31 Miracles for 31 Years–Part I
Today is my birthday, and I’m 31 years old…eek!
Life is nothing like what I expected it would be when I was just a kid (for some strange reason, I always thought I’d have a perm once I hit 30!). God has surprised me with so many miracles along the way–things I could’ve never imagined.
So I decided to compile a list of the 31 wonders I’ve experienced thus far–some big, some small, some completely strange.
Here’s Part 1 of my list. (And here's Part 2!)
1. First Steps on Christmas Eve–What better way to start this list than with my very first miracle from way back in 1984? I was born with a dislocated hip and had to wear a bulky cast for almost a year.
My parents worried that I’d have trouble walking. A few days before Christmas, my dad asked my mom what she wanted Santa to bring her. “I just want Diana to walk,” she said. You can find out what happens next here!
2. The Birthday Baby–When I was 8 years old, I had only one wish–that my aunt Elena, who was pregnant, would give birth on my birthday. She was due in August, and I couldn’t think of anything better that sharing a birthday with my new cousin.
“Sweetheart, that’s not how it works,” she’d laugh every time I pestered her about it. After all, her due date was August 18. That didn’t stop me from praying. And, surprise! Three minutes after midnight on August 8, my cousin Paul was born.
3. Trip of a Lifetime–In 2010, my family and I traveled to Israel with our church. It was unbelievable. For me, no place in the world can really compare to the breathtaking shores of the Sea of Galilee. I’ve never felt so at peace as I did walking the very spots Jesus once walked.
4. The Apartment Light–Have you ever had those nights where you simply can’t fall asleep? And every shadow or noise completely freaks you out? Two months ago, that’s exactly what happened to me. Exhausted, I glanced out my bedroom window. That’s when I noticed something peculiar.
Across the street, all the lights were on in the apartment directly overlooking mine. As far as I could tell, it was the only apartment that wasn’t completely dark in the entire building. Something about that was oddly comforting. I woke up multiple times after that, but the lights never went out in the apartment. Like someone was watching out for me all night long.
5. A Good Morning–I was discussing my list of miracles with my colleague Danielle, and she pointed out an obvious one. “Just the fact that you are healthy and happy and woke up this morning…that’s a miracle!” She’s right–I couldn’t have said it better myself.
6. A Miraculous MRI–When I was in middle school, I kept getting sick–I was nauseas, fatigued, just not myself. Doctors said I was fine. But my mom had this weird feeling that something was wrong. Against the doctors’ wishes, she pushed them to order an MRI.
The scan showed a benign tumor sitting in my brain. It was caught just in time, all thanks to my mom’s “weird feeling.”
7. Umbrellas in London–Two years ago, my sister Priscilla and I traveled to London. We got lost on our way to a market, but stumbled upon something truly remarkable instead. Read more about that wondrous moment here.
8. An Odd Push to the Right–I was driving to work one snowy morning, when my car slipped on a thick patch of ice in front of a traffic light. I lost control of the car and was headed straight toward the vehicle in front of me. I prayed like crazy.
And, just as I was about to hit it, my car swerved sharply to the right into an empty lane. Like someone had taken over the wheel.
9. Supernatural strength–I’m no stranger to illness, as you may be able to tell! Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with MS. I have a very mild case, but it’s been one of the biggest struggles I’ve faced in my 31 years.
Every time I want to give up, though, God equips me with this otherworldly, inexplicable strength to keep pushing on. MS is an illness that weakens the body. And yet, God has made me so much stronger at the same time.
10. The Jesus Bead–One Saturday, I walked into a dressing room and spotted something square sitting on the bench inside. Take a look at what I found here.
11. Aramaic All Around–My parents are from Turkey and most of my family speaks Aramaic, the language of Christ. (Unfortunately I only know a few words myself.) When I was younger, I sometimes wished we were more like the other families in my hometown. More “American”!
But, as I got older, I came to love our unique culture, especially the Aramaic language. There’s just something wondrous about being surrounded by the words of Christ wherever I go, even if I don’t always understand what my family is saying!
12. The Secret Santa–A few years ago, I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange at work. My co-worker, Gino, asked me to help him pick out a gift for the person he picked. “I don’t know what to get,” he said. Gino and I were work friends but never really hung out outside the office. How could I say no, though? I love picking out gifts for people.
We went shopping after work and had a blast–I vetoed all his gift ideas! When it came time to exchange gifts the next day, I discovered that my Secret Santa was actually Gino. We’d been shopping for me the entire time. Well, we’ve been best friends ever since all thanks to that “random” Secret Santa pick.
14. The Wedding Dress–In graduate school, everyone had to pick a writing theme for the semester. Most people chose politics or social issues. Me? I chose weddings!
It seemed like a silly subject compared to the more serious ones in class. But I followed my heart. And it actually led to one of my first published stories. That, in turn, led to a freelancing gig for a small newspaper. You never know where a seemingly “silly idea” from God might lead!
15. The Birthday Phone Call–After I finished graduate school, I couldn’t seem to find a writing job. It’d been seven months, and I was growing more and more frustrated. I was about to turn 25 and would no longer be covered under my parents’ insurance.
“Please, God,” I prayed. “Just give me a job by my birthday!” Well, at 4 pm on my 25th birthday, just as I was about to get on the subway, I got the call. A job offer that came just in time!
For more miracles, here's Part 2 in this series.
What miracles stand out when you look back on your life? Share your miracles below!
Take a breath, hit the pause button. Then watch this stunning video of Psalm 53 being sung in Aramaic before Pope Francis.