Updated: Jul 13, 2020
| This is the 63rd story of Our Life Logs |
I had read in the Bible about miracles, but I had big doubts about them ever happening to me. Because of my beliefs, I was always skeptical. It was not until God started showing me the miracles in my life that that I saw the possibilities, and it changed my life forever.
1 | Anger Issues
I grew up in the late 1970s early 1980’s in Queens, New York. My dad came to the United States from Puerto Rico and worked as a printer for as far back as I can remember. My mom stayed home to take care of us the kids. My dad worked long and hard, but never did make a lot of money. The money he made went toward the basic needs of the family, with little left for anything else. As a child and teen, I didn’t understand this, and I was often frustrated.
When I was ten, we moved to the suburbs and I had to be the new kid and start over. There were few Hispanics in my school and I stood out. I was short, I didn’t dress like them and I didn’t look like them. We were often given hand-me-down clothes and didn’t have any extra things like my peers at school had. I spent a lot of my teen years angry because of this, but I hid it well.
I also got bullied a lot. My peers learned how to push my buttons and they quickly learned that I lost my temper quick. I eventually hated going to school. I loved learning and was always a good student in terms of grades, but I hated school because I couldn’t escape the people who mocked me. As a result, I got into a lot of fist fights.
Despite all that, I am grateful for what my father did for us, moving us to the suburbs and paving a better pathway for a better future.
With the help of my father, uncle, and other family friends, at about 16, I started to learn how to deal with the anger I was holding inside. Through learning more about God, I developed a new perspective on life. I started to grow up, make better choices and stopped fighting people in school. I wanted to be the person that God made me to be.
2 | Finding My Calling
After I graduated from high school, I felt a call to ministry, so I volunteered as a full-time minister in the Jehovah’s Witness organization. I had been going to that church since I was born, and always knew I should be serving God. It wasn’t a paid position though, so I had to do various odd jobs to make money on the side: repairs, cleaning, packaging, shipping, etc. That lasted for six years.
During that time, while working the part-time shipping job, I would often help my co-workers fix their computer issues. From there, I discovered my knack for fixing “IT” things and decided to pursue a profession in this area. During those years, I tried to go to school to further my education. I studied for a couple of semesters at a community college, and took several courses in computer science, communication, and engineering. I loved learning but had to drop out due to time, finances and family health. The knowledge I obtained in college, however, stayed with me.
I started out by doing part-time tech support here and there, until I moved to Cincinnati in 1999 for a full-time position. A few years later, I started my own business providing IT support for small companies. I did that for about 10 years before I decided to leave because I wasn’t enjoying the business side of it. After that, I rejoined the corporate world where I still am today. Life has had its ups and downs. Looking at where I came from and where I am today, I’m thankful for the knowledge and opportunities that God has given me.
Although God has blessed my career as an IT professional, I know that full-time ministry is still my true and ultimate calling. I am no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, I have since learned who God really is and what he really wants for my life. My new relationship with God has given me a renewed calling to minister to people and to help reconcile them with their true creator. I look forward to the time where ministry will be a full-time job for me and until then, I will do as much as I can to keep moving towards that call.
3 | The Miracle of Family
My wife Katrina and I got married in 2014 and we were ready to start a family right away. I always wanted to have a big family with a lot of kids and I was getting a late start. But things were not going the way we had planned. In April 2015, the doctors told us that we wouldn’t be able to have our own children without in vitro fertilization or other type of assistive reproductive technology. That was devastating news to us.
On Mother’s Day that year, my wife and I went to church and I remember crying, wondering if we would ever get a chance to raise a child. As they celebrated “Mother’s Day” it made my heart break just thinking about my wife not being a mother. As I sat there crying, an older woman approached me, and said, “God says that by this time next year you’ll have twins.” I laughed internally. What is she talking about? She had no idea about our situation, because we hadn’t told anyone. Not only that, but there was no history of twins in either of our families. I didn’t really pay attention to it and just laughed it off. We were hopeful for a miracle from God, but twins?
Later that year we decided to become foster parents, so that we could take care of other people’s kids while we waited on God for our own. We thought, why not help and influence as many lives as we could while we waited. We were told that the process would take 6 months, but we had decided that we were all in, and we wanted to beat the odds. We signed up, went through the training, did interviews, filled out all kinds of paperwork as fast as we could, hoping to get approved quickly. But it took a seemingly long time for us to get approved. All the time discouragement was setting in.
In January, my sister called me and told me that she had a dream that we had come to visit her with two babies. I didn’t give it much thought except that it would be nice. I never even thought of the possibility of twins. I was thinking of a sibling set that we could potentially care for, but we were still not approved and were waiting for the processing of our application.
In February, my wife received a call from her friend, who told her she believed that God wanted her to know that He had answered her prayer. My wife didn’t know which prayer was answered and didn’t give it much attention.
Finally, on March 6th, a woman from the foster care agency contacted my wife to tell us that we had been approved to be foster parents. Not only that, but they also told her that they already had a placement ready for us. She said that if we were willing to take them, they had twins for us, a boy and a girl. Twins!!
When my wife shared the news with me, my thoughts immediately went to Geraldine, the lady who 10 months earlier had delivered a message that we would have twins, and to my sister who dreamt I would be coming home with two babies. Not only that, but my wife shared with me that the day her friend called her to tell her about prayers being answered, was the actual birth date of the twins. I was in awe, it all came together in front of my very own eyes and I was convinced that this was a miracle from God.
In 2018, we adopted the twins and they became our very own children. Today they are raised as if they were born to us. We are the family that God made.
I have no doubt that God is with us and is performing miracles every day in our lives. We just need to hold onto our faith and be patient.
-This is the story of Vicente Del Valle-
Born in New York City, Vinny has been living in Cincinnati, Ohio for the last 19 years. Growing up he had learned that miracles don’t happen. He thought that life was what it was and if he wanted change, he had to do it himself.
As he learned about God and looked back at his life he realized that miracles were not only possible, but that his life was filled with big and small miracles, one of them being the gift of his twins. It has given him a new life, depending on God, and a hope for a new future, filled with blessings, despite the way things may seem to be.
This story first touched our hearts on November 3, 2017.
| Writer: Kristen Petronio; Vinny Del Valle | Editor: Colleen Walker; Manqing Jin |