Daily Bread January 08

Beyond Our Hopes
Karen Anne Smith of Ludington, MI, USA


Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. -Psalm 37:3

My heart fell when I received the call. Alex’s adult foster care home in Scottville would be closing. I was sick with anxiety. Would he be placed close enough for me to watch over him? Thirty-three years old, and he’s still mute. He can’t tell us if anything is wrong. In times like this my imagination runs away to images of the scariest possibilities. Breathe. Pray. Trust God.

We had hopes for a miracle that Alex’s new home would be in Ludington. I pictured outings to the beach and to our Christmas party at the church, but Alex’s caseworker called with news of a placement that would be a two-hour drive away. I shared my discouragement on Facebook, and an inspired friend responded, “There comes a time for YOU to heal. You’ve actually lived with trauma for a very long time. Granted, it’s loving trauma, but still it’s been traumatic for you. Two hours away is just right. If your son is where he is nurtured, that’s a real blessing. And you can let go, not completely, but enough for you to realize life without the trauma. He’s in God’s hands and you’ve done your job. You need to live.”

Time for me to heal? I hadn\’t even considered that possibility.

When I toured the new home with Alex’s caseworker, the first thing I heard was a resident’s enthusiastic greeting, “Grandma!” The next thing I discovered was a kitten, which I held close to my heart for much of the visit. The home is in a friendly, rural setting. The staff are compassionate and experienced with autism, and the residents are content. Alex’s new room is quiet and out of the way. The home organizes outings and holiday parties for the guys, and Alex will be well cared for.

Miracles usually don’t happen the way that we hope or imagine. The real miracles are the ones that are needed.

Prayer Phrase

“May I open myself to change, to being guided by the Spirit; may I risk the unknown and live into the Mystery!” (Nan C. Merrill, Psalms for Praying, 234)

Spiritual Practice

A New Beginning

Opportunities for new beginnings occur in each moment, day, or year. Even when we feel stuck, the Spirit is always offering an invitation to return to our deeper intention of living life fully with God, others, creation, and our truest selves. Pay attention at the opening of this new year to what feels like a fresh beginning in you. Where is the Spirit inviting you into a new possibility, awareness, or way of being?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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