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Someone has suddenly disappeared. The lost person is my daughter. Her body died, and I don’t know where to find her. I spent years asking and searching for her, sometimes out loud, sometimes in my writing, and always within. “What happened?” I asked. “How did I let this occur to my sweet daughter? How did I miss taking care of her when she needed me?” I ask myself and my God—whoever is listening in there—“Emily, where are you?”

I heard, “God only knows,” which feels like a bit of sarcasm from my childhood. I heard that phrase many times from my family as I grew up. It showed up when a question seemed unanswerable. “God only knows” was said or heard as one gave up a quest for answers.

But now I say, “Okay, God, since you are the One who knows, please show me.” I say, “I need you to take me to her. I need to see her one more time.” Silence. There is only silence. I get louder: “Where is she, God? I’m her mom! It’s my job to take care of her. You gave me this job, and I love having it. You brought her to me, Lord, and gave me all this loving and joy with the gift and miracle of her life. What now? Now what? What is this, God? What more do you want from me?” I was broken and lost. I lost my favorite job: employed by God. The rug that held my feet had just been pulled out from under me. How do I stand up when I feel so taken apart? Where do I turn? How do I see and find my way? My mind and body are filled with confusion, and a physical and mental numbness renders me dysfunctional. From unspoken fears and guilt, the tears roll unceasingly! My searching began in the despairing silence of God’s voice.