“The summer before my son started elementary school, I decided to go through his baby clothes that had been in our attic for the past 5 years. He was growing up so quickly, I knew this would feel like salt in an open wound. But it was time.
“As I sorted through boxes, seeing each onesie and tiny shoe left me with a bittersweet sadness, and I wasn’t sure I could part with anything. Frustrated, I asked God for strength. Inside the next box was my son’s first Halloween costume. He’d been a chubby lion and I laughed remembering how he kept throwing the fuzzy hat and giggling.
“In that moment, I was filled with gratitude and otherworldly love, and that was all I needed…I easily put it in the give-away pile.
“Inspired, I held each item, conjured a special memory and said a prayer of thanks. After filling three big bags with clothes and filling my heart with memories, I felt strong—God had turned my sadness into hope.
“That evening, I put the bags in my car to drop off at Goodwill and headed to my prayer group. I was exhausted and almost skipped the meeting, but changed my mind at the last minute. Now I know why: That night, there was a new single mother among us who’d lost her job and needed clothes for her toddler son.
“Her eyes filled with tears of relief as I handed her the clothes from my car. ‘God works in incredible ways,’ she said. All I could do was nod knowingly as my heart exploded with joy.”
—Carla McDonald, 35, Louisville, KY