Each Christmas we pack up our family of five and head south for three weeks. Our families are sprinkled across Texas and New Mexico and we use those weeks to pop in and see everyone. The trip down is full of excitement, the promise of Christmas, joy, expectation. The trip home, however, isn't always met with the same attitude. The kids don't want to leave Gammie's house (truthfully neither do mom and dad!) and the drive home is, in a word, exhausting. Driving into our driveway is such a relief. Every year. Every year except January of 2013.
When we pulled into the driveway that snowy January night, my husband ran up to unlock the front door while I started to unpack our 1 and 3 year old. He came back to the car quicker than I expected and whispered "Someone broke into our house." I didn't think I heard him correctly so I said "Wait, what?" He repeated himself and in disbelief I handed him the baby and went to see for myself. I walked inside and all I remember saying is "No. No, no, no." We quickly came to our senses for the sake of our children and packed them back in the car. It would be impossible to stay in our home that night. I called 911 and then a dear friend who welcomed our family into her basement for the next 4 days.
I didn't want the kids back in the house until it had been put back together and an alarm system installed. Dear friends from Valley and my MOPS group offered to watch the kids while we set to cleaning up our home. As I cleaned, I prayed. Actually, it may have been more like yelling at God. I was so angry. I felt like our life had been violated and I cried in disgust when I saw all the stuff they'd rifled through.
I distinctly remember putting items back on a shelf in my living room and saying to God, "You were supposed to protect us!" And clear as a bell I heard, "I did." I stopped what I was doing and let the fact that He had protected us pour over me. We hadn't been home. We had a place to stay while we cleaned up. We were safe.
It took me several weeks to feel comfortable going to bed at night. I was convinced they would return and I prayed for comfort and peace. In the moment it was so hard to see how any good could come from what had happened, but when I look back, so many lovely things took place because of this experience.
One of the items taken was my three year-old daughter's piggy bank. Her AWANA teacher that year was a sweet friend from my MOPS group and one night at AWANA she gave her a gift. When we got home and opened it, it was a new piggy bank. It was such a simple act, but our family felt so much love in that gift.
A friend of ours came over no questions asked to help my husband clean up and talk with the police that first night. Other friends brought meals, supplies and gift cards - we were overwhelmed by the support and love we felt.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of this incident was a friendship we found with a family who helped us replace our back door. We were friends before, but this experience brought us closer together and they quickly became our best friends.
When I look back at the break-in, I now see the good that came out of it before I dwell on the negative parts. I see the love we wouldn't have experienced otherwise. While I wouldn't wish the experience on anyone, I know that God works for the good in ALL things.
Adrienne Weeks is a homeschooling mom of three and married to her husband of eight years, Heath. She has been involved with Valley Church since 2011 and her family enjoys serving with FCA's Training Table each week. Besides spending time with her family, her other interests include reading, crafting, baking & running.