“The interviewer called her and told her I’m accepted. They feel I’m the perfect fit and chose me as the one they want!”
As the days and weeks passed and our move approached, I began feeling Hashem’s presence in a very tangible way.
My daughter Yocheved was applying to seminary in Eretz Yisrael. The competition was stiff. Her principal forewarned her, “There are five of you scheduled to be interviewed. They told me in advance they can only accept one girl from our small town. It probably won’t be you.”
When Yocheved arrived home that night after the principal spoke to her, I heard the door slam before I saw her. I was surprised — this was uncharacteristic of my calm, easygoing daughter. She came into the kitchen, her shoulders slumped, and filled me in on what her principal had said. We spoke for a while, and she left the conversation determined to give it her best shot even though she knew her chances of being accepted were slim.
Interview day arrived. I could barely stomach my breakfast. I tried to encourage Yocheved by telling her we believed in and supported her no matter what. The words sounded a bit lame, even to my own ears. But when I saw Yocheved’s confident poise, I was sure she would weather this experience well, no matter the outcome.
The interview took place in a city a couple of hours away. We weren’t expecting to hear any response quickly. In the evening, on my way to a friend’s son’s bar mitzvah, my phone rang.
It was Yocheved.
“Mommy, you’re not going to believe this. The principal just called me.” The excitement in her voice was tangible. “The interviewer called her and told her I’m accepted. They feel I’m the perfect fit and chose me as the one they want!”
“That’s amazing,” I gushed. “Yocheved, I’m so happy for you.”
This was unheard of. When does someone get a personal phone call to say they’re accepted before the official acceptance letters are sent out? I felt shivery and ecstatic at the same time.
When I got to the simchah hall, I staggered into a chair and said Mizmor l’Sodah. “Hashem, thank You for taking care of us in a completely unexpected way,” I whispered. “I know this isn’t the natural way things run, and I feel Your protection surrounding us.”
About a week later, I entered the annual Chinese auction for a local tzedakah organization I’ve been acquainted with for years. I purchased tickets, as I’ve done every year for the past two decades.
The day after the auction, Naomi, my very good friend who runs the event, called me. “Mazel tov, Estie!” she screeched.
“For what?” I responded.
“Estie, you’re kidding me! Don’t tell me you haven’t heard yet. You won the diamond earrings. And they are really gorgeous this year!”
What? I’d only put in a ticket for that prize after I’d finished choosing everything else I wanted for my family and house. I’d figured, why not, I haven’t bought a nice piece of jewelry in years.
When I went to pick up the earrings, I was amazed at their beauty. Later, one of my close friends who’d been traveling through the process of the move with me commented, “You know, Estie, the present you won is one hundred percent completely for you. You’re the one who will use them and enjoy them. Maybe this is a message of validation for all that you’ve sacrificed and are continuing to sacrifice to make the move possible.”
I continued to feel these “hugs” from Hashem. Around that time, the educational consultant from my boys’ school called me regarding one of the younger kids. He felt that my son would benefit from some therapy and referred me to the school’s social worker to develop a treatment plan. As it was a very prominent part of our lives at the moment, we talked about the move. She was so supportive and helpful, I ended up meeting her individually for a few sessions before we met as a family, which game me the opportunity to work through all that I was experiencing.
When I look back, I’m amazed at how Hashem sent me a messenger who was able to give me valuable advice to help my family manage this huge step.
to be continued...
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 682)
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