Carrie, Cheyenne, Savannah, Brooklynn and Ardean after returning lost documents to Matanya's Hope.


Carrie, Cheyenne, Savannah, Brooklynn and Ardean after returning lost documents to Matanya's Hope.

Carrie, Cheyenne, Savannah, Brooklynn and Ardean after returning lost documents to Matanya’s Hope.

Well, let’s just say, this post is straight from my heart.
No pretense.
No formalities.
Just the re-telling of a story for the world to hear.

I decided to take the typhoid oral vaccine – though for those who know me,
you know my thoughts.
Figured, it’s better to just do it.

Lucky for me, I got every side effect but one.
Rash… headache…
you can read the insert if you want to know the rest.
Wasn’t pretty.
I kinda look like the human version of a dog with fleas the way I am scratching!

I just had too much to do to let any of that stop me.
With the mission days away,
I ran to the bank. Made my deposit.
Thank you sponsors and donors for every hard earned coin you are dedicating to our mission programs and kids.
2nd stop: PO Box. 2 envelops. Head pounding.

I had to go to Jewel.
My fridge is empty and my mom is coming.
Heavy storms expected tonight. No choice.

I push myself through Jewel. Collect the necessities and heck out as soon as I can… I just want to get home. My head really hurt.

I don’t even know what to do first.
I put the groceries away.
Then, I force myself to go to the computer to continue working on mission documents.
An hour passes.
Have not heard from mom. Hmm.
Two hours.
This doesn’t make sense.
I am getting worried.
2 1/2 hours…. now I am really worried. Why hasn’t she called yet?

My gosh!
My phone is in my purse!
I race to get it.
She’s called TWICE!

I immediately listen and learn that I missed the lunch I was invited to by mom and her friend.
I was so sad. I never want to give up a precious moment with my mom.

But I’m glad she’s safe.

I push “call” to return her call. She sounds unusually close.
It was pretty hilarious actually.
Mom is at my front door!

After a beautiful reunion,
we go into my house.
Within moments, I notice that I am missing important documents.
I haaaaaaad them.
I can picture them.
Manila envelop.
2 long white envelops sticking out.
Papers folded inside.
Where is it.
I go through my steps, one by one.
I can see it so clearly.
PLEASE SURFACE (I’m begging God).
I can’t do this.

It’s no where.
I go through my car.
Through my papers.
In every room I’ve entered…and rooms I didn’t enter.
My mom checks.
My son checks.
HE goes through my car.

I am so stressed.
Let’s just say these papers are critical.
And my tithe money is in there too… money I am saving to send a girl to school.
My heart is breaking.
I talk to God…. maybe someone was supposed to find it? Maybe they need it more than Linzy? I don’t know what to think. God, I really need these documents. Please Lord, please… ”

Mom and I get into the car and retrace my steps.
Jewel doesn’t have it.
I drive around in the parking lot. It’s not in any shopping carts.
I go to the post office. They don’t have it.

I have not been anywhere else.
I know the money is gone.
My head is about to burst from the headache and the added stress.

We get home.
I want to cry – but I need to maintain calm… for me….for my mom…
I open a book looking for solace.
“For we brought nothing into the world and we take nothing out of it.” it says.

Somehow, those words melted the stress away from me like heat to butter.
I let go.
“It’s not mine”, I thought. “It’s money and paper. All can be replaced. It’s not worth the stress I have been putting on myself.” I let it go.
I checked in with myself… really?
That simple?
Yeah I really let it go.

That night I tried to sleep, but the stress kept me awake until 4:39 am.
Sometimes there is just no escape.
I was going to have to call…
and in the mean time, pray
that these papers appear.

I still had to do the hardest thing.
Deep breath.
I picked up the phone…
I called one of the people who’s letter I thought I lost.

I had to.
I can’t tell you that Lying did not cross my mind.
It felt like such a tempting option…
I could not do it.
I don’t want to lie.

Oh thank God!
I left an honest message…integrity and calm.

I kissed the remaining idea of that money good bye.
Have to believe that whoever found it would need it more than I or Linzy.

The cycle of preparations continued like a whirlwind.

The relief was great, but a sense of urgency was quick to fill the gap. Documents, entries on the computer, phone calls, conversations with members of the board… my brain was quickly becoming fried. I was exhausted.

I mean exhausted. When my phone rang, I could hardly look.
It’s an unrecognized number…
It almost hurt to expend the energy, but something inside of me said “get it”.
I took the call.
“Is this Michelle Stark”, they asked.
“Yes it is”, I replied.
“Hi, my name is Adean. My sister found your envelop.”
“Oh my gosh! Really!
Thank you! Thank you!” I could hardly believe what I was hearing!

We met at Starbucks… hugged, exchanged stories…shared coffee…got my envelop back…
and my mom and I celebrated a family of angels, right here in the USA.

The gift of honesty is so profound.
You don’t have to travel far from home to do missions.
Just be kind to others.
Live right….
And the world is a better place.

To Arlean, Carrie and 3 beautiful, amazing children…
Thank you so much



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