What my new little friend taught me


This story happened a short while ago. I wasn’t sure I was going to publish it. But I now feel if it can reach even one family struggling to maintain status quo on the home front, I’ll have done my job here. And it just seemed like the right time of year to post it. Here we go…


Today started like any other normal day. I head out for work driving through the pretty countryside.

As I drove on, something pulled my eye towards a ditch. I slowed down when I noticed a little black head and ears popping up beyond the top of the grass. I glanced at the time full knowing this wasn’t going to work well in my schedule but pulled over anyway. If that was a stray cat needing a home, I take full responsibility to stop and see if it will ultimately belong to me. 🙂

No go. The cat knew exactly where home was. Awesome! Onto work I go and chalk it up to save the world another day.

But that wasn’t to be.

As I drove on, I noted someone walking in between the highway and a side road. I mentally took note at how odd it was to purposely walk through VERY long grass rather than flat gravel. That image stayed with me for a moment as I drove on, puzzled.

Thank goodness for overgrown grass. Due to over thinking it, I realized what I just saw. That was a child in the middle of nowhere. And kids that age wouldn’t generally have a cel phone to call if they missed the bus or what have you. That child must be stranded…

I grimaced as I looked at the time once more, made the U turn and head back.

I pulled over to the side of the road, and started talking. After a little chit chat, I soon found out this girl was the same age as my son (12) and this was about much more than missing the bus. This girl left home on her own accord with full backpack, on route to another parent’s location in a town a VERY long ways away.

After lots of inquiring on what was what, I kindly told her what I needed to do. She didn’t know either of her parent’s phone numbers so a call to the police was in order.

So we sat on the grass together, called 911 and proceeded to wait. I wrapped a blanket she had brought along, tightly around her shivering shoulders while we talked a bit more about her situation.

Once the authorities arrived, they were very relieved. It appears many were looking for her. I’m just very glad it was someone safe that found her…

I also was pretty stern about them drilling for more info before leaving her where she ran from. I can only hope for the best and requested an update. (I’ve heard nothing.)

It was only when I started driving again that the full impact of what transpired hit me full force. Grateful tears immediately sprung to my eyes.

You often hear those ‘cute’ stories of kids wanting to run away from home. My son ‘ran away from home’ a few years ago and got as far as the front porch, blankets all around him eating snacks out of his luggage. He even thought to bring his library books along for the ride. 🙂

But today was seriously real. Did she want to or need to run away? I don’t know.

All I do know is, my new little friend taught me to listen to my own son with a much more understanding heart. To never overlook what’s going on in the minds of our kids. Why are they hurting? How do we play a part in that? And what can we do about it? Are we really listening or too busy talking?

Thank-you friend. May you be safe, warm, well loved and above all, become happier. You will be in my  prayers.

Would you keep her in yours tonight too?

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81 thoughts on “What my new little friend taught me

  1. God bless you Donna. When we were young, my cousin and I ran away together. We weren’t so fortunate as to be saved by a nice lady. We survived, but we will never turn a deaf ear to any child… ever. Sometimes, I may cross the line of protecting children from abuse, but I’m always watchful of signs and always eager to save a child. I’m pleased that you are the same. I hope God continues to send her angels like you.

  2. You know that God placed you in that moment and time to serve a special purpose. I admire you for showing courage, compassion and wisdom in the way you handled that situation. I thank you for sharing this story and giving us the opportunity to lift up this child in prayer.

  3. How fortunate for this young girl that you happened by when you did! Sounds like the adults in her life need to stop and listen more… I will keep this little one in my prayers that they do – for her sake.

  4. Sometimes it works out the other way. When our youngest was in kindergarten, I would watch out the window when the bus dropped our girls off. I noticed a 5 year old still standing at the drop-off ( right in town ) and asked my daughter if she was waiting for a ride. I noticed this a few times, but did nothing. I assumed her parents were not very responsible to get there on time. I later found out she was being sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. Maybe I could have stopped it sooner if I had only walked out there and talked to her. I’ve learned that gut insticts are usually right and to take that extra step. I hope your story has a happy ending.

  5. You are probably the person she was praying for to come into her life. Clearly God was talking to you! I do pray that whatever was happening in her life that made her want to leave is no longer.

  6. Donna, you are a lovely handmaiden of the Lord! Too often we are in a hurry to keep our own agenda, passing by someone that may have been put before us for intervention. Thanking God for your sensitivity… and trusting that you & others here on your blog, will be the avenue through prayer, that provides access for the Father to minister to this young girl. Thanks for sharing… blessings to you!

  7. Donna: Thank you for sharing this story. It’s an eye-opener for all of us! You were where you were supposed to be put there by our Lord. A good message for ALL of us to recognize His nudging.
    God Bless you and yours.

  8. Wow, this is really a powerful story. I dreamed of running away as a child so many times. I was from an abused home and today I realize all my childhood thoughts without a clue as to the danger outside my home. I had danger inside my home too. I just knew the perpetrator.

