January 19, 2024

Joyful Witness / Kimberly Pohovey

God puts the right people in our lives for just the right season

Kimberly PohoveyMy family and I have been the recipients of great kindness through the years. As we’ve gone through some pretty big challenges, there were two constants—our faith, and being lovingly surrounded by the many people whom God placed in our lives.

I was reminded of the people who have come into our lives for a season when my husband and I were discussing the recent passing of a former neighbor of ours in Fort Wayne.

Warren and his wife, Ruth Ann, lived two doors away from us. They were a retired couple who also had recently moved to Fort Wayne. We were transferred there by my husband’s employer; they looked at a map and figured Fort Wayne was halfway between their two children in Illinois and Ohio. So, we both found ourselves as transplants in a new town. They wasted no time in greeting us, and in short order, they became treasured friends and adopted grandparents for our children.

They graciously welcomed us into their lives, and they were so patient and caring with our two young sons. Warren delighted in showing the boys how to fish. When we heard of Warren’s passing, it reminded me of how vital they were in our lives at a time when we most needed them.

There was even one occasion when they answered our plea at 3 a.m. to come stay at our house with the kids due to a cancer-related emergency room visit. They were always there for us.

We only lived in Fort Wayne for a few years, and although we occasionally liked each other’s Facebook posts, we really hadn’t seen them in years. But the memories of their kindness came rushing back, and I will be forever grateful that God placed them in our lives during that difficult season.

While we only lived in Fort Wayne briefly, it amazes me how God lined up folks he knew we would need during a challenging time.

In addition to Warren and Ruth Ann, God also orchestrated our closest friends, Donna and Joe, being transferred from Ohio to Fort Wayne as well. They lived there for an even briefer time than we did, but they were there for us to lean on throughout my husband Mark’s cancer and extended recovery from sepsis.

They watched our children more times than I can count, and our 8-year-old son basically moved in with them while we experienced an extended hospital stay in Indianapolis.

After Mark recovered, they were transferred back to Ohio—just like us. In addition, for a very short time, Mark’s sister and her husband, Shelly and Jason, were transferred to Indianapolis, which is where Mark was being treated at the Indiana University Medical Center. They opened their home to us and were able to regularly visit us at the hospital.

Again, after Mark’s recovery, they were transferred out of town. I don’t believe any of this was a coincidence. Rather, I like to believe God was moving people around like pieces on a chess board, trying to align the support he knew we needed.

There’s a quote that says, “Some people come into our lives for a season and quickly go, while others stay and leave footprints on our heart, and we are never the same.” I imagine we can all name friends and acquaintances in both categories.

After a quick online search, I found several articles all concluding the same thing: we will interact with an average of 80,000 new people during our lifetime (assuming we live an average of 78 years and aren’t hermits). That’s about three people a day. Of all these people you encounter, how many would you say have left “footprints on your heart?”

I believe those people are the ones who God, in his grand design, places in our lives at just the right time and in the right season.

(Kimberly Pohovey is a member of St. Jude Parish in Indianapolis. She is the director of major and planned gifts for the archdiocese.) †

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