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You need a miracle — But are you ready for one?

The profound truth of this question can stop you in your tracks.

Helen W Mallon
4 min readMar 12


I needed a miracle. Desperately. My husband, my grown kids and I wanted to take a summer trip together, but there was a problem. I was the problem. I have a phobia around travel that stems from childhood trauma. I was pretty sure, based on other stuff I was going through at the time that if we solidified our plans, what lay in store for me would be a week of gritted teeth, high anxiety, poor sleep. Worst of all would be a terrible feeling of separation from the people I love most in the world during one of the rare times we’re all together in one place.

It was probably going to be a week of, at best, Mom pretending to be fine. I have a very good relationship with both my children, but I was putting huge pressure on myself to protect them from the realities of what I’d been going through.

Later, I did open up to them, but that’s a story for another day.

Struggling with this decision, I was on a Zoom call with some of my 12-step recovery friends, and I asked for prayer. “I need a miracle,” I said, after sharing my dilemma.

There was a pause. Then my friend M. said something I will never forget: “Are you ready for a miracle?”

That stopped me cold. Immediately, I knew what he meant. By asking for a miracle, something completely outside my own power to implement, I’d be relinquishing control over whatever shape that miracle would take. I might get exactly what I wanted; it might be my worst-case scenario (enduring a very hard trip); it might be something completely unexpected, welcome or unwelcome.

Shaky, I replied that Yes, I was ready. My Higher Power is trustworthy and safe, and I’d been learning, slowly, how to rely on her. Looking at me quietly, M. responded, “I can see it and hear it in your voice, that you’re ready.” He promised me he would pray for me.

Now the situation was out of my hands. In truth, it always had been. I cannot make myself unphobic. (Believe me, I’ve tried!) After this conversation, I was able to go on with my life and not obsess about the outcome. Which, come to think of it, was a mini miracle in itself!



Helen W Mallon

Writing in the space of healing and spirituality.