What You Need, Right When You Need It

Providence. That’s when God gives you what you need, right when you need it.

I’ve had a few experiences of providence recently, and it’s an amazing thing.

Sometimes it happens in unexpected places.

Last Friday afternoon, I had a lot of work to do. I was already tired, and I just couldn’t write a coherent sentence, never mind a feature-length magazine article. So I set it aside and decided to read for a little while.

My current read was An Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl. After reviewing her other novel, The Perfect Blindside, I preordered this one as soon as I heard about it–and it had conveniently been delivered to my Kindle.


This YA book is about a high-school theatre geek who doesn’t fit in with the cool kids and who’s been the target of some in-person pranks and cyberbullying.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m extra-tired, I’m extra-vulnerable. I was having those “I don’t fit in” moments myself: the kind where my mind runs nonstop through the long list of ways I’m different from just about everyone else I see (hair, makeup, fashion and wine are always at the top of the list.)

Right after I began reading, TheKid texted me to ask me to pick him up at dismissal, because he wasn’t feeling well. If I left right then, I’d be in prime position in the parking lot to get out of there quickly after the bell rang. So I jumped into the car and headed over to school, Kindle in hand, because I’d be sitting in the parking lot for 10 minutes.

And right there, in a YA novel, I was hit between the eyes with something I needed to be told:

“You need to spend as much time as possible with the people who make you feel comfortable–the ones you can safely share your dreams, secrets and problems with. . . .Help others. When you help those less fortunate, you start to see what’s important and you don’t have the time or need to pretend to be something else.” (Loc 2711-2717 in Kindle version)

This is my every day. I can’t figure out how to fit in–never could. This advice–words from one teenager to another–applies just as much to me, at age 51, as it does to the main character in Wahl’s novel.

I should have been writing, not reading.

I should have been reading something off the stack of books I’ve promised to review.

But I was reading that book, at that moment.


Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS.


This month I’m joining all the cool kids in the #Write31Days adventure! I didn’t pick a keyword or a theme, because just getting something written for all 31 days is challenge enough for me right now.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchase through these links helps support this blog. Thank you! I was given a free review copy of this book, but no other compensation. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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