Most of us will hear a “word” from God only a few times in our lives. For me, one of those most pivotal times was the moment I discovered my 43-year-old husband, Ray, unconscious and unbreathing on our family room floor.
God will provide. God will be glorified. The words came forcibly into my mind and were accompanied by the peace beyond all understanding that the Bible promises.
In a moment like that, you don’t question the feelings you experience or the words you hear. Instead, you sink into them gratefully, trusting that they are a gift from God and knowing that they have meaning beyond yourself.
Seven years later, however, I’ve had a great deal of time to reflect, and I believe it is these words that most aptly sum up the legacy of faith I’d like to leave in the world. God will provide, meaning trust in Him. He’s got this. Rejoice, no matter what. Do not fear. This is a legacy of faith I quickly realized as we journeyed through the traumatic events surrounding my husband’s heart attack and brain injury, and which I’ve striven to live out and give example to every day since.
More difficult for me, however, was the latter part of those gifted words. God will be glorified. At first, I thought that part of the promise was something God would do. It began when Ray moved his pinky for the first time as I prayed the Rosary at his bedside. It continued when he opened his eyes during the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and when he eventually regained the ability to walk and talk, despite the doctors’ dire predictions to the contrary.
To the world, though, God isn’t readily glorified by a man who can’t hold a job, drive a car, or throw a ball with his kids. Thus, God will be glorified became something to hurry up and wait for. God would heal Ray and restore him to his former self, I thought, but in His own perfect timing.
When struggles with byproducts of brain injury came to a head, however, I came to understand those words very differently. As I searched for answers as to how I was to respond, the daily Mass readings led me in a very clear direction. “By this is my Father glorified,” Jesus said in John 15:8, “that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.” What fruit, exactly, are we called to bear? Christ tells us a few verses later. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). God is glorified, I realized, when I love when it is hardest to love. He is glorified when I give without counting the costs and with no expectation of return. He is glorified when I stay true to my vows, “in sickness and in health,” even though the sickness came so much earlier, has been so much more trying, and will last so much longer than I’d ever have expected.
Thus, my legacy of faith, I hope, will be two-fold: trust and love. Trust when it is hardest to trust, love when it is hardest to love. Strengthened by Christ, through Whom and only in Whom I can do all things, God grants me the opportunity nearly every day to work on this legacy of faith, and each day, I must remember: God will provide. God will be glorified … and the latter part is up to me.
Copyright 2022, Stephanie Engelman
Stephanie Engelman is a wife and mother of five, and the author of A Single Bead – an award-winning novel about the power of prayer. Stephanie is also the pastoral care coordinator for St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel, Indiana, and a public speaker who loves to talk about the Rosary, trusting God, and joy in the midst of crosses. You can find Stephanie at www.StephanieEngelman.com
Our Novena Prayers for the Holy Souls In Purgatory
*May be prayed in a cemetery or from home
We’ll be using this gem I discovered in the Pieta Prayer booklet. While it is intended for praying at cemeteries (staying in your car counts), it can be done from home or at church. I have done it for years, and try to attend Mass each day as well! I love walking around the cemetery, prayerfully reading each name while I recite the following Novena Prayers:
- Five Apostle’s Creeds;
- One Hail, Holy Queen;
- One each of the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer), Hail Mary and Glory be; &
- Conclude with Requiem Prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Amen.