Jessica Latshaw

musician. writer. dancer.

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it takes all kinds of miracles.

Posted By on February 6, 2013 in I Lift My Eyes Up, Loved Ones, Thoughts and Feelings | 4 comments

My friend just moved into a new apartment. It’s lovely, with windows that are taller than people and high ceilings that help encourage your dreams. It’s small, but it’s New York City, so that’s a given. It’s perfect for her and I couldn’t be happier.

The thing is, though, it didn’t just happen.

We were talking about this phenomenon. The uncomfortableness that makes us get up and move–in her case, literally. How, if everything was just “fine” all the time, we’d never grow. Maybe never even get off the couch.  And comfort is wonderful. I’m a big fan of feeling good. But sometimes, not feeling good is just what we need to make us realize that life could be better. Should be better. That if it doesn’t, in fact, get better, then we’re not gonna be okay. Maybe ever. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that. And desperate people accomplish things. They get stuff done because the alternative is not an option.

Like my friend, for instance. She was robbed this past fall. Terrible and traumatic, and it changed her life in one night. Before that, she was happy with her roommates and happy in her apartment.

Then this sad thing happened. Then she didn’t feel so good about where she was. Then we were at a little wine bar in Brooklyn Heights on a Thursday night in December and she told me that she wasn’t at peace at home.

“Maybe I should move,” she finally concluded.

“Do you want to?” I asked.


She hesitated before explaining that she wants a nice place, but that nice places are expensive here in the city; plus it needs to be in a certain location and it needs to be safe.

“Then, you’ll find it,” I told her. “Life is too important to spend it where you don’t want to be. You’ll find it, I know. Decide to move and then do it.”

And then within weeks my friend was telling me that she had found a new place. A nice place. A great place. Close to her work. And she felt safe there. And this is where we were sitting this past Monday night, eating dinner, marveling over how she would never have moved to this beautiful home of hers unless she had first gotten robbed.


Something that you’d never invite into your life, something ugly. But when you look at it from the other side, you can’t help but realize it’s the very thing that got you here. And here is awesome! Here is actually better than there was–you just couldn’t see it when you were actually there, is the thing.

Sometimes what we hate in the moment ends up being a blessing. Crazy, I know. And, believe me, these blessings can have the kinds of disguises that’d give every last one of those dime a dozen halloween costume shops a real run for their money, they’re that hideous looking. I know; I’ve seen them. Heck, I’ve made out with them.

I love the miracles that happen in an instant. The doctors that are baffled by the suddenly clean reports and the money that an anonymous donor happens to drop in your lap right when your bills are due. But I also see and appreciate the miracle that has an arc, the slow dancing miracle. It takes time building character and setting up the resolution, just like the best kind of story. It will first march you through a darkness that scares you to the point where you will your own life to shine, you’ve become so sick and tired of the dark. It demands of you the ability to see past what your eyes are telling you, to hold on for a better ending, because the story you see right now leaves you feeling defeated, and you’ve been promised better. You’ve heard of better and so you’ll wait till better comes. Gosh, you might even help it along. You might even go out and find better, then put down a deposit, move your belongings into it, and invite a few friends over for dinner to help celebrate.

God bless the miracles.

And grant us patience when they take their time.


  1. Jamie February 6, 2013

    Jess, I think about this so often with Logan’s neurological condition – how far he has come, how far he still has to go, how miraculous it is that he has progressed so quickly, how it seems like quick progress to others but to a mother watching her child struggle every day it has felt infinitely slow and painful, how blessed we are to have the resources to help him, how much those resources cost us. And then someone listens to him sing, speak, tell a joke and they shout “It’s a miracle” because they know his story of being non-verbal and I want to yell that it wasn’t just a miracle like it happened over night, it was sleepless nights, daily therapies, countless doctors appointments. And yet, it is a miracle, you are so right, a slow dancing miracle, a miracle with an arc. Now that is something that makes me smile. And it has brought us to places we would have never been to, met amazing people along the way and my boy, well you know, I wouldn’t change a thing. (I probably should have emailed this instead of posting to your blog)

    • jessica February 6, 2013

      NO. I love that you posted this beautiful account here. THANK YOU. And so true, Jamie…it was and is a slow-dancing miracle with your boy. And I am sure it’s also changed things in your own heart–shown you a new patience and unearthed a tenacity that you didn’t know you owned. And how amazing–because when you first found out about the struggle this would all entail, you probably would have changed a thing. Maybe even a few things. But look, it’s the struggle that makes us stronger, and now you see the stronger part and now you can say confidently that you wouldn’t change a thing. THAT’S a beautiful miracle, too.

  2. Pop February 7, 2013

    I’ve found the hardest part is to convince myself that the very thing that feels so nasty and toxic at the moment–and that truly is (let’s not minimize)–is precisely the springboard to that miracle you speak of. It would be great to view life’s negatives that way as they happen–knowing emotionally that this mess is a big part of the raw material of my better future! I think that’s probably the essence of hope, which I’ve heard defined as “the constant expectation of good.”

  3. jessica February 9, 2013

    Yes, that is hope. Believing in things UNSEEN. If we always saw the stuff we wanted, then there’d be no need for hope, I guess. Plus, the grieving process matters tremendously for us. The toxic nasty things come and then it takes time for the miracle to make itself apparent. And generally, we have to walk through a whole lot of sadness, ache, and grief before we get to that part. It’s just a part of the way God made us, I guess; and it does something good for the soul when we can learn to have hope, trust, and faith, WHILE we walk through the sadness and pain that the toxic thing has brought about.

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