Miracles DO Happen!
life has been my earthly hell . . . at work.
in april (just a few posts earlier) you can read how i continued to surrender everything and give it all up to God to take care of my life's matters and issues in His own way and in His own timing. . . and to give me the patience to wait and the knowledge to know His Divine Will for me.
if you care to read, here is how God has worked His miracles and how they have taken place in my tiny little human life:
in 1987, God allowed my marriage to end in Phoenix, Arizona . . . the devil slowly and steadily stole my husband's soul through alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, and addiction to money, worldly things, and prestige when we lived (it began in St. Louis, MO, worsened in los angeles, california, and ended in Phoenix, Arizona).
God did not end my marriage . . . satan ended my marriage!
my Catholic and Christian Evangelical psychological counselors at Good Samaritan Counseling Center in Phoenix, pointed out to me in Holy Scripture where I am advised by Christ not to fight within family, but to let him go. I was advised NOT to file for divorce due to my Catholic faith, but to not fight him if my ex-husband filed for divorce papers.
i surrendered and the divorce was filed and finalized in 1990.
God had a bigger, much better, more beautiful plan in store for me!
a good friend of mine said to me, "you've always talked about returning to graduate school . . . nothing is holding you back now".
the parish of St. Maria Goretti's Catholic Church gave me $500 to rent a truck u-haul and trailer to haul my little amount of stuff, my car, my two young children, a cat, and a bird back to the Midwest to return to my family of origin and to go to graduate school.
i met my husband whom i have now been married to for 20 years. although not Catholic, (he's Methodist) we set our religious differences aside and he has been my strongest supporter given to me by God. (BTW the only thing that he does not accept in Catholicism is papal infallibility and thus he will not convert -- like i said, we don't get into the differences in order to live in spiritual peace).
that was the first miracle. this man raised my infant and toddler children as if they were his very own biological children when their 'real' father had completely abandoned them (to this day). my husband had already raised his own two biological children from birth to their then ages of 17 and 22 …. and was willing to do it all over again with children that were not his own . . . all because of his love for me. so what if he's Protestant? he never once asked me to leave the Church or question my children's Catholicism as had been demanded by my previous Southern Baptist husband.
next miracle: my husband said that he intended to move to South Carolina upon my completion of graduate school . . . a state that I'd never stepped foot in or even seen other than reading about in the history books regarding the American Revolution, the Civil War and slavery. all i knew about the current issues of South Carolina is that it was one of the worst and lowest-ranked states in the U.S. in education (like 48th out of 50!) and he was asking me to leave Iowa, one of the top 2 states in the Union in education. Dear God!
but move to S.C. we did and more miracles awaited us in the Palmetto state:
my daughter was in 10th grade at the time of the move which is one of the worst times in a teenager's life to move. she screamed and cried and dragged her feet all the way during the move and for a good 6 months afterward. Lauren then met the love of her life within one year, dated him for 9 years including those 4 years of college when they attended in two separate states (she in SC and he in GA), engaged to each other for two years, and now married for 6 years. she now thanks us for the move and knows that God has a reason for everything!
see the miracles happening? she'd never have met her husband had God not allowed my first marriage to dissolve, had He not compelled me to return to graduate school in the Midwest, had He not brought my husband into our lives who wanted us and did take us to South Carolina to live!
next miracle: because my children were in the TOP of their high school classes in South Carolina, and yet were smack in the UPPER-MIDDLE of their classes in Iowa, they were able to earn complete 4-year scholarships for EACH of their college educations. this would never have happened n Iowa, where only the top 1% (genius) high school students with a 4.0-plus gpa (grade point average) are awarded scholarships, and where the majority of students in their (also my) high school was and is ranked #9 in the nation with 50% of students with 4.0 gpa's. In South Carolina, my students were in the TOP compared to their peers where the high school drop out rate is 50% compared to less than 1% in Iowa! God gave them a better chance for financial assistance in college in South Carolina that they never would have received in Iowa! ONE MORE MIRACLE FROM GOD for trusting in him to move us to South Carolina.
next miracle: i met numerous people to lead me and guide me through God to work at a Christian college (not Catholic) when we first moved to S.C. and I was finishing the last end of my Ph.D. (via e-mail, FAX, phone, and regular mail) that led me to meet a colleague on the faculty. This friend eventually left this little Christian school and later contacted me to ask me to join the faculty of his place of employment, a public college in Greenwood, SC. i chose to leave the Christian college due to the internal conflict I was feeling in regard to the differences between it's Baptist and my Catholic beliefs as well as a lack of any future). turns out God wanted me to go through another hoop of fire while i worked in an incredibly unethical, horribly toxic, and dysfunctional institution. God gave me a plan . . . strategize to do everything to earn tenure and then get the heck out of there! i left 6 years ago after earning promotion and tenure. but where is there any big miracle in this? goes on every day! well, the move to this small college moved my husband and i to a small town called Greenwood, SC.
again, you're saying, "so what?"
where's the miracle in this? hang on, it's coming!
turns out that there is one kick-buns awesome regional health care system in this community that has world-renowned physicians moving to (for the great weather) for their careers.
