A true story of small but a few answered prayers in a single day. My friend Heather was visiting from Jersey. We had a fully packed day in Charleston starting with heavenly bagels and atmosphere at Gnome Cafe and a quick drive by Rainbow Row on the way to our first adventure: zip lining. Neither of us had done it before and were speculating during the drive of how high up we’d be. I had no idea this existed in Charleston since it’s pretty flat around here but Heather had found out about it. I had seen 750ft listed on the website somewhere and was freaking her out when I insisted that’s how high up it’d be. Clearly my height and measurement perceptions are a bit off. Turns out, 750ft was the length of the final zip line that we zipped down. The highest platform was around 65ft and was high enough to make us hesitate but after that first platform, we flew fearlessly.
When we were up in the trees, enjoying the sounds of the trees swaying and watching each other cannonball down the line, I felt my Mom’s presence. She’s always around but just as we might not notice our pets around us since they are always there, I sometimes get sad when I don’t feel her presence as strongly. Blatant signs and fragrances that are connected and sent by her help to reassure me that she still is. I told Heather I wanted to see a ladybug that day, in some form or another, to see a sure sign from my Mom. She adored ladybugs, as did her own mother. When we landed our feet back on the ground and were heading to the car, we spotted the ladybug. It was a metallic decorative piece hanging from the porch. Hey Mom, what’s up? She was having a blast zipping with us.
The second adventure of the day was paddleboarding. We called ahead to make sure there were rentals available and there were. We inflated my board and headed to the docks to get a rental for Heather. The park guy at the dock informed us that rentals end at 6pm which was in 15 minutes and he couldn’t rent it out. We were on a mission to paddleboard, sticky and sweaty from the perpetual SC heat wave and refused to accept no for an answer. But it was a no. We made it this far so we improvised and decided fine, we would both go on my board. I’m happy to report we did not fall in and now I know it can hold 2 people easily. We floated around for a bit, allowing the current to move us, and as it pushed us back to the docks I realized, shoot, I forgot to bring a towel to dry off the board (key for inflatables since it folds up into a backpack). We sent a little prayer to God to manifest a towel, halfheartedly believing it could happen but unlikely in time. Who says though? Thanks to a few inconsiderate people who didn’t return their kayaks to the dock, the park employees were there past 6pm bringing them in. As they helped us back up to the dock, they were fascinated by the inflatable and we got to talking. I asked if they happen to have a towel….and they did. Normally they don’t but a parkgoer had left behind the towel earlier that day. A 30 minute prayer to answer timeframe, not bad.
Quick answers to prayers like that are helpful along this journey to teach me to trust in divine timing and little reminders that God is listening. It’s tough to keep the faith when you are praying for something into your life and it doesn’t happen when you think you want it but God’s timing is the truest truth there is. I dreamed of moving to Charleston 7 years ago. If I had forced that dream to come true, I wouldn’t have been ready to enjoy it fully as I am now. Many people can attest to this when they look back reflecting on how they really wanted this, or that, but in hindsight understand why it didn’t work out or came along later, at the perfect time. If you do have trouble trusting in God’s timing (I still do despite serious proof), start by noticing small prayers that are answered in the every day life. Hearing a certain song, seeing your favorite flower, smelling a specific scent, getting a call from someone, some good news. Send the prayer to God and let it go, forget about it. Don’t go looking for the proof or you will miss it. Don’t expect it to come in the exact form and shape you expect it either. God isn’t limited by our imaginations and can bring things to us in various forms. If I had hoped to see a ladybug but then tried to control the how by actively looking for a ladybug on the trees or demanding a ladybug land on my nose, I would have completely missed that metal ladybug. I would have been disappointed and potentially let it ruin my day, giving myself (false) reasons to prove that God doesn’t listen and can’t be trusted. I would have missed out on that delightful, giddy moment of feeling my Mom saying ‘Hi honey, I’m here. I’m OK’. So say the prayer and let it go, let it go, turn away and (don’t) slam the door. You’re welcome for that Frozen earworm!