I was back at the house at 8:00 the next morning when the call came. It had been obvious, but Dad still felt he should call me when the miscarriage was official.
I hung up the phone feeling guilty about everything. Not wanting a sibling, being behind in school, hating my job, rarely having time for friends, and being rude to Mom.
Jerking my shoes on, I ran down the stairs and out the door. I didn’t even know what to feel.
I hit the track and started flying.
What was wrong with my life? My parents were great, when it came down to it. I didn’t have to go to public school, I went to church, I had a decent paying job, and I was looking at going to college.
It’s not enough.
I screamed in frustration. “Why isn’t it enough?”
I closed my eyes, following the path by feel. “God, what’s wrong with me?”
The truth was that I hadn’t been content in a long time. I had covered it up, tried to push through, work it out, live on. It hadn’t worked though. I was sick of the schoolwork that piled up every day. I missed the days when I had made time to spend with friends. I missed the days when Mom and I had gotten along … oh, I missed them more than all the rest of it. And I hated going to sleep at night knowing the next day would be a re-run of the day before, an endless hamster wheel.
What was wrong?
Nothing and everything.
And now, my baby sibling was gone. I hadn’t expected it to hurt, but it did. Slowly, as I ran, I felt the pain begin to crush me. My feet faltered, and I slowed down. The weight I felt finally stopped me. Falling to my knees and then laying down in the grass, I started crying.
“God, what is wrong? Why am I never happy? Why do I hate my life?” My sadness melded with bitterness. “And why can’t I feel your presence? I thought You said You’d never leave me.”
The bitterness gave my legs strength, and I jumped up and took off screaming again. “Where are You, God?”
I ran faster. Now I didn’t feel anger and I didn’t feel sorrow; I didn’t feel anything but loneliness and frustration. I looked up at the blue sky broken by clouds and hidden by treetops. “God … where are You?”
I tripped, falling into a pile of leaves. Silence. I realized this moment was quieter than any I had known recently.
A voice spoke to my heart.
“Sydney … where are you?”
I grabbed the family Bible off of the coffee table and opened it in my lap. Genesis 1, Genesis 2 …. I skimmed the pages wildly. I knew the voice I had heard in my heart, and I knew it had said a very similar thing before, long ago. Near the beginning.
Genesis 3:9 read, “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
I looked at the page, trying to understand. What had He meant, asking me that?
I read the story. It had been a long time since I had done that. Adam and Eve had hidden from God after their sin. They didn’t want Him to find them.
Then God said, “Where art thou?”
Tears began to trickle down my cheeks. “Where art thou?”
God wasn’t missing.
I was the one who had been hiding, not finding time for Him. I had let school, work, frustration over the pregnancy, and frustration with my mom crowd out my God.
And that’s why I had been feeling so lost.
I sniffled and put the Bible back. Curling into a ball on the sofa, I whispered, “I’m here, God.
“And I’m sorry.”
I didn’t do so much running after that. It still felt good when I did, but I didn’t need it to think and I didn’t need it to feel something. Not anymore.
Because I'd finally stopped hiding. I was honest – respectfully honest – with my parents, letting them know what was really going on in my heart. I apologized to my mom for the way I’d treated her. I also worked harder on keeping my school under control, not letting myself hide from it like before.
The best part wasn’t that I stopped hiding, though. It was that I started seeking. Seeking my God again. It had been too long.
And it was better than ever.