rescue teams who were so close to them. Eventually a rescue helicopter was brought in to save them. The boys were dehydrated, but fine. Our hearts are so heavy over their leader who didn't make it. We can't stop thinking about it or talking about it.
Ironically I had just given my testimony the previous Sunday about receiving answers to my prayers. After that testimony, I'd contemplated prayer and my prayers all week as I cleaned my classroom, entered grades, and turned in my keys at school. I'd also thought about my prayers as I ran in the early morning quiet. (I love to think while I run.) I have prayed for a great number of things in my lifetime and seriously felt people's prayers boost me up during sad times, but I never felt as prayerful for help as I did yesterday. I've also never had a son lost in the summer heat for hours without water before. In fact, J is hardly ever sick with a cold. We've been very blessed so far. Correction, we continue to be very blessed.
During all of the waiting and wondering yesterday afternoon, I went upstairs to my parents' room away from the chaos happening below and knelt down to pray. I poured my heart out. I talked with Heavenly Father about how I had prayed so hard for this son and had longed to be a mother, and after years of being barren, was blessed with him. I remembered why I had named him J. It means a spiritual warrior. I felt prompted even before he was born that he would be a boy and that was the name I should call him because he was a warrior for God. I remembered my promise on the day he was born that I would do my best by him, that I would raise him in the gospel, and that I would do all I could to love and protect him. I promised God I would be a better person than I ever had been with this brown eyed baby. He would be safe with me.
As I poured my heart out to the Lord, I felt comforted that J would be okay and that he was going through this trial with the other scouts to learn something. I felt calmer and more peaceful than I had felt all day. That helped me get through the agonizing waiting to hear the news that they'd been found.
Through all of this, our families, friends, and ward members called and texted support. Steve called me so upset he hadn't been able to find them. I told him it would be okay. I knew it would be. I just wanted my boy home safe and sound.
So I write today to express my thanks to Heavenly Father for prayer. I am so grateful it is an open communication He and I have. He listens and He loves me. If I thought I had a testimony of prayer before, I had only a small idea of it. My testimony of prayer has grown tenfold.
I am so thankful J is home safe and sound. I am so grateful for this blessing from God and that I have more time on earth with my son. My heart is heavy for the Bowman family. We continue to pray for them and hope they will find peace at this difficult time.
Corrina L. Terry Copyright 2013
Picture credit: Corrina L. Terry