If you are like me, then you expect to be given what you have asked for. At least that is how I imagined the wish-fulfilling department of heaven worked! You check off items on a catalog, place an order and then wait for it to arrive within the next 30 days. I gave up the thirty day rule a while ago since I stumbled on this thing called ‘divine timing’ that has nothing to do with clocks and calendars. But I still expected the order to arrive. Turns out the universe has a mind of its own and doesn’t really run things the way we humans do.
We really wanted to move out of Florida this summer. I know, I know – I was the one who wanted to move to Florida in the first place and now I don’t like it here anymore. So when summer vacation started we packed up and drove up to North Carolina in search of a better life. We stayed with a friend and drove around all over the place looking for houses. Nothing materialized. We were distraught. We badly needed to move. So on our last day in NC we filled out an application for a rental property that we liked. When we got back to Florida, we realized we couldn’t move. There was a tiny chance that our application for Permanent Residence status would get approved over the summer and filing an address change would delay it or even jeopardize it!
I need to stop here and get my non-immigrant readers up to speed. We applied for the coveted green card 8 years ago. Without a green card it is hard for an immigrant to change jobs. The new company must be willing to take up the green card processing (which is a very expensive affair) or the immigrant would have to take it up. Since this is not about the immigration process, I’ll stop by saying it is a long and arduous affair, fraught with obstacles at every turn. A very frustrating ordeal for every immigrant, especially if you are from India!
So we stayed put in Florida, all summer long. Not knowing if we will get the green card, not knowing if we will move. It was simply too much for all of us to sit there in this limbo, our lives thrown to the winds of Fate! But God had his reasons for keeping us here. All those signs did mean something. All my prayers were heard. Heard but not answered. If they were answered, we’d be in North Carolina and who knows maybe the green card would have been denied or the address change would not have reached them in time. It could have messed up everything we had carefully planned over the last 8 years.
I remember when I asked for a new place to call home I kept hearing this song “Stay” by Rihanna and also “Home” by Phillip Phillips. I indignantly cried out, “I don’t want to stay. I want to leave Florida!” But the songs kept playing on the radio, insisting we stay in Florida. Of course back then I didn’t know we might get our green card. Nothing made sense. That’s when all the signs started appearing – the coins, the feathers and the rainbows! In hindsight, the signs helped me through a very frustrating period in my life. Through all that uncertainty and hopelessness, God was telling me – I have a better plan. There is a reason why things didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.
It’s a solemn reminder to us all that we only have a limited perspective of how the universe works. Have you ever been in a situation where a vending machine swallows up your money and the thing that you paid for refuses to come out? You kick, you curse, you bang and shake the machine but it won’t budge! Now you are not only hungry but poorer by a few dollars. Rest assured the universe is nothing like a vending machine. All your wishes/prayers are heard. If they don’t arrive it is because God sees a flaw in your plans. Plans that will take you on a unnecessary detour in your life. So he sends you what is best for you even if you don’t see it that way.
I was reading this book “Small Miracles II” and one story just jumped out at me. Two guys were driving to a lake to spend the day boating and fishing with their friends. They were delayed by a flat tire, a dead battery and a sheriff who stopped them for speeding. When they finally got to the lake several hours later, their friends were gone. But they heard two voices screaming out for help. The two friends who were lifeguards jumped in and rescued the boys from drowning. All the obstacles they had faced that day made sense to them in that moment.
As I write this I’m in that exact same moment, knowing that there is a greater plan out there. Greater than my selfish wishes or grandiose plans for myself. I am at peace, knowing that someone is looking out for me and I need not micromanage every detail of my life. It’s all good!