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The “All Things” Basket

“And we know that all things work together for 
good to those who love the Lord, 
to those who are the called 
according to His purpose.” 
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) 

This scripture has significant value to me because I learned through my life that even when we can’t see it, even when we can’t feel it, God is working it out.

I’ve learned to put things I can’t understand into my “all things” basket.

When I was a little girl, I was raised by my father and his mother.

My paternal grandmother stepped in to help my father with his three children.

She was the nurturer while my father was the provider and disciplinarian.

I remember crying many days, wondering why I couldn’t have a mother in the home like all of my friends.

I remember many times being embarrassed when my grandmother walked me to public school and my classmates asked, “Where is your mother? Why does your grandmother bring you to school?

It wasn’t until years after my grandmother passed that I really appreciated her sacrifice.

I am grateful to her and to my father for all they did for me as a child.

Growing up, I somehow thought being cared for by my grandmother was one of the worst things that could have happened.

It was not natural.

It was not the way it was supposed to be.

Little did I know that many years down the road, what I thought was the worst thing in my life would turn out to be the best thing in my life.

After graduating from high school, I went on to college, knowing that the profession I wanted was to help people.

My career took me down many paths from working in foster care to preventive services where I would help families at risk of losing their children to the system.

I assumed the responsibility of recruiting and training seniors to become role models for at-risk families.

I loved this job because I got to work with both seniors and children.

Years later, one of my friends who knew of my work with seniors, offered me a job at his place of employment — an agency that had just received funds to start a program for grandparents raising their grandchildren.

The program grew, and eventually I was asked by the city to come and head their Grandparent Resource Center at the Department for the Aging.

So I helped grandparent caregivers across the city.

This program has grown to become a national model.

I have won many awards and been asked to speak across the country at conferences.

In 1994, the New York Daily News named me, ‘One of the Hundred Women’ who make NYC work.

Years later, I went to work for the Brookdale Foundation’s RAPP (Relatives as Parents Program), where we offered grants, guidance and technical assistance to programs across the country to assist relative caregivers.

I went full circle from helping grandparent and other caregivers locally to the city level to the national level.

How did I know about grandparents raising their grandchildren?

Where did I get this passion to help and assist these families?

How do I know what they feel and what they need?

Why has this become my mission in life?

I lived it.

Years ago, when I thought it was the worst thing in my life, I did not know that the Lord was working it “all things” out for my good.

I had no clue that there was a plan being worked out for my life.

I never dreamed that I would stand before Commissioners, Mayors and prominent folks to let them know the needs and services of grandparents.

I never thought that I would be interviewed on radio or television, or have newspaper articles written about me.

It was not a desire of my heart nor was it anything I imagined.

What I thought was the worst thing, turned out to be a good thing because, “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

And that my friends, is a blessing.

And that is why I have learned to put everything in the “all things” basket.

Faith Nuggets!

Even when we can’t see it, even when we can’t feel it, God is working it out.

When I thought it was the worst thing in my life, I did not know that the Lord was working it “all things” out for my good.

Guest Blogger: Rolanda Pyle

ROLANDA T. PYLE is a licensed social worker and has worked in the field of aging for many years.

Rolanda is the author of the books Grandma’s Hands – a children’s story book, and Finally – a collection of inspirational poems; and the compiler of and contributor to Beneath His Everlasting Wings, a collection of devotionals.

Rolanda’s creative writing has won poetry and short story writing awards, and her work has been published in religious and community newspapers and featured in the 50 in 50 writing contests with the Billie Holiday Theater.

She has contributed to many anthologies, journals, magazines and other publications. The author has also been featured on various radio and television programs.

Her numerous awards include the distinguished 2004 Sloan Public Service Award and HBO’s 2004 Beah Richards Spirit Award. In April 2004, New York ‘s Daily News named her one of the “100 Women Who Shape Our City.

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