Thanks to Meridian Magazine for making us aware of this video.
David Lindes was too young to really remember when his father left David, David's older sister, and David's mother while they were living in Guatemala
Though David would sometimes hear his sister cry, "Quiero mi papa," or "I want my dad," David says in a Mormon Channel video "Peace with a Lion" that he never felt strongly about this father's absence.
Until one night after David put his newborn son to bed.
"Something inside me clicked," David says. "I think I realized I had been there before: beautiful, quiet, safe, bedtime. But before, I had been the baby and someone else had been the father. And now that I was here again feeling this incomprehensible, bigger-than-everything love for Eli well up inside me—feeling his trust in me—it was so absolute. I understood for the first time what my father had abandoned. And it broke me."
David said it was like an ink sack inside his chest had burst, and all the pain he never thought he had about his father leaving spread inside him for the first time.
As he climbed back into his own bed, David's sobs woke up his sleeping wife and he said over and over, "He left me. He left me. He left me."
After that night, David said that his desire to know more about his father grew until he was considering paying $1,500 for a private investigator to find him. But as he knelt in prayer to ask for Heavenly Father's help with this big financial and life-changing decision, David says he suddenly had a thought to search for his father's first name, last name, and Guatemala on Facebook.
After a quick search, David found two men with the correct last name, but he knew neither was his father. However, since he knew he could possibly still be related to them, he messaged both men. One responded that he was his cousin and gave David the email to his long-lost father.
"Can you imagine that email message?" David shares. "Introduce yourself to your father. Ready, set, go!"
Despite initial awkwardness of introducing himself, David was thrilled when his father responded 60 seconds later: "I'm at work. I'm so happy to hear from you. I can't write much now, but tonight at home, I will have more time."
His heart pounding in his chest, David waited patiently all night with his laptop open on his bed for his father's next message.
It never came.
"For a time, I wrote him every day," David shares. "Then weekly, then monthly, Nowadays, I reach out more or less quarterly. I thought him not reaching out again was my fault, and I thought I could fix it."
But through this painful journey, David came to realize how he could find peace with his father even after multiple failed attempts to connect with him. Watch the Mormon Channel video below to see more of David's story and how he found "peace with the lion."