Blog Post

The Hand of God

By Maria V. Gallagher

When summer rolls around, I am reminded of a weekend a number of years ago, when I had difficulty reaching my then seven-year-old daughter on the phone at her father’s apartment. It seemed they had both disappeared.

For a frantic two weeks, I made phone calls and searched the Internet. Someone had given me a prayer journal, and I began writing in it each day, hoping that God would somehow lead me to my child. Thanks to God and Google, I finally located her in Canada. After a number of discussions, her father promised me that he would deliver her to me at the end of the school term.

I waited and prayed.

I then received a phone call from my daughter’s school principal in Canada, who informed me that my daughter’s father had fled with her yet again—this time, to Beirut, Lebanon. At that time, cable news channels were reporting fires in the streets, as protesters there took over. I literally shook with worry.

I turned the whole situation over to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Each day, I would mentally place my daughter into the Blessed Mother’s hands, asking Mary to care for her.

It has now been more than a decade since I have seen my precious daughter in person. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. And yet, during this time of turmoil and pain, I have seen God’s Hand at work, producing miracles.

Through the miracle of technology, I have had Facebook chats and Skype conversations with my daughter. In cyberspace I have seen her grow into an accomplished young woman. Through the miraculous intervention of my classmates in Women of Grace, I have learned to appreciate the “sacrament of the present moment” and accepted God’s will, even in difficult times.

Even though I am far from my daughter, I recognize the fact that I am closer to God. I lean on Him as never before, because I know He has my daughter in His Hands. I’m doing better at replacing fear with prayer and worry with hope. And maybe that’s the greatest miracle of all.

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Maria V. Gallagher is an advocate for pregnant women and their children. Prior to her advocacy, Maria worked as a radio reporter and television news producer. She writes from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.