Miracles happen to those who believe in them. – Bernard Berenson
I was already overwhelmed with life when my parent’s health began to fail. Mortality became the focus of my attention. I was forced to stop and evaluate my life.
It was a big mess.
Both parents faced tests, surgeries, and uncertainty. Medications and medical terminology were sources of both learning and fear. I was in a bad relationship where I was devalued and betrayed on a daily basis. I hated my job, and myself.
On New Year’s Eve I determined to change and create a life I wasn’t ashamed to live. It took four months to find the courage to leave. What followed was a lengthy, painful breakup. Eight months later I was emotionally drained. Another New Year’s Eve passed. I prayed for strength.
The New Year brought motivation to find new employment. It was out of the frying pan and into the fire – another job, another toxic environment. I think I was numb from the pain of the breakup and still trying to regain my identity, so at first I didn’t notice.
When it hit me I had been working almost a year, burying my feelings, forfeiting vacation, alienating friends, and allowing myself to be taken advantage of and mistreated – even asked to compromise my values. On top of it all, I was struggling to make ends meet.
I had failed… again. Nearly two years and no progress – it was going to take a miracle to turn my life around. I prayed for direction and began to seek new employment. I worked hard to recover my financial situation and then resigned.
Another New Year’s Eve… this time unemployed, single, and alone.
I prayed for a miracle.
Standing at a crossroads
I applied for jobs and tried to ignore the anxiety that comes with unemployment. I contemplated starting my own company, but my confidence was too shaken to follow through. I struggled to remain faithful by acknowledging the opportunities opening to me.
I was interviewing – even receiving job offers. My family showed unconditional love and support. Friends I thought were lost returned to my side. I was truly blessed.
But, the fear was overwhelming. I was afraid to take a wrong step forward and end up back where I had started. I stood at a crossroads unsure of which path to take. Some days I felt so weighed down by the worry. I prayed, and cried, and prayed, and cried – but received no direction. It felt like God was ignoring me.
I busied myself reading, connecting with friends, attending seminars, and began writing. The writing was therapeutic. It led me to a deeper understanding of myself. I began to slow down and find peace in the process. I finally gave up control and turned everything over to God. My worries quieted. My heaviness became lighter. I felt my heart opening and my soul alive again.
Miracles come simply, and beautifully
I sat outside under the stars that night and apologetically asked God for more than direction and strength. I asked for vision, understanding, inspiration, love, and a clearly defined path to a passionate life. It was that week my prayer was answered.
No fanfare, no paparazzi, no angelic chorus. The answer came in a soft voice that gently – almost unnoticeably – pointed me in the right direction.
Today I have my own company – a business based on ethical principles where integrity is valued. God’s grace has already opened doors and provided countless blessings. I continue writing about my experience. Sharing my story has led me to amazing new friends and, for the first time in my life, I feel I am making a positive difference in the world around me.
I guess we expect miracles to make grand entrances. We imagine burning bushes, parting seas, and water turning into wine. But miracles are all around us.
Sometimes we are too consumed with worry, responsibilities, and the distractions of life to notice. Miracles come wrapped in gratitude and disguised as the air we breathe. They are in the peace of this moment.
Recognizing miracles requires only that we open our hearts. Receiving them requires that we give up control and quiet our spirits to feel the presence of God.