21 January MMXVI
Jimmy and I have been blessed with the precious friendship of a man who is currently at a Catholic seminary discerning a call to the priesthood. Our friendship predates his discernment process. We met him while he was completing his PhD at Florida State in a science that I am completely incapable of grasping. He is one of those precious people who is both humble and brilliant.
But he is also so beautiful and charming mentally, physically and spiritually that none of us who know him were at all surprised when he shared his call to discern the priesthood. He is so dear to us that we can only imagine how God delights in him. It makes perfect sense that God will call him to Himself in a particularly intimate way.
This sweet seminarian friend is one of the handful of people that I periodically petition to storm heaven with me. Recently, many of my prayer petitions have centered on our daughter in China.
Yesterday, I awoke to new pictures of Song-Felicity in my email! In several of them, she is clutching a photo of Jimmy and me. Our contact in China emailed me that the orphanage staff told her that Song-Felicity really likes the photo. Learning this, I melted into a puddle.
My prayers for Song-Felicity, since she entered my heart, have been countless. But the prayer that has consistently prevailed has been for God to prepare my baby girl’s heart to receive us as her family and for her transition to us to be as gentle as possible. Witnessing our image in her tiny hand instantly prompted me to reach out, once more, to that handful of people whose prayers I particularly find rest in. I felt a tug that perhaps God was working to reach her through our photograph. Our sweet seminarian was, of course, one to whom I turned.
I again petitioned prayers from those dear to me that Song-Felicity’s heart be prepared to receive us as her family. I pointed out the picture and my suspicion that God might be working through it to prepare her. And, as I have experienced multiple times now, I felt a peace in just entrusting the burdens and desires of my heart to the souls I was confident would lift them in their own prayers toward heaven.
This morning I awoke to an email from our precious seminarian friend that both took my breath away and brought me to my knees:
Thank you for the picture!
I am utterly amazed that this email/picture was waiting for me in my inbox…I actually just signed in to write you an email regarding Song-Felicity. During Adoration tonight (for respect life) my mind was suddenly flooded with the precious name of Song-Felicity. You, Jimmy and your entire family were lifted up to the Father in prayer tonight.”
What a sacred, holy gift to my heart! Before my petitions for my baby were even known to the one I had entrusted to lift them, he had already heard them from Heaven! They were whispered to his heart in a quiet, holy flood by the Lord Himself while he was in prayer! And through this awareness that my God had whispered my daughter’s name into the prayers of one He knows I turn to, He simultaneously whispered Peace into me.
God is answering our prayers before we utter them. He is comforting our hearts before we are aware of how deeply they are hurting. He is already in my next moment and in my next breath and in my next plea toward Heaven…
And through all of these “nexts” He is assuring me, His child too, that He is already tending to the part of my heart that is waiting with Him in China.
“Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
1 Peter 5:7