Miracles do happen — at least for Joanna Gaines!
In the Winter issue of her and husband Chip’s magazine,The Magnolia Journal, the HGTV star recounts a special present her father gave her ahead of a semester of college she spent in New York City: a Bible with her name embossed on the cover.
“This gift from my dad was his way of telling me, ‘You’ve got this,’” she explained in the magazine’s “Note from Jo” column. “And I believed him.”
Inside, he had penned a sweet transcription that comforted the college-aged Joanna throughout the months she spent away from home.
“I carried that Bible with me, in my bag, everywhere,” she said. “Truly, I must have read that note a hundred times during those days.”
Long after she returned to her home in Texas, she lent the pocket-size prize to a friend who was about to embark on a mission trip to Boston — but not without hesitation.
“It had become one of my most valued possessions. I turned to it whenever I was feeling anxious or needed to be comforted,” she said adding that in the end, “I, of course, lent it to her.”
But her concerns turned out to be completely rational, as her pal misplaced the Bible during her East Coast stay. “I was devastated,” Joanna said. “Soon after, I bought an identical Bible and even had my dad write a similar note, but it wasn’t the same.”
Years later, she and Chip ran into an old acquaintance who had lived in Boston.“We were briefly catching up when he asked, ‘This may be an awkward question, but what does your dad call you?’” she said.
When she responded, “Jojo,” the man smiled and said, “You’re not going to believe this.”
It turned out, he had been mentoring a man who had stumbled upon Joanna’s Bible, and was “touched by the handwritten note.” The book has since been returned to Joanna, who has put it back in its rightful place: the bag she carries everywhere.
“The fact that my dad’s letter, left behind hundreds of miles away found its way back to me continues to leave me awestruck,” she said. “I choose not to question or analyze it.”
For the full tale, pick up the winter issue of The Magnolia Journal.