When she walked, heads turned. She was the picture of perfection – beauty, brains, and bank. She was the third in a family of pretty girls and she was the prettiest of them all. She was the favorite in the family because she was also the youngest. When God poured blessings, she must be awake while all of us were sleeping because she did not only have beauty, but she had the brains, too. She was very witty, full of humor, candid, bubbly at times, and yes, she topped her classes. She went to the biggest university and still she topped her classes. She was amazing.

Every summer, Cara would go back to her hometown. She enjoyed everyday with her high school friends. They would pack in the car of a friend and amazed all the other tourists as they mingled with the crowd and enjoyed the spots.

Cara was a good dresser. Her beautiful face, her slender body, her long hair, her beautiful eyes, and her pouting lips, all these matched with her trendy outfit. She walked like a young Hollywood star. Oh yes, heads turned when she passed.

One day, though, Cara and her friends were missing. The parents were already asking one another as to the whereabouts of their daughters. “Who last saw them?” This was the question of that day. No one saw them. No one knew where they went.

The police search started. Since Cara and the girls were from the upper-class families, so the news that they were missing spread like wildfire in their hometown and neighboring areas. People speculated that they may be kidnapped. So, parents were waiting for any call for ransom. But none came.

On the third day from the day the girls went missing, out of nowhere, each girl silently went back to their own homes.

Instead of getting mad at the girls, each family cried when they saw their missing girl. Cara’s hair was uncombed, her clothes were tattered, her eyes were with tears, and she did not want to talk. She just kept on crying and crying. Everyone cried. No one wanted to talk.

Days passed. Cara remained in her room all those days. She refused to eat. She refused to talk. She just cried and cried.

The family cried along with Cara. They could only pray to God to heal Cara. They did not bother to ask her what happened. They just wanted her to be better. They just wanted her to eat. They just wanted her to stop crying.

Days became weeks. The family continued to pray. No one talked about anything. They just prayed.

Then one day, Cara came out of her room. She was very serene. She sat on the chair. She asked for food. Then she started crying again. Slowly and with effort, she told her mother what happened to her and her friends on that day they were missing. Someone with evil intent abducted the girls and brought them to a place where no one knew and that someone drugged the girls. They did not know what happened after that. The next thing they knew was when they were in the car and were each brought home.

Cara’s mother had to be strong. Her heart was pounding with anger, but she must be calm for Cara. She just hugged Cara and assured her that everything would be all right.

It took months before Cara could finally go back to the university. But she was no longer the same Cara. She no longer smiled. She no longer looked at people in the eyes. She chose to be in her room.

Cara’s family supported her through and through. They respected her quest to become herself again. They gave her time to recover. They prayed and prayed for Cara’s healing.

Cara was able to recover. She went to another country where she discovered herself again. She may have lost time, but her inner beauty and intellect remained with her wherever she went. Cara is at the top of her career now and she is still the beauteous Cara who is full of wisdom. Her character shines.

Life is a journey of difficulties, twists and turns. But in the end, goodness prevails.

“I will say of the Lord ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:2