Sunday, February 22, 2009

Divine Intervention

We've all had a time or two in our lives when we experienced a helping hand--a providential intervention that shows up when we least expect it, when we've exhausted all avenues, when we've given up all hope. And then, with miraculous timing, intervention appears, not necessarily solving our problem, but offering an alternative solution or temporary relief. What we do with the opportunity is up to us. If we take the time to make wise choices, it can change our life.

Sometimes, it doesn't look like much of a divine intervention. Sometimes that ultimate solution takes a while to come into focus. But I have experienced such major interventions at least three times in my life.

The first time was just past our sixth anniversary. We lived in Chicago at the time and had three children under four years of age. The house hunk came home from work one day at lunch time and asked me if I would be willing to move to Houston. It was a hard choice.

We would be moving eleven hundred miles from our nearest family members. We knew no one in Houston. And we had small children with medical problems. But we took the opportunity and moved to Houston. It wasn't until our children were in school that we discerned the rest of the pattern.

Our children--four of them by then--all had learning disabilities. At that time, there were very few school districts in the entire country that aggressively worked with kids that had learning disabilities. We lived in one of the top districts in the country--a district that pioneered educational intervention for such children. Because of our willingness to leave family and friends behind, our children benefited in ways that are still affecting their lives.

Eleven years after moving to Houston, the house hunk called me one morning from work to inform me that he'd been transferred to New York City. We knew absolutely nothing about New York except for things we'd seen on television. It was not a good time for us to move.

Our financial situation was going to be catastrophic to say the least. We had just reached a point in Houston where we were almost breaking even. The cost of living and rents in New York were in the impossible range--so impossible that we ended up living two hours north of the City in a tiny village without even one stoplight.

Boy, I had some heated conversations with God, let me tell you! What possible purpose could be served from our living in the middle of nowhere? It was a few years before the pattern was made clear. Our daughter was... a handful. After many struggles, we acknowledged that we needed help. A lot of help. Her school recommended that we place her in a boarding school that specifically dealt with incorrigible children.

Now, I don't know if you've ever priced boarding schools, I can tell you, they are not in the average middle class price range. Of all the school districts in the state of New York, our district was the only one that had a contract with that boarding school. Our district paid for her education. The school granted our family a scholarship to pay part of the room and board. And with many tears we placed her there for twenty two months.

She's grown now, with two children, working in a supervisory position in a doctor's office. And she's a tougher parent than I ever was.

Almost seven years ago, the house hunk called me at work to inform me that he was transferred to Baltimore. What the heck did we know about Baltimore? We'd just paid off our house. Our children were pretty much on their own. Did we want to move?

Not really. I had a hard-earned position as an executive secretary to the Director of Adult Education in our county. I didn't really want to give up my job. But you know? All our married life, I believed that wherever the house hunk went, it was my job to go with him. So I resigned, we sold the house, and moved to Baltimore. And I had a few more conversations with God about the advisability of this move.

For one thing, the opportunities for a replacement job were few and far between. For another, our transportation issues were completely different. After a bit, the house hunk said, "Look. It's cheaper for you to stay home than go to work." So here I sat. Watched television until I could quote the dialogue. Walked the dog until she was exhausted. Did all sorts of crafty stuff until I ran out of recipients to give the stuff to.

Then my son said, "Mom, go write something and get out of my hair."

So I wrote a book. And I sent it off to a publisher. It's title was Dancer's Delight. Much to my astonishment, the publisher offered me a contract. And I'm still writing.

I can tell you with a certainty I have deep in my soul that I would never have written a word if we had not been transferred so that I had to leave my job. Sometimes, when divine intervention comes along, we just have to take that leap of faith up on that fence pole and wait to see the outcome.



  1. What a life you have led! You are a very strong woman Anny. It also sounds like you've had a lot of help from the other side. Sometimes I think the people on the other side kick us in the butt until we finally do the right thing. Much love to you. I needed to read your post right now.

  2. Things happen for a reason don't they? And to sell the first novel you wrote. How wondrous.

  3. It's strange how we can look back on our lives and realize that though the road twists and turns it DOES lead somewhere. I've often wondered about doing things differently then I think...yeah, but if I'd done THIS then THAT wouldn't have happened.

    I'm glad providence led you to Baltimore.

  4. He does work in mysterious ways, doesn't He?

    I've discovered that myself the past 6 years.