When I was in college, I attended Sunday mass and eventually started reading the Bible. I wanted to know God and began searching.

With a fear of flying, I started asking God to show me “signs” that it was OK; it would be safe to fly.

I wasn’t seeking him through faith. I think I wanted God’s clear direction. In my funny way, I believe I also wanted to know he was paying attention and I wanted him to be in control.

God loves his precocious daughter. I got his attention and he answered those prayers for signs, such as when a pilot started talking to me and reassuring me. In other ways, God brought signs of comfort that it was OK to fly.

How many people have heard God’s voice? Well, one time, in his mercy, God answered my prayers by actually letting me hear his voice.

It happened that, as a newlywed, I had suffered a couple of miscarriages. The second one required a hospital stay. It was so sad and scary.

God was always with me, but I was not aware of this reality and only turned to him when in dire need. Well, dire need came up again when I suspected I might be pregnant again.

Afraid, nervous, in near desperation, I again asked God for a sign. On my knees morning, noon and night, my prayer was, “Lord, show me a sign that, if I am pregnant, this baby will be OK, will be born full term.”

This continued for some two to three weeks. One morning at St. Mathew’s Chapel in Houston I prayed once again: “Lord, show me a sign that this baby will be OK.”

Then, I picked up a missalette and leafed through it. I noticed that it was St. Bridget’s Day. As I was looking at it, I heard a voice say, “There’s a good name for your daughter.” It was a male voice.

I turned and looked behind me. There was no one there and no one close enough to talk to me. I wondered, “Could this be God? If so, I am probably pregnant; I’m going to have a girl and I will name her Bridget.”

Sure enough, my first visit to the ob/gyn confirmed my pregnancy, and later I found out that it was a girl.

As a newlywed, it had crossed my mind that perhaps Steve and I should think about adopting a special needs child. Maybe someday. I mentioned it to Steve.

God must have put this desire in my heart, because our first and only daughter, Brigette, the child God named, was born seven months later with Down syndrome.

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

God knows each and every child, each one of us, by name.

Throughout her life, especially when Brigette is having a bad day, I can honestly say to her, “God knows you, he named you, and he has a plan for you. Just like he has for each and every one of us.” It’s great consolation for her and me.

When in my 20s, I developed a fear of becoming an “old maid” and started to panic that if I didn’t marry by 25, I would be an old maid. Mind you, I had boyfriends, but wasn’t in love.

I started praying. On my knees every night, I would say “Lord, send me a boyfriend to marry, a good husband that you want for me. And please, send him to me before I turn 25!”

Well, God has a sense of humor. I met Steve when I was 24. We married six months later, exactly three weeks before my 25th birthday!

“You must see what great love the father has lavished on us.” 1 John 3:1

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.

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