Giving Credit Where Credit is Due:Miracles do Happen, They just look different than you might think

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me what I did to heal my teeth. I had had severe receding gums, at one point an enormous cavity that felt like a huge chunk of my tooth had come out. 2 HG pregnancies in a row and breastfeeding did a real number on my teeth that had been pretty much perfect before this. I told them the actual steps I took to heal the teeth, but what I forgot and was too afraid to mention was that I was so consumed with fear and hopelessness that I started praying. I was praying daily about my tooth anxiety. I found the patron saint of teeth, St. Apollonia, who I had never heard of, and I bought the most beautiful print I could find of her, which happened to be a holy card. I displayed it in my bathroom and prayed for her intercession every single day.

That was when I started learning about how dangerous modern care is for our teeth. I found out that the way the dentists had taught me to brush was destroying my gums. I learned that the very toothpaste the gave us is destroying our mouths. I learned that half the time my problem was grinding my teeth due to stress. I learned that deficiency in certain vitamins leads to certain issues in the teeth.

I started following the recommendations I found in a book called Cure Tooth Decay, particularly in the chapter on receding gums. My gums healed almost completely, and so did my cavities. It was a miracle. Then, it happened again, because you have to keep up with a routine, and it is hard to do with 2 under 2 when you are constantly playing catch up, and I attributed it to science and myself. It happened again, and I still didn’t give credit where credit was due.

Yet I sit here one more time because I completely failed at my routine last week, and immediately I turn to St. Apollonia, and I keep hearing myself explaining how I fixed my teeth, but I’m afraid to be a fanatic so I just mention the ‘normal’-ish sounding part. She is my mainstay, I turn to her when I am so desperate in fear and pain that I can’t remember what you are supposed to do to fix these things.

That’s how prayer works sometimes. Sometimes it’s not that you get a miracle that just happens, though that happens too, but sometimes your miracle is that you learn something you didn’t know before. Sometimes it’s that you thought you had a problem and you don’t. Sometimes it’s that you find some information you needed to keep going but you couldn’t find.

The Holy Spirit, the most often neglected member of the Holy Trinity, is a powerful partner to have in life. He is beauty, He is truth, He is knowledge. Everything good and beautiful in this life and this world, comes from Him. I call Him “The Muse,” because I believe He works especially in artists. I believe that He reveals what is true, beautiful, good, through His people. He is capable of great things, so great that you might think I’m crazy if I were to list them.

One time when I was in college, I felt called to write letters to some friends I had who were on retreat. I wrote them in the chapel during Adoration, and I remember feeling like I knew every word they were supposed to say. I will never forget a particular one of them. I was writing all of these comforting things about being angry and sad, and I was writing them I was like, “Where is this coming from? He is on retreat, everything should be great!” But I kept writing and writing for 2 pages. Several days later, he came up to me with such sincerity in his eyes, and told me, “I don’t know how you knew. I was having such a hard time, and this was exactly what I needed.”

Another time I was going Christmas shopping with my mom, and we were on our way to the mall talking about a friend of hers that she had no clue what to get. I prayed, and immediately told her to go to Barnes and Noble instead of the mall. She argued with me, but I repeated, “I’m serious, just go!” We walked in and on the first shelf we saw was a Calvin and Hobbes book, I told her to get it, and she wasn’t sure but she did. When we gave it to him, he said “How did you know? I’ve been wanting this forever!”

Sometimes, I am afraid that people will think I am crazy when I talk about this stuff. I even sometimes think I am. Powerful moments of communication with God are not something that is often talked about, and when it is, it seems so fake to me. But He does still talk to us today. He has given us ways to stay in touch with Him so that we are not alone no matter how alone we feel. This is what Scripture and the Eucharist are for. They are for Him to be close to us, so He can talk to us and comfort us, every time we turn to Him.

That doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t feel hopeless. I do. I mean, obviously anyone who knows me knows, I do. This world can be scary, and some seasons in life seem almost unbearable. Some things about my life now, I try to tell myself aren’t as bad as they are, but if I am not constantly on my knees begging for help, I am in tears and the whole world falls apart. It is literally only in Him that we can survive the millions of things that could possibly go wrong in this world. I don’t know why He doesn’t save us from every trial, but He does save us sometimes, if we ask. He can see you in complete despair, and bring you the one ray of light you need to keep going. Sometimes He brings you so much light that you are blinded by it, and sometimes He just brings the feeling that you are not alone, but no matter what He is there, even when you don’t feel Him, and as much as it sucks to not feel Him there, it’s worse when He really isn’t, which is what it feels like if you don’t go to Him.

