“Natalie! It’s getting late. Time to come in!” my dad called from the porch.
I was racing toward the orange bandana peeking from behind a bush. “I’ll be right there!” I yelled as I ran.
I found it! My friends cheered as I held up the other team’s flag. One friend said it would be fun to play again, but a few shook their heads and said it was getting too dark. I handed the flag to a friend. “Sorry, I have to go.”
I crossed the street and opened the door. Dad smiled at me. “That looked like a good game.”
“I was so fast. Did you see me find the last flag?” I said.
“Way to go!” He gave me a hug. “Now see how fast you can get ready for bed.”
I walked to my room. My teddy bears looked so inviting on the yellow bedspread. As I stretched and yawned, my right hand brushed against my ear. Oh, no! My earring was gone! My hands flew to my left ear, where I felt the other earring. I took it out and cradled it in my hand. My special new earrings! One must have fallen out as I was playing capture the flag.
“Mom,” I cried. “I lost one of my new earrings while I was playing. I need to go look for it now!”
Dad came up beside Mom in the doorway. “Oh Natalie, I’m so sorry,” he said. “I know how much you love those earrings. But it’s too dark. You won’t be able to see a thing.”
Mom agreed. “You’ll have to wait till tomorrow.”
“I guess you’re right,” I said. “I’ll just get up early!”
The next morning I jumped out of bed. I went straight to the park and walked through the grass with my eyes glued to the ground. Nothing! I felt so awful. I bowed my head. “Please help me find my earring,” I prayed.
I heard my mom’s voice and opened my eyes.
“I saw you out here and thought you could use some help. Let’s try looking together.”
We walked all around the park, and I even saw something shiny, but it turned out to be an old wrapper. Finally Mom sighed, “Honey, we’ve looked everywhere. This is a big park. I don’t know if we can find it. But why don’t you pray and we’ll try one more time.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. We both closed our eyes. As I started to pray I suddenly felt peaceful and happy, like I was wrapped in a big, warm hug. I could feel that Heavenly Father was telling me that he was listening and was watching over me.
When I finished praying, I said, “Mom, I feel so peaceful!”
She smiled. “I feel it too.”
“I want to look one last time.” As I strolled around trees and play equipment, the grass suddenly seemed a deeper green, the breeze a kiss on my face as I hummed a Primary song.
I came back to the beginning and stopped. I still hadn’t found my earring! I thought I’d feel sad, but my heart felt full of joy. My mom looked a little worried when she saw my empty hands.
“Mom, I didn’t find my earring. But it’s OK, because I know Heavenly Father loves me. He answered my prayer. He just answered it in a different way.”