OK so what, my health was just fine, right?
well it certainly was when we moved here in 2002. but later, this year, my health totally gave out as a result of my year from hell at the university where i am currently employed and tenured. God spoke to me through the physical screams of my body!
my back went out after intolerable pain for two years and the stress i endured on the job. turns out i've had a cracked vertebrae since birth and two more that herniated in the last 4 years. i couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs anymore without excruciating pain. my legs went numb 3 days in a row while standing up giving lectures in class!
off to not one but two doctors. never in my life have i ever felt compelled to ask for a second opinion. the first one was in the big city of Greenville, SC. disappointed with the rudeness of the spine center that my general practitioner had originally referred me to, i sought out a second opinion from a spine center in none other that this little city that we moved to for work . . . Greenwood, SC!
ultimate neurosurgeon diagnosis: without a shadow of a doubt, unless i wanted to live in increasing pain by the year . . . surgery was necessary!
here's God's next miracle: there are only 4 doctors in the ENTIRE United States that is knowledgeable and capable of the newest, state-of-the-art technology and procedure for neurosurgical spinal surgery . . . and one of these fab four doctors lives and practices right here in this regional health care system and small community (Carolina Neurosurgical and Spine Center). Not knowing this at all at the time of setting my appointment for the 'second opinion', just take a guess at the doctor that i was assigned to! you got it, one of the fab four in the country! plus, the spine center itself is ranked one of the top 100 spine centers in the U.S. consistently for the last 6 years.
AND THIS IS ALL IN MY VERY OWN "BACKYARD" !
did the miracles end? no way, God is much bigger than these miracles alone. The God that I know and love has no bounds, no limits to those that He loves and takes care of!
God knew . . . HE KNEW the hell that I'd gone through throughout the last year at the university where i work. i was being crucified not by Christ's horrible crucifixion, but it was the torture of God's choice and allowance.
during which God revealed to me the opportunity to validate myself by applying for AND landing a better position. this position offered much more money and greater prestige and position . . . and i landed it! i got the offer . . . and only to run into an empasse in the process of agreeing on the employment terms. i knew that God had His reasons for this dead-end and i told him all along in my daily prayers that i would accept whatever He wanted for me despite what i thought would be best for me.
God has a plan i kept telling myself and i knew that the reason would be revealed to me:
those reasons came in february when after the 6 month interviewing process ended, my legs gave out in class 3 days in a row -- and i knew something was seriously wrong.
also the new position i was to begin on June 1st.
this would have simply been impossible because God knew my back was going to go out (my legs numbing was the symptom that compelled me to seek medical attention and advice).
God knew i was going to need neurosurgical surgery on July 6th and a 3-day hospitalization period.
God knew that i was going to need a minimum of 3 months leave of absence from work due to the level of seriousness of the recovery period from such a severe operation.
God blessed me in the previous 10 years of work with 20 weeks of earned sick leave (2 weeks are earned annually) to be able to legally and rightfully under my employment benefit plan to take one entire semester off with FULL PAY to recover physically, mentally, AND spiritually!
did the miracles end there? are you kidding?
God knows that he brought me into this world as an Italian-American and that in my 57 years of life, it has been my never-ending wish to see my homeland across the Atlantic . . . Italy. In his infinite wisdom and foresight, God inspired my parents 3 years ago to plan a trip in October, 2012 for two weeks in Italy to visit our relatives, several of the classic cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice and one week on the Amalfi coast.
my parents are taking me with them!
what a glorious way to recover and restore from surgical injuries and mental agony and stress from work!
and I am certain, without any question, that the miracles of my Heavenly Father will not end at this point or in Italy! i am hoping and praying that my Catholic faith will be ever so more strengthened and inspired when i visit the Vatican, the seat of the Holy Roman Catholic church, and i walk on the stones on which St. Peter walked, and much, much more . . . .
blessings to each of you and praying for God's miracles to take place in your life!