Can God Make Dreams Come True?
by Luisa Rodriguez
Over 30 years ago, I found myself mesmerized by little green flashes swirling on my TV screen. I was one of many glued to CNN as the US invaded Iraq. Though on the surface it looked like a video game, even at my young age I understood that it was not a game at all. People were suffering in the carnage unfolding and I had many questions. Why was the US there? Who was Saddam Hussein? How did this war begin?
Operation Desert Storm was the beginning of my fascination with war. This unusual interest for my age and gender was not born out of a love for violence, but my utter distaste of it. I wanted to study the circumstances that led nations into war so that I could help prevent them.
I was full of youthful ideals but in my kitchen that day, standing in front of our TV, I knew I wanted to work for the US government. I was not sure in what capacity and I didn’t understand enough back then to define my future employment, but my heart was set. There was just one problem; my parents could not afford to send me to college.
The deck was stacked against me. As an immigrant kid, with English as her second language, the road to Washington, D.C. seemed practically impossible. But I would soon meet the One that could pave the way for me. A few months after the invasion of Iraq, I became a born-again Christian and I learned about praying in faith. And my future career is one thing I prayed for in earnest.
Throughout my teenage years, despite my various shortcomings, I believed, without a doubt, that God could find a way for me. Yes, I worked very hard and I was a straight-A student. I took AP courses and was engaged in the required extracurricular activities, but at the end of the day, it came down to money. Even if I could get into a good college, how could I ever afford to pay for it? I couldn’t. My parents couldn’t. But I knew God could…and He did.
God's well-orchestrated plan began with a scholarship to a private high school.
I received a full ride and the school prepared me not only academically, but also for the rigors of college applications. The college counselor was top notch and she helped me identify the best schools for my desired major that were also most likely to give me the best financial aid.
I was accepted into every college I applied for including my top school, Georgetown University. I was ecstatic, but when the financial aid package arrived, my dreams came crashing down. Despite the aid, I would still have to pay $13,000 out of pocket each year, an amount way beyond my reach. But then the financial package came for my second choice and I would only have to pay $3000 a year. I was a bit bummed that it was not my top choice, but Colby College ended up being the perfect school for me.
Once at Colby, I dove right in. I declared my major freshmen year. I took a job as a janitor to help pay for my portion of tuition. Soon after I accepted a job offer as a research assistant with a professor that would become my mentor and helped pave the way for my future career. She was well-connected and that opened opportunities that made my resume appealing to would-be employers.
During the summer after my sophomore year, while doing sit-ups, God reminded me of my prayers several years before. At the end of my set, I laid back, stared at the ceiling and thanked God for what he had given me. At that moment, I was in a house that belonged to the US Embassy in Nicaragua. I was interning there for the summer. I had not even been able to afford the plane ticket for the internship, but somehow the money had come through at the last minute.
The US embassy was only the beginning. I would graduate and receive a job offer from the US Navy. I had a very successful seven-year career there until God called me to a different path.
From the moment I set my eyes on Washington, DC, I took steps in faith and prayer, not knowing where my feet would land. And yet, each time God provided a solid footing in the form of key connections, scholarships, schools, and money that would come out of the blue. So no, I didn’t learn to prevent wars after all, but I learned something much more significant. I learned about an all-powerful God that loves so deeply to make the dreams of a wide-eyed 13-year-old immigrant girl come true.
About the Author
Luisa Rodriguez is a writer and artist who lives in St Charles, IL. Her professional background is in National Security and International Studies. However, recently, Luisa writes mostly about issues that pertain to spiritual growth.
Her daughters are one of her biggest inspirations. Much of her writing centers on female themes and lessons learned from parenting daughters. However, Luisa’s military studies give her a unique perspective on warfare/military themes in the Bible and she weaves that into her articles. Because of this, she appeals to male readers as well.
Because of her artistic background, she often illustrates her own graphics for her written work and website. You can read and see more of Luisa’s work on her website, Fruitfully Living. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can read Luisa’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the first 1st Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.