She was last seen getting into a car late last night. She is 16 years old, wearing jeans, a blue shirt, and red tennis shoes. And there is now an amber alert out for her and the car.
Does it make you wonder what was going on? Do you question if she knew the person, was she running away, was she getting a ride home? What do you feel when the latest amber alert for a teen girl scrolls across the bottom of your television, or comes across your radio with the attention getting buzz before and after?
Can I tell you what happens in my world? My heart breaks.
You see, it doesn't matter the details before hand. The only thing that matters now is getting her to a safe place. That may be home, and that may be somewhere else, but she is out there somewhere, and she needs help. She is waiting for someone who has seen the alert to see her as well.
What gets us to this point? Because make no mistake, there are few of us who haven't been in the same place this girl has been. Many of us may never have been taken, either eluding the situation or listening to the warning of our heart, but so often our mental state has allowed us to be in a dangerous place physically.
We could be raised in a loving home, and still search for love from someone else. We could have been raised in a home with security, but are still looking for acceptance from another. We may simply be trusting the wrong person, because they have only shown us what we wanted to see. I see it still through the facebook stati of many young girls on the web. They are searching for approval, love, acceptance... and willing to do anything to get it. They think they need it.
It doesn't make sense, does it? As adults we can realize the irony of changing to be approved, but we all do it. Sometimes it puts us in danger, and sometimes it simply builds a false relationship with another. How are we truly accepted if we have to become something else first?
I'll be honest, I think the solution is different for each situation. I know that the only place we can get true assurance from is God, but each person has a story which makes everything a little complicated sometimes, but always unique. But somewhere, somehow, in some way we have got to start teaching all girls their value. Not so that they will lord it over another and walk around with their nose in the air (this isn't true confidence, but making yourself feel good by putting others down) but rather so that they simply know. So they don't doubt. So they don't search from another what they can only find within. So they don't climb into a car late at night and turn up missing a few hours later.
We all need to know how valuable we are. We need to know that value comes from the One who created us. And trying to fill ourselves with value based on anything else is empty and dangerous.