What a day! Besides the fact that it’s April Fool’s day, we have had a really amazing day… I’m tempted to put this off until I’m not so tired and I have more time to really type everything out properly and think it all though, but I know a lot of you have been praying with us about this and I don’t want to keep you hanging any longer than necessary!
It started bright and early (I know, a lot of you are already in shock! Yes, bright and early since I went to bed before 10PM last night. *gasp!*) with a phone call that I mentioned in my previous post, stirring great hopes that the equipment would be returned.
After a grueling day of waiting and working, 8PM finally came and I showed up at the guy’s residence (along with backup, of course) to meet him and see the equipment. Turned out, to our great relief, that it was all ours and almost all of the equipment from both bags had been consolidated to just the larger, rolling bag. Most importantly, the memory cards were all present and accounted for!!!
We, of course, immediately downloaded them and backed them up. =) The newlyweds whose photos were on the cards were literally in tears (with us) as we explained that they were recovered.
Some of the equipment IS worse for the wear, so it’s good we bought new gear immediately and didn’t just wait for this to show back up. But seeing the rolling bag and gear again was like being reunited with a long lost friend. Seriously.
It feels like there was so much that we learned through all of this. The power of prayer first and foremost. We had so many friends, family members, etc. praying and we’re certain that it made a difference in the heart of the guy who called us to turn in the gear. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy call to make as he was risking so much (person $, possession of stolen goods, etc.), but his conscience told him it was the right thing to do.
Compassion! So many folks reached out in compassion and love as we grieved (literally) over the loss of the cards and equipment. It sounds silly to type it out, but it felt like we had lost a close family member and even if people couldn’t help, just their hugs, love and support made a really huge impression on us. The people that gave us hugs, said how sorry they were and told us they were available to help if we needed it – those were the heroes of this past week for us. And the many photographers who offered for us to use equipment until we had our own again… just amazing.
We have shed more tears in this last week than probably in the previous 5 years combined. Many in desperation and helplessness, but lots also just from the love we’ve felt from you all. And now, literally tears of joy as we celebrate the return of the memory cards and photos!
We’re so grateful that a loving Heavenly Father saw fit to write a happy ending to this trial. I would never chose to go through anything like this again, but we certainly feel stronger, better, more compassionate people for having been through it.
I know I’m forgetting a lot and I’m probably not wording everything like we’d talked about, but Hol’s in bed and it’s after 1AM, so I’m not firing on all cylinders. =) I’ll have Holly read it over and I’m sure we’ll think of more to add later, but in the mean time that’s the long and short of it.
I’m running some rescue software on one of the memory cards which was formatted sometime after it was stolen and before it was returned to me. If you think of it, pray that we are able to recover all of those photos from that card. I feel like I’m really imposing on everyone now to keep on praying, but if you’ve made it this far reading this entire post, then you probably have time to pray with us about this! Mom, thanks for reading this whole thing and for praying. =) You’re the best.