Troubles: Lost, Found and God’s Provision

On this #TellAMemoryTuesday, I conclude the stories of our troubles that first week in Plainfield, New Jersey. You can find links to the first three parts at my Tell A Memory Tuesday page. Last week I was still telling about the first day that week. This post tells about how our second daughter, Jamie, got lost at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey.


Troubles at the Zoo


This week seemed full of troubles for us. Another day my friends took the girls to the zoo while I spent the day at the hospital with Steve.  While at the zoo,  Jamie got lost.  She was always excited running ahead of everyone, and somehow she got out of their sight. Here I share her memories about that time:


You have to say something about how I wandered off, because I was looking for the turtle. It was the Turtleback zoo, wasn’t it? I’m sure I mentioned it several times but no one paid me any mind, so I decided to find it for myself.

I went and asked an old man who looked really nice like a grandpa if he could help me find my way.

I remember taking his hand and the next thing I remember is waiting in a little office area with off-white/yellow walls.

I remember concrete, a black railing fence, and someone with a balloon which I envied. I remember it from my vantage point as a child. All things were up, above my head.


Jamie had curly hair with one curl right on top of her head. So when my friend started asking people if they had seen her she described her as the littlest child on the comic strip “Family Circus.” (I don’t know if people remember that, but she was a very young girl with one curl on top of her head.)


Play bridge helps ease troubles.
Here is Jamie sitting on the “bridge” her dad built in the back yard.


More Troubles that Day


Later that day, while playing at the house of those same friends, Jamie somehow got hurt and had to go to the emergency room to be checked out, but she was okay.

When the girls and I finally made our way home, we were met with a mess. The toilet overflowed again and the sewer backed up in the basement. 

(Later we found out that the city had damaged the sewer line when they dug things up to put in a storm sewer. They didn’t discover it before, because the lady that lived there never used as much water as a family with a washing machine. The problems with that and getting the city to pay for the damage is another story entirely.)


Hard Things but God Sustains


At that point, the girls and I went back to stay at our friend’s house until Steve was better. As you can see, that was a very hard week for me. Throughout it all, though, God gave me strength, showed kindness through my church friends, and  provided for all my needs.


My life has had its ups and downs like everybody else. I’ve not always had the best attitude or understanding. But through it all God has sustained, guided and strengthened me for all He has called me to do.


Psalm 18:30-36 (CSB)

God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure.
He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord? And who is a rock? Only our God.

God—he clothes me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me securely on the heights.

He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand upholds me,
and your humility exalts me.
You make a spacious place beneath me for my steps, and my ankles do not give way.


Time Goes By


Time passed. We fixed up the house, and Steve built some backyard playground equipment. He put up swings between the two trees at the back of the house. There was a “bridge” with ladder steps leading up one side and down the other. Later he added a seesaw and a very wide sliding board. All the neighborhood kids loved to come to our yard. They called it the park.


troubles seem to go when having fun
Sara and Jamie enjoying the sliding board.


These past few weeks about Plainfield have been updates from former posts. There are more stories to come from our time living there, but I will have to start from scratch looking at photos and remembering before I share them. Next week I may share another story from childhood or early adulthood or a summary of a section of my life.


I hope my stories encourage you as they have me as I look back and see how God provided then and is still caring for us now. Does this bring to mind any memories of your own? I’d love to hear about them.


I’m linking up with:  #TellHisStory



8 thoughts on “Troubles: Lost, Found and God’s Provision

  1. Dear Gayl,
    These are such sweet thoughts and memories of your family! I am so blessed by the many ways that God sustained you through such deep and constant trials. He never leaves us, even in the midst of places that feel so impossible. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for sharing the precious Scriptures too. All of this brings such encouragement to me also, as He leads me to look back at His faithfulness in my family too. Love and hugs and blessings to you my dear friend! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie,
      Thank you so much for your encouragement! I am glad you are blessed in reading how God cared for us. I love that it helps bring to mind your memories also of God’s provision. What a blessing that we can encourage each other as we walk this road of life. Much love to you with many blessings, my dear sister! xoxo

  2. Isn’t it wonderful that God provides help for us through our friends. I have been struggling with a cough/throat infection/ear infection after a trip (with limited sleep). Our pastor’s wife rang our doorbell and gave us a big bowl of chicken soup that has been my meal for several days.

    1. Yes, Carol, friends are so valuable and helpful. What a blessing that soup must have been! I hope you are feeling better soon. Respiratory infections are not fun. Blessings to you!

  3. I love looking back and seeing how God brought us through. The perspective of time makes it possible to see the blessing in the midst of the mess.

    So glad your daughter was found!

    1. Yes, looking back has been so helpful to remind me of God’s faithfulness and blessings throughout my life. Yes, I’m glad God was watching over her. Blessings to you!

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