So go to Him today, with your struggles be they little or big. He wants to hear them, and He wants to help you. He wants you to be close to Him more than anything. He wants to heal your hurting heart, even if it’s hurting too much for you, even if it’s not hurting as much as the other people who are hurting. He wants to heal you, go to Him.

God Hears Your Petty Prayers

Earlier this week, I laid on my stomach in our bed in complete despair. I was budgeting, and we couldn’t make it on what we had. There was no way to meet all of our needs. I was going to have to get a job and leave my sweet little girls in daycare, or Patrick was going to have to get something soul-sucking somehow. It was going to be so stressful. I couldn’t believe it had gotten this bad. I really believed that we were doing what we were meant to be, so why was everything falling apart?

About an hour later, I felt a certainty in my gut that we would figure something out. “We are meant to be exactly where we are,” said to my husband, “Something is going to work out.”

It did. We realized I could do some food delivery when things got really bad. If his paycheck was as low as it was this week, I would deliver groceries for as many hours as it took to meet the need. Then, I did it! In 2 days of delivering, and a miraculous $45 order, I met what we needed, and our paycheck transformed from a desperate, we aren’t going to make it, to we will make it, all the way to we will be good!

Then, last night, I was curled into a ball crying about how I can’t afford to provide for my girls. It was a seemingly petty mental breakdown over my oldest girl’s 2 year old birthday. I had only been able to get her one gift, and it was one with hard memories attached. What I was really upset about is all of the years of fear about money that I have felt, and the hopelessness I sometimes feel about it getting better(even though we are working really hard on it,) but one of the things that hurts the most, as petty as it may seem, is that every day I am losing the baby years, and I missed out on a lot of fun, happy things about babyhood, and every day there’s a new thing I’ll never get back. Things like designing their first nursery, or buying their baptism dresses, or Christmas presents, or just toys that I like for them. Anyway, I was consumed by guilt for how petty all of this is. I was taught that materialism is wrong, and I was so ashamed of myself, but at the same time I was feeling so much grief about the joy I couldn’t get myself to experience. I prayed so hard, “God I know this is so stupid, and I should be better, but I just want to be able to do her birthday.”

This morning, I awoke to notes from a Facebook group of mine encouraging me, and uplifting me in my struggles, and a fellow foodie group member complementing my birthday dinner idea. Because of the Facebook comments, I was inspired to go shopping. Whoever is reading this, you would not believe the shopping trip I had. I knew in my gut exactly what to get her, which stores to go to, and when. I got done with exactly 5 minutes left until the party, and spent almost exactly what I had left of my Christmas money.

When it came time for the gift opening, I caught myself wondering, did I get enough? Was it the right stuff? She had to go through the gifts so quickly, but a voice in my head said, “it’s not about this moment, it’s about forever-it’s about watching her play with these years from now,” and I calmed my worry.

After the party, I was able to be truly gracious and grateful for the gifts I was given, because I wasn’t desperately hoping that they would miraculously be what I wanted to get her. Anything at all would have been amazing. I have really struggled with gratitude for a long time, because I have felt grateful and angry at the same time and it has made me so confused. Every time I got gifts I would end up in tears beating myself up over how ungrateful I was. But I realize now, I wasn’t ungrateful, I just wasnt meeting my own needs, so the wants that were getting met weren’t enough to fill me. I was angry because I was feeling empty, and the gifts couldn’t touch what I was needing.

It was incredible to be able to appreciate the gifts she was given(let me note here that since I am a stay at home mom, anything she gets is what I am surrounded with all day every day, so it’s my life too! Lol), because I had provided for her too. I could enjoy the playdough she got, because I bought her mess free markers. I could love the pajamas she got, because I bought her tutus. I could enjoy the baby bottles someone else got her, even though I meant to get them for her, because I got her other things instead, so it was amazing that she still got them!

All of this is to say that God hears your petty prayers. Nothing is too small for Him to hear you. I read a meditation just after the birthday party about how we think that God needs to help someone else whose needs are worse instead of us, and I realized I always feel that way, but that’s not what He wants. He is able to be present for anyone. He can help the woman who just lost her husband, and the one whose makeup got screwed up on the way to work. He hears the woman with cancer and the one who is mad at her boyfriend. He was there with me when I lost my first baby, and He was with me when I wanted to get my two year old a mermaid.

Don’t underestimate Him. He is more than any of us know. His answer may not always be yes, but He will bring you comfort, even if it’s not as soon as you would like. There will be evil, but He hates every time you suffer as much as you do. He is there in the big things and the small. Let Him love you no matter where you are. Be His whole entire world. ♥️♥️♥️ Then, love Him back.

♥️♥️♥️

PS I was watching The Bachelor a couple weeks ago, and Colton got Caelynn bags and bags of fun stuff. I asked God to do that for me-He’s been spoiling me rotten lately with miracles. ♥️

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