Mary Pedersen counts among her blessings the Godsends she has received in her lifetime: answers to prayer in the most difficult days.
Sitting next to my husband’s hospital bed, I prayed the Rosary with my entire being: “Please, Blessed Mother, pray for my decision. Come, Holy Spirit, and be my guide.” After he endured two falls and subsequent hip surgeries, because of Parkinson’s Disease, the hospital staff recommended Mike be released to a nursing home. My back was against the wall: I KNEW I could not care for him at home on my own; I KNEW he would not survive a week in an institution. So I prayed, pleaded, and begged for a clear sign.
Later that day, my friend called with a lead. She had met Niko earlier in the year and remembered her mentioning that she had earned a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Perhaps she could help. Miracle of miracles, Niko—sent by God—joined us in successfully bringing Mike home. Six months later, she continues to strengthen Mike and assist me in the duties required for his well-being. She’s a Godsend!
Merriam-Webster defines “godsend” as “a desirable or needed thing or event that comes unexpectedly.” I believe a Godsend is the Holy Spirit actively working on our behalf—answering our prayer when we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)
With prayer, any good gift in life—the right job, the friend who steps in at just the right time, the bouquet delivered when down, the note to lift our spirits, the twenty dollars tucked into our pocket—is a gift sent from God. The more we are aware of the way the Spirit provides, the more likely we’ll acknowledge a Godsend rather than consider it as being lucky or someone else just being thoughtful.
Looking back, I remember bringing my mother home after a life-threatening stroke—and not one person in our family knew how to care for her. She was released from the hospital on a Friday evening with little notice—and no services. And then someone suggested that maybe Susan could help. I called Susan, who was in Chicago visiting family. When I explained our situation, she understood our need and said, “I’ll come right home.” Susan was a Godsend in our lives. With great tenderness, she cared for my mother until she died. Several years later, Susan helped my dad recover from surgery.
I can’t even count all the Godsends in our lives. The friend who leaves Mike’s favorite cookies on our porch at least once a week. The neighbor who helps with the yard when needed. The countless prayer warriors who have been relentless in prayer for us. The friend who drops off dinner—just because. Now, I recognize “Godsends” everywhere in my life.
From the very first day Niko walked through the door and into our home, I named her “our Godsend.” The Holy Spirit sent her into our lives and hearts—healing, helping, and making us belly laugh daily. Whenever in deep need, and through gut-wrenching prayer, we can rely on the Spirit to come to our aid with a Godsend!
Copyright 2022 Mary Pedersen
About the Author
Mary Pedersen serves as "first preacher" to six and grand-preacher to ten! She holds a doctorate in preaching from the Aquinas Institute of Theology, with her thesis, "Parents as First Preachers: Naming Grace in the Domestic Church." She writes and speaks on topics of faith and family, and has been known on probably far too many occasions, to shout out a woo-hoo! Mary blogs at MaryPedersen.com.