  9. Great blog! I am so glad you posted it!! Over the years we’ve had a bully issue with one of our children and although he would drop hints, he didn’t want to come out and fully tattle..it wasn’t until the parent of another child called me to tell me the extent of the situation. It broke my heart! Although we discussed dealing with guys like this bully and tried to smooth things over…we never knew how much he was putting up with at school. It was a huge eye opener…once we got the school administration involved it was resolved somewhat, and it hasn’t been easy for him…BUT he knows it was right and our communication has improved on both fronts! Sometimes it takes a “V8” moment to pull you in to realty! Thanks for sharing…and if you ever hear how she is…please share with us! I will remember her in my prayers!
    Blessings and Happy New Year!

  10. Thank you for sharing. No matter the age of our children this is a reminder to listen to those close to us before it gets to a desperate situation. This story could have had a very different ending.
    I am sure those for whom you work understood.
    I also hope that BOTH parents were contacted by the authorities.
    What bothers me is that she did not know phone numbers. We all rely too much on technology to dial for us, either by name or speed dial!

  11. Donna when my kids were small and they would get mad at me for something, they would say
    they were going to run away. I would always
    say don’t forget your toothbrush and your
    drawers. They would laugh and forget what they
    were mad at. What you encountered was real and
    I am so glad God put you there to take care
    of this little girl. Parents these days need to
    slow down and listen to their kids. There are so
    many things happening in the lives of children now days and they are having a lot to deal with. So glad you were there.

  12. Thank God that you listened to your heart (that small voice inside that so often guides us when we learn to listen). You were an Angel in the right place at the right time. I do pray for the little girl, and I believe she will never forget your loving touch.

  13. Oh Donna, that is so touching. I do hope she is OK,and whatever is troubling her is working out for her. I remember Alex packed his bags when he was 11…I brought him McDonalds for his last fun meal LOL. It was all over X-box! Needless to say, the system left our home and we never looked back on missing it. We now look back and laugh. But as you mentioned those are just funny tales of running away. Not the real deal. I will be thinking of this young one too and praying for her.

  14. Donna ,I believe the kitten was a big part of this store.You were alert to what might be,and saved the day for the little girl.I,ll pray for you and her and I know you will try to always do the right thing.

  15. Thank goodness you turned around..Maybe whatever reason she left home can be worked out..And if not she can go to her other parent’s house to live..You never know, but atleast someone else didn’t pick her up and harm could of come to her..An angel was looking out for her and that angel was YOU..

  16. Donna- That’s a sweet story and a good lesson. My boys are 9 and as they get older it’s not as easy to always connect. Thank you for the reminder to listen…
    Holly @ Down to Earth Style

  17. What an amazing story. It’s so important to listen to that little voice inside all of us. I believe the kitty had your senses on high alert. I hope and pray that this can be the beginning of better things to come for this little girl.

  18. Oh I am so glad you found that girl. She will never forget the kindness you paid her. I am sure there are all kinds of questions racing through your mind still, but you should just know that you played a very important part in her life even though it was just for a little while…and you are right about listening to our children more…I have an 11 year old boy and I take for granted sometimes the time we have together. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you.

    I will definitely be praying for this girl…


  19. That is one very lucky girl to have had you stop on the side of the road to help her! Bless you, you have helped that young girl much more than you will ever know!

  20. Thanks for the lovely post and another reminder about how blessed we are to have children in our lives. (The Lord put you in the position to help this girl. How wonderful to her that you listened to His promptings.)

  21. What a wonderful story, Donna. And thank you for sharing it. You did everything totally by-the-book, so important in this day and age. Excuse me while I go read your posting again… guess there just weren’t enough tears the first time!

  22. We were all kids once, a long time ago for me but I can still remember how dramatic and defeating life was when I was upset and didn’t get my way. Of course it was all part of growing up. I believe that you crossed paths with this little girl at her time of need for a reason. I will pray that she does find her way to happiness. Thanks for sharing this story.

  23. Being too busy is one thing. But now a days it’s saddens me that society has made it a ‘not my problem’ kind of world we live in now.

    We MUST listen to the LORD and let him guide us; he has us where we are and when we’re there for a reason.

    Our PROBLEM is like you say– not listening. Whether to our children, our parents, our spouse, or Our God.

    Glad you listened Donna.
    Blessings- and Yes! thanks for sharing. It may help someone. If nothing more than just telling a story with a good ending. (we hope)


  24. Legally the authorities won’t be allowed to give you an update on this little girl’s home situation – I have learned this as a teacher and it is a constant source of frustration for me when I never find out how suspicion of abuse/neglect are investigated. But you absolutely did the right thing and you are right, that little girl was so lucky that someone safe and kind found her!

  25. Thank you for sharing your touching experience, Donna and thank you for listening to what must have been the Lord’s prompting. That little girl may not realize how blessed she is that it was you who stopped until she is much older.

  26. God placed you there for a reason. Hoping the authorities checked out the situation in her home completely. I will be sure to keep that young girl in my prayers. I’m sure she will always remember the kind lady who stopped to help her. May God bless you always.

