Webster’s defines Providence as:
1 a) often capitalized : divine guidance or care
b) capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny
2 : the quality or state of being provident
The Oxford Dictionary defines it as:
1. the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power:
they found their trust in divine providence to be a source of comfort
(Providence) God or nature as providing protective care:
I live out my life as Providence decrees
2. timely preparation for future eventualities:
it was considered a duty to encourage providence
Who would think that Providence would guide my life. I went for a run today and got lost in thought. My thoughts turned to Providence and I am not sure why…
I am only beginning to realize the role that providence has played in my life. I like the definition of “divine guidance or care” as well as the “protective care of God.” It is my belief that God has a plan for me. I may not always like it, accept it, or understand it but I know that there is a divine purpose behind the events of my life. I look for the lessons in relationships and events but don’t always ‘get the message’ and often times misunderstand the message.
People tell me all the time I should do more and be more. I believe I am right where I belong, doing right what I should be doing. I believe in Providence. It never really made sense until this year.
In May, I decided to go to my college reunion for the first time in 25 years. When I was in high school making the decision to go to college was a huge one. I went to visit the Woods just so they would stop calling me. It was not even on my top 10 list but we went to visit anyway. The moment we drove onto the campus I knew that I was in the right place. I could feel it deep in my bones. At the time, I did not realize how that moment would impact my life forever.
The four years that I spent at St. Mary of the Woods changed me and marked me forever. Going back 25 years later and walking the campus took me back to a place and a peace I haven’t felt in a long time. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of spirit. As I walked the campus and visited places I had long forgotten, I was flooded with memories and feelings that I have not had a long time. I did not realize how the women of the Woods would change and shape me into the woman I am today. It is truly Providence.
People and family questioned my decision to attend the Woods… “Why don’t you go to a Big Ten school?” they asked. “Don’t you want a bigger school?” they asked. But I was confident in my decision. I made mistakes while I was at the Woods. I had success while I was at the Woods. Most importantly, I grew. I grew as a woman and as a person. I found the most important thing ….which was me. Providence drove me there. Walking the campus after 25 years and looking in the review mirror of life, I realized it was not only Providence but Mother Theodore Guerin’s hand guiding me all along. She had waited for me to come and follow her lead. She longed for me to trust her and to trust God.
People have questioned decisions I’ve made my whole life. Why did you choose that college? Why do you want to be a teacher? Why don’t you become an administrator? Don’t you want more? Why don’t you work where you can earn more money? Are you sure it’s right for you? Are you sure you want another child? Are you sure that’s the right house for your family. Questions and doubts. But I never doubted. I have I’ve always had faith that Providence put me where I belong for a reason. The most important lessons I learned at the Woods were faith and trust… even though I didn’t know it at the time. Faith and trust were cornerstone of my time at the Woods. The teachers there taught me to be the woman I am today. They never once pushed or forced but they guided. They saw in me something that I didn’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t see in myself. They did all they could to just guide me to find myself all on my own. Those educators never pushed too hard. They always walked step by step with me. We were on a journey together. Their job was just to inspire me and guide me in the right direction to find that hidden treasure which was myself. They needed to show me that I could trust myself and that I needed to have faith in myself. They were sharing Providence. They were sharing the message of Mother Theodore.
What I have realized over the years is that this is the foundation of who I am as a wife, parent, friend, teacher, coach and human being. I want each person I come in contact with to have faith and trust in
themselves. I want them to see what I see…all the potential, possibilities and the greatness they have inside. Mother Theodore, Momma Teddy, as she is affectionately known to Woodsies, always saw the potential inside others. She had faith and she trusted in Providence. I strive to follow her example as well as the example of the Woods Women. I strive to help others to trust in themselves, in their faith and in Providence. Forward is a pace. Peace.