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Talking Miracles with My Mom

My mom has always been able to find God’s miracles, even in the worst of situations…

Mysterious Ways blogger Diana Aydin's mother, Nursel Aydin

To kick off Lunch-Break Miracles, I talked to the one person who taught me all about miracles in the first place: my mom!

As I mentioned in my first post, she’s been enchanting me with tales of wonder ever since I was a kid. Both my parents grew up in Midyat, Turkey, a small town bordering Iraq and Syria. It wasn’t an easy place to live, especially as a Christian minority. But, even so, my mom has always been able to find God’s miracles in the worst of situations.

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“God has something up his sleeve,” she says when things go wrong or my plans fall through. “Something better is heading your way.”

So I decided to investigate her miracle-seeking nature. Here’s what she had to say about the major miracles in her life and how God still manages to surprise her…

Name: Nursel Aydin
Age: 66
From: New City, NY
Occupation: Retired

It seems like every story you told me from your childhood in Turkey involved something miraculous. Did more miracles happen over there?
No, I’m sure the same amount of miracles happen everywhere. We don’t look for them as much over here, though.

Why do you think that is?
The Christians in the Middle East always went through persecution. There was always something working against you and your faith. Instead of asking God, “Why did this happen?” we’d say, “God has a plan. We can’t understand it, but it’s his plan.” We clung to our faith. That’s how you survive.

So we were looking for God’s hand in everything. And there was so much prayer and almsgiving. Unless people prayed seven or eight times a day, they didn’t consider it a normal day! When you grow up with a lot of prayers and constantly giving thanks, you’re more connected to God. Even when it snowed, we’d say, “Every flake reminds us of you, Lord!” We saw things totally differently.

What was the biggest miracle you experienced in Turkey?
No way anyone on earth could’ve predicted that your dad and I would somehow find each other after years of being apart on two separate continents. We’d known each other since elementary school, but he left Turkey to attend college in America. I hadn’t seen him for years and thought, “He probably has an American girlfriend by now and is gone for good!” He came back one summer to visit. I was actually supposed to be in Istanbul. At the last minute, my mom asked me to stay home and my sister went to Istanbul in my place. When I saw your dad again, after all those years, I knew it was God’s doing. That’s what we call a miracle!

What about your biggest miracle in the U.S.?
My dad passed away when I was 29. We were so close–he was my life. I always wished he’d gotten a chance to meet you and your sisters. He would’ve been the best grandfather.

It was the morning of my twelfth wedding anniversary and I was pregnant with you. I still had two weeks before my due date, but I was on bed rest for a week. When your dad left for work he said, “Don’t get up, don’t cook, don’t buy me a gift. The best anniversary gift you can give me is to stay in bed.”

After he left, I went back to bed. Your sisters were sleeping in their room. I can’t figure out if I fell asleep or was about to sleep, but I felt my father sitting on the edge of my bed. “Dad, what are you doing here? You’re dead!” I said.

“I’m here to see your daughter,” he said.  

“Which one?”  

“The one that’s going to be born today.”

Before I could ask him any more questions, I was woken up by the sound of your sister, Kristin, crying in her crib. I put my hand on the bed. It felt warm and there was a dent where he’d been sitting. I was so panicked. When I picked up Kristin from her crib, I had my first contraction. You were born that morning!

I still can’t explain it, but I know my dad was there.

How can someone become more aware of God’s wonder?
You have to find God in the small things. Those small things, when they pile up, are big things. And when you’re most humble and sincere with God, that’s when the surprises come.

Does God still surprise you after all these years?
He never ceases to surprise me. It’d be boring if we wrote our own life story. I couldn’t write any of this better than God!

Now it’s your turn! Who influenced how you view miracles? Share your story below. 

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