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A Little at a Time

I’ve heard many people who doubt the presence of God be very demanding of Him.

“If God is real, let Him strike me down right here.”

“If God were real he would save this man’s life right now.”

Now although God has done many miracles like this throughout the history of mankind, those instances are rare. Much more often He works slowly and in small ways. When they are happening we might not even notice them. It is only later that we can look back with 20/20 vision at all the little things that got us to where we needed to go.
People throughout the years have even written songs about this phenomenon, “God bless the broken roads”, etc. As someone who is fairly impatient, it is one of my least favorite qualities about God’s mysterious ways, but I’m living proof that it’s true.

When I was in high school and was deciding where to go to university, I had big dreams. I was at the top of my class and I wanted to go into science, so I HAD to go to an Ivy League school. Nothing else would do. I visited half a dozen with my mom on a week long road trip. I loved everything about them, the prestige, and the history. I knew that this was where I was meant to be. But my dad is a practical man and encouraged me to have a fallback school. So, begrudgingly, I applied to my parents' alma mater, the University of Kansas. But prideful high school Dani KNEW that a STATE SCHOOL was beneath her genius. I liked to keep my parents happy though, so I applied, and I visited. The school was okay... but then we visited the Catholic Campus Center. I took a 5 minute tour and I just had this weird feeling that I needed to be there. I didn’t know why, but I knew this was for me. So I dropped all plans of Ivy League and went to KU. But 2 weeks into school I stopped doing anything with the campus center other than Sunday Mass where I would sneak in and sneak out, not talking to anyone. Despite my best efforts, Sr. Elena always found me. She always found me and always asked if I was going to the March For Life. My answer was no and I continued on my way. She asked me every week and eventually I caved and asked for more information. Long story short, I went and that led to going on a retreat and that led to me growing in my faith. That led me to realize my high school boyfriend wasn’t for me. Then I met Nick at this campus center, and now we are happily married. Nick has helped me grow in my faith more than anyone else I have ever met. And that’s what God wants. He wants me to grow closer to Him. How different my faith life could have been if any one of those little moments over the course of 12 years hadn’t happened. If I hadn’t visited KU, if I hadn’t toured the campus center, if Sr. Elena had asked me one less time, those little moments led me to where I am now.

I’m reflecting on God’s little and slow way of doing things this week because I am on vacation in the beautiful Zion National Park. It is truly stunning, and the way it became so stunning was through erosion. Over thousands of years the Virgin River has been flowing through this area of Utah, long before it was called Utah. The river flows south into the Colorado River and as it flows it takes a little bit of silt and dirt with it.
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Over thousands of years, these tiny rocks being removed led to massive canyons. As you travel along the river you can see massive cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, knowing that where you’re walking there used to be similar layers of sandstone. The sandstone has many different colors, but it’s all the same rock. The different colors are due to different levels of iron in those specific regions. The white rock at the top has no iron at all. These white areas have been ‘bleached’ by the running water taking away the iron as it flowed through.
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Just as the same flowing river made different changes to the mountain over time, sometimes taking away little pebbles, other times changing the chemical composition, God works in different ways with us. Sometimes He makes little changes, taking away a pebble here and there. Other times He puts something in our lives that completely changes who we are, like the rocks’ changed chemical composition.
All of this is to get us to our perfect self so that we may enter heaven and be fully united with Him forever. If you let Him, God wants to make something beautiful out of you. If it is anything like the beauty I’ve seen these past few days...
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I can’t wait to see what He will do next.