You Just Gotta Look

“You just gotta look”, my mom would say throughout my young life. And, without fail, she would move something and there would be the item I was looking for. Easy as that.

My mom could find anything and always knew where something was. It seemed like a mysterious superpower. A sixth sense. An eyes-in-the-back-of-her-head sort of thing. She could find anything. How did she do it?

The mystery was solved when I became a mom. I find myself repeating it to my husband and my kids. “Just look”. And, without fail, I can point out the hidden in plain sight ketchup in the refrigerator to my husband. “Have you seen my (fill in the blank)?” And, without effort, I had a picture of the exact spot of my husband’s item that I had seen earlier. Photographic memory. All my life, I had been told men were visual. Marriage proved that was a complete lie. They just don’t see it.

And when I’m not helping my husband find things, I’m helping the kids. “Where’s my other shoe?” “Where’s my soccer ball?” “Where’s my mask?” “Where’s this one picture I drew weeks ago?” I hear it all. Somewhere along the way, I’ve become the mysterious finder. I wasn’t trained in it, I didn’t sign up for it, and I didn’t become credentialed in it. Aneece Alicea Licensed Mental Health Counselor ,oh, and Expert Finder. Can I bill for my services?

I’m not sure what it actually is. I hear many men and women confirm that this is the case. No study needed. I see it play out in front of me when I see other families interact. Mom always knows. Is it intuition? Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it neon sign vision that points the way “It’s over here”? I’m really not sure. I can tell you what many moms can tell you. Sometimes, you just know.

Then, there’s things you may never actually find. Some priceless, sentimental things that came up missing. I had looked everywhere like the woman with the lost coin. Restless until I find what’s lost that’s mine. “Am I crazy? How did I lose these things? It can’t really be missing.” I never lose anything, and I don’t give up easily. No answer I could come up with made any sense. How did that many items suddenly come up missing? I searched high and low until I prayed “God, show me what happened.” I can’t say I was prepared for the answer. “No, it can’t be. Am I hearing this right?” But with each disbelief, was a clear, point back to the answer. Not long after, the answer was confirmed. And just like that, the truth can be found. The truth can be hard. It can be ugly. It can be painful. But I had my answer. I definitely wasn’t crazy. Sometimes, moms can just hear the answer, we can hear the truth.

But the knowing and the finding can also bring delight. I recently purchased a chandelier for a great bargain. It gave me just enough glam. When I pulled it out of the box to install it, I realized there were droppers missing from the sealed box. 31 of them. The store I purchased them from didn’t have them. I searched for a new chandelier, but no one was selling one for the deal I had purchased it for. But on a hunch, my mom went into an antique shop. And, what did she find? The exact type of droppers and the amount I needed. She found them on her first try. The store I purchased the chandelier from gave me a refund for the price of the droppers. Perfect. My mom has always been the expert bargain finder. Her skills did not disappoint.

Is it intuition? Is it a coincidence? Is it a genetic feature that we come with preloaded? I don’t know exactly what makes moms such great finders. But I know, if I need something to be found, I can rely on my mom. And I hope my kids feel they can rely on me to find what’s lost. To find what’s gone. To rescue their broken hearts with answers and honesty. To help them find the truth. And I hope, most of all, that I help them find their truth in Jesus. And that they come to know that God has never given up on finding them, even when they feel lost.