April 17, 2010
My daughter Alex is a Division I softball pitcher. She’s had three years of success, and this year has given her some challenges. She and I had a conversation a couple of nights ago after one of her games. She was having a great game, when her doubts started rearing their ugly heads.
“I started to have all of these negative thoughts,” she told me. “They’re going to hit a home run off you. You’re going to lose.”
I asked her what she did to counter the voices. She said she asked her angels for help. After that, she said she just worked through the batters without a problem.
Our conversation reminded me of a story about guardian angels in my upcoming book, Cycling, Wine, and Men: A Midlife Tour de France. Hope you enjoy the preview.
Yes, I do believe in guardian angels. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I trust that unseen guides accompany us in life and look out for us. How do I know? I’ve never seen one. I’ve never heard one’s voice. It’s a sense, an instinct. Sometimes in my life, I literally feel guided by an unseen force. Now, it’s always my choice what I will do with the guidance. I can disregard the advice I’m sensing, but I’ve learned through the years that it’s best to listen.
I remember reading in the book Eat, Pray, Love that Elizabeth Gilbert writes to God. That seems too much of a stretch for me. (But I’m glad that she feels she has direct access.) I think it would be more likely for the Queen of England to write to me, which I don’t think will happen anytime soon. But I can imagine that someone who works for the Queen would send me a letter, just as I think that someone who works for God could give me guidance. So like Elizabeth Gilbert, I sometimes write questions, but not to God, to my angels.
The answers form messages into my head. I feel like a scribe, putting the words down on paper. Or sometimes I’ll awake with an insightful breakthrough idea related to my concern.
Now I will confess; the answers aren’t always what I want to hear. For example, if I write to ask how I can attract a certain man back into my life, invariably the angels tell me that I need to focus on my life and how to make it better. The longing represents a missing piece within me. Thanks a lot, angels. They’re right, of course, but it’s not what I want to hear.
I’ve found my angels particularly vigilant while I’m traveling. Once about ten years ago, I ran my car off the road in a blizzard while riding through a desolate section of Eastern Montana. My daughter who was around twelve at the time, became panicked.
“Oh, no! Mom! How are we going to get out of here? We’re going to be stuck in the cold!”
“Don’t worry. The angels will take care of us. You’ll see.”
Just as the words escaped my lips, not one but six strapping men dressed in Carharts materialized from every direction and ran toward my car. One carried a shovel over his shoulders. The handsome men heaved my car out of the snow bank and back onto the road. We didn’t even step out of the car. Alex’s mouth gaped open as she watched the scene. She still talks about it.
I have many more examples of my road angels at work, but the details aren’t important. I just know that angels are watching out for me.