    Diane J./Ohio

  27. Oh my, what a sweet story. I have 2 boys, 14 and 12 yrs old. And, I appreciate what you’re trying to send across. Sometimes I’m so busy telling them what needs done, that I hardly ever just sit and talk and try to understand where they are in their lives. Thank you, and I will say a prayer for your litte friend, and I hope she has somebody that she can turn to.

    [email protected]

  28. Along with all the others, I am thankful you were observant and in the right place at the right time. Divine intervention? I am so “sensitive” to these stories at this time of year. There are so many and usually tragic tinged with hope. Painful but providing a sense of gratitude and peace.
    Peace and love to you and to all who read this.

  29. That was no coincidence you seeing her in that tall grass. I believe you were chosen to see this dear one who was hurting and to be the angel she needed for this time. One day you will see the end of the story I am sure!

    bee blessed

  30. As you said…so glad someone safe and caring discovered her. The world is a frightening place. I am glad you were there to comfort her.

  31. Thank you for stopping and following your instincts. Hopefully, all is well with her and her family. My thoughts and prayers are with her, her family, and you.

  32. Donna, well said, well done. Thank you for getting involved and sharing this story. You are inspiring in more ways than one.

    May peace be with you.


  33. Donna- What a heartwarming story. You have no idea of the disaster you may have prevented. God bless that little girl and I hope that her life becomes better than the one she was running from. You are a good soul! xo Diana

  34. Your story brought tears to my eyes- God’s love is so evident in this appointment. He knew just the right person to send along. Thank you for hearing God’s voice and being willing to respond. I pray that whatever this girl is going through, God will continue to protect her and show her His love. Bless you!

  35. What a miracle and a blessing this time of year you were to that poor child–thank you for being God’s new helper—I will pray for her. xoxo

  36. Hi I follow your blog and pinterest and yet this is my 1st time leaving a comment. I am so thankful you were just where you needed to be with your little friend. Your post brought tears to my eyes. There are do many children out there who don’t have anyone even for a moment. Thank you for taking the time to listen. I am a CASA (court appointed special advocate for abuse and neglected children) volunteer and have seen my share of kids that ran away. I will keep her in my prayers and hope others will continue to listen to her. I know one thing I can bit you have touched her heart and she will always remember the gentle woman in the tall grass. 🙂 xo


  38. Donna the world needs more people like you. I have no doubt that you made a difference in this childs life. Thanks for sharing this story, it reminds us all to take time to help others.

  39. Donna… Regardless of what may happen for that little girl, I’m certain that she’ll always remember you and the moment of kindness.

    When I was a teen, I ran away from home and spent the night on a side of the road in a cold, cold Northern Alberta winter night (it dropped to -28C that night) and in the light of the day, when offered a hot cup of coffee and a questioning, well meaning gas station attendant (I spent the night in a car in a gas station parking lot), I knew that no matter what was going on at home, somewhere there as a stranger who was willing to listen.

    That moment stuck with me and gave me the courage to go home and reach out for help and from that I took forward time – the time to always give someone – from the homeless man on the corner, to the elderly lade in the grocery line five minutes of my time to chat and to listen.

    Peace to you and thank you for your time.

  40. Dear Donna,

    How admirable that your closing thoughts were to remind yourself and others to listen more closely to our children. Your decision to stop was a whisper from an angel, as you said, it very well could have been somebody else with less than honorable intentions. I’m sure she will never forget your kindness. Your story touched me this morning and I will share it with my family. May the Good Lord continue to guide you and keep that child in His tender mercy.
    Donna Barone

  41. Holy Cow Donna, I don’t know if it would have registered with me. Smart thinking on your part ~ you probably saved that little girl’s life, if not at least from harms way. Praying!!

  42. Wow, you were placed right there for a reason. I’m so glad you listened to God’s prompting. (That’s what I think it was.)

    There was a period of time (long ago) where I kept being placed near car accidents. (One was a car rollover on an empty night-time road. Another was a semi literally stalled on the tracks. Yes, the truck was hit by a commuter, but no one was injured.) There I would be, in the dark with a flashlight. Luckily, that doesn’t happen anymore.

    I’m glad she is safe. (I’m going to hope she still is.) I asked my husband only yesterday if my step-son knew his phone number by heart. Speed dial seems to have taken over knowing the numbers. I think perhaps we should be sure he does. Hopefully, he’ll never need it.

  43. Donna, thank you for sharing this story. Like so many others here, I’m thankful that it was you who was there to find her and share your kindness with the girl.

    I am always amazed by “coincidences” like the stray cat – how your attention was drawn to the girl after seeing a cat, knowing how fond of them you are. Reminds me that there’s something out there paying attention to the big picture, making small miracles happen.

  44. Thank God it was you, not some pedophile. I recently wrote a post on my “other” blog about a little boy who got away from his mommy in a department store. I hope you get some followup from the police or social workers. When you do, let us know her status?

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