Grace and gratitude

I woke up feeling low-spirited today. It troubled me that I was only interested in eating and hibernating in my room. Still, I thanked God that I awoke to see another day, for the loving relationships in my life, for my health, for a place to call home, and for the singing birds outside my window. I still felt sad and began to wonder, are my loved ones thinking of me? No sooner had I asked that question, my cell phone rang. It was my beloved aunt from Pennsylvania. We spoke and laughed and I thanked her for calling me at just the right time.

After we hung up, I got out of bed and decided it would be a good day as any to get out of the house, be around people, and hear an inspirational message. On my way to church, I thought I felt my grandma’s presence, a loving feeling of sorts. Mama Pimpa, as we called her, left this world almost 10 years ago and to this day I still miss her and think of her. I asked her, if this is really you, please send me a sign.

The pastor spoke of grace today, and stepping into that place, where we cease trying to do everything on our own and allow God to work through us. He said it is through God’s grace that even in the most painful or seemingly hopeless circumstances, something good can come of it.

After church, I boarded the bus, eager to get home, only to be informed that on Sundays, it doesn’t make stops in my neighborhood. My energy was low and I was in pain, the kind that makes walking upright a chore and makes you want to hunch over and stay curled up in a ball. I did not want to walk the thirty-three minutes it would take to get home. Thankfully, the bus driver returned my transfer and as I crossed the street, I saw in the distance, a bus coming that would drop me off closer to home and shorten my walk. I texted my roommate to see if he could pick me up on his way home but my cell phone battery was dying and I didn’t know if he would get my message so I said, okay God, I’ll enter that space of grace, please get me home safely. I walked slowly and wished my cell phone battery was charged so I could listen to my audiobook. And that’s when I realized I had my tablet, fully charged, with the my audiobook on it. And with a big smile, I plugged in my headphones and was distracted from the pain the rest of the walk home as Maya Angelou’s voice soothed and encouraged me in her reading of short stories from Wouldn’t Take Nothing for my Journey Now.

I arrived home safely and later in the afternoon, several loved ones on the East Coast reached out to me. My friend in NY texted to say hi, I had a missed call from my mother, and a really good friend, also in NY, called to share good news. I was humbled and grateful that the Universe had answered my question.

I spent the rest of my afternoon and evening reading Mitch Albom’s book, Have a Little Faith. And I received a sign that yes, it was my grandma with me. In his eulogy to the rabbi, he writes, “I have to believe that you have melted back into His Glory, your soul is like a returned favor, you are a star in His sky, and a warm feeling in our hearts.” Moments before reading this final part of the book, I had stepped out onto the patio, and while gazing up at the stars and moon, had felt an inexplicable sense of peace.

Friends, I believe even in our most frail moments, God reminds us that we are not alone in this journey, and there is an inner reserve of strength and love within and around us to see us through anything we encounter in life. May you experience this blessed assurance.


About Magaly L.

Five Facts About Me: 1. I was born in El Salvador, grew up in NY, and after being in the United States for almost 33 years, I finally became a citizen in 2013. I was super excited when I voted for the first time! 2. My personal favorites: chocolate, desserts, dancing, the beach, leisure travel, reading, juicing, gardening, cooking, spending time with family, and writing. I really do love chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, but any chocolate is better than none. I also love red velvet cupcakes from my favorite bakery in NYC, Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side. And I love spending time in nature. There's something so peaceful about listening to the birds or listening to the waves break, that centers me in the present moment and reminds me that Divine order is at work in my life. 3. I come from a large family and I love it! My parents, two brothers, one sister, LOTS of cousins, aunts, uncles, abuelos, and my "gotitas de amor"-my nieces and nephews. 4. I am an educator both by training and at heart. 5. I have been living with PNES (psychogenic non-epileptic seizures) since 2007. Though this condition has been life-altering and challenging to live with at times, it has also led me to a more fulfilling life, strengthening my faith and helping me have the courage to pursue my passions and chase a couple of dreams.
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