God provides – but in his time, not necessarily ours
God provides. That simple statement is one that I’ve been told time and time again. But it’s only as an adult, facing responsibilities and challenges, that I’ve witnessed just how true that phrase has been in my life.
My parents have always worked hard to provide the best that they could. I went to the high school and college of my choice, and I continue the education streak even now as I make my way into what I hope will be the final year of my doctorate.
Things weren’t always easy, though. I remember having to relocate to Arkansas for my dad’s job when I was in grade school. We had never been away from my great-grandparents, so my great-grandmother came with us while my great-grandfather stayed behind to make sure all of the houses got sold. None of us particularly enjoyed Little Rock, but I remember the trust and faith that my parents had – everything would work out according to God’s plan.
My great-grandmother had been praying for all of us to be able to move back home to Louisiana.
My brother’s devout faith in St. Therese of Lisieux was inspired by my great-grandmother. In all of her prayers, she had asked St. Therese to send us a sign that we would be able to return home. As we were playing outside, a neighbor gave my sister a rose and told her to tell my grandmother that her prayers would be answered. And sure enough, they were. Neither of the houses had sold, so before the academic year ended, we were back at home. We were back where we were supposed to be.
These little signs are frequent in my family. If you ask any of us, I’m certain we’ll be able to share a different story in which St. Therese or another favorite saint – perhaps St. Joseph or St. Jude – makes an appearance. As a child, I thought it was just a coincidence, but since it worked, I always prayed. My great-grandparents prayed, my grandmother prayed, and my parents pray: if it’s worked for three generations, I feel certain it will work for me.
Perhaps this is why when my husband and I moved into our house last year and we cleared away the weeds gathering in the backyard, I was excited to see 12 rose bushes. They were in need of a lot of care, and we had no idea what to do since this is our first garden.
After a bit of research, a few trips to the botanical garden and a lot of pruning and fertilizing, I’m proud to say that all of the bushes are currently in bloom. Just in time for answered prayers.
As the pinks, reds, oranges and yellows came alive last weekend, I had been praying that everything would work out so that I could finish my degree next school year.
Funding for the year was resolved – one prayer answered. The last thing remaining was research for a specific chapter. Once that was done, I would have everything needed to write the remaining chapters.
The problem was getting the research, and just like that, everything fell into place. Out of the blue, I received an e-mail granting me the opportunity for completing that research from a fellowship for which I had already been rejected and had now received. God provides.
I know that I am blessed: so many of my prayers have been answered, not always on my timeline, but in God’s timing. He knows exactly when to give, if only we are capable of receiving.