“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.” I do not believe there is a different or better way of saying that. Instead, I will share with you a recent story that gives just a glimpse into His love and faithfulness.
Our second daughter has been applying to colleges and universities since the beginning of the school year. We were able to narrow down her search and applications to seven schools, but from there she really did not have a gut feeling as to where to attend. She was becoming a bit concerned. And dare I say, even discouraged.
On January 4th, the Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, our daughter’s godmother made a surprise four-hour trip with a first-class relic of her. Together we prayed in our family living room for our daughter’s discernment and that God would make it clear where she should attend college. It was quiet and simple and lasted no longer than ten minutes.
The day before the application deadlines, our daughter decided to add a school to her list. It was free to apply. It was not on our radar because of the cost and location. Yet, we both agreed it would be a nice accomplishment to receive an acceptance letter, God willing.
Fast forward a few months. The acceptance letters poured in along with the scholarship and financial aid letters. We had a heart-to-heart conversation about the sacrifices we make in life, especially with a large family. In other words, the decision would be financially based. Out of the blue, our child had her heart strangely set on this last school she applied to. We had not visited, so I was baffled as to why. I can distinctly remember telling her we would not even visit the school because, “why would I show you a five-carat diamond when all I can offer is a half carat?”
Change of Plans
We had plans to visit the campus of her second-choice school on a Saturday in March. The day before we were to leave, a thin envelope from her first-choice college arrived in the mail in the afternoon. I opened it to find nearly a full scholarship offer! I laughed, I cried, I screamed. Immediately I called my daughter only to find out her phone was off because she was at Benediction. How timely.
We pivoted plans because, would you believe, the following day was accepted students’ day?! Two of our girls and I drove to her godmother’s house who lives nearby to the school. We spent the night and arrived at our destination early the next morning.
The first thing I was greeted with was a statue of Our Lady of Knock. Now, many of the events that happened next may not mean much to you, dear reader. However, they all are tangible signs of God’s love for me and our daughter in this season of life. Next, we settled into our pew and I looked up to see St. Margaret of Scotland above us. This is the saint who our daughter is named for. The president of the college opened his greeting speaking about truth, beauty, and goodness. The rest of the day went like this, with blessing after blessing. The faith was so vibrant and alive on the campus, I was blown away. We were wrapped in God’s love with a peace and knowing that we were right where we were supposed to be.
The lesson is simple. Remain in His love. Keep praying. Keep seeking goodness and beauty and truth. We do not always get the answers we expect. Sometimes He gives us something even better.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.