“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” —Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
(I love this story submitted by my student, Rolanda)
This scripture has significant value to me because I learned through my life that even when we can’t see
it, even when we can’t feel it, God is working it out. I’ve learned to put things I can’t understand in the “all things” basket.
When I was a little girl, I was raised by my father and his mother. My paternal grandmother stepped in to help my father with his three children. She was the nurturer while my father was the provider and disciplinarian. I remember crying many days wondering why I couldn’t have a mother in the home like all of my friends. I remember many times being embarrassed when my grandmother walked me to public school and my classmates asked, “Where is your mother?” “Why does your grandmother bring you to school?” It wasn’t until years after my grandmother passed that I really appreciated her sacrifice. I am grateful to her and my father for all they did for me as a child. Growing up, I somehow thought being cared for by my grandmother was one of the worst things that could have happened. It was not natural. It was not the way it was supposed to be.
Little did I know that many years down the road, what I thought was the worst thing in my life would turn out to be the best thing in my life. After graduating from high school, I went on to college, knowing that the profession I wanted was to help people. My career took me down many paths from working in foster care to preventive services where I would help families at risk of losing their children to the system.
I assumed the responsibility of recruiting and training seniors to become role models to at-risk families at one of these preventive agencies. I loved this job because I got to work with seniors and children. Years later, one of my friends who knew of my work with seniors, offered me a job at his place of employment. The agency had just received funds to start a grandparent program for grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The program grew, and eventually, I was asked by the city to come and head their Grandparent Resource Center at the Department for the Aging. So now, I help grandparent caregivers across the city. This program has also grown and has become a national model. I have won many awards and been asked to speak across the country at conferences. How did I know about grandparents raising their grandchildren? Where did I get this passion to help and assist these families? How do I know what they feel and what they need? Why has this become my mission in life? I lived it. Years ago, when I thought it was the worst thing in my life, I did not know that the Lord was working it out for my good. I had no clue that there was a plan being worked out for my life. I could never have dreamed that I would stand before Commissioners, Mayors and prominent folks to let them know the needs and services of grandparents. I would have never thought that I would be interviewed on radio or television or have newspaper articles written about me. It was not a desire of my heart nor was it anything I could imagine. But you see what I thought was the worst thing, turned out to be a good thing because, “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” And that is why I have learned to put everything in the “all things” basket.
—Rolanda Pyle ©