We tend to use the word "miracle" casually. "It's a miracle," we say, when what we mean is that something positive and unexpected happened against the odds. Was it really a miracle or just hard work and good luck? Who's to say?
Take Corrine Fournier, for example. When you meet her, you'll see a winner. She's charming, pretty and smart, with a bright-eyed, fast-talking enthusiasm that's impossible to resist. But it took several seasons of work, energy-and maybe a miracle or two-for her to find success.
Corrinne moved to Hilton Head Island nearly 11 years ago. She didn't have a penny to her name or even know anyone here. A serendipitous temporary job at the Island Visitors Center helped her finance the move, rent an apartment and meet people. Her degree in child psychology fueled her volunteer work for rape and domestic abuse centers, and earned her a job as a victims' advocate. Later, her passion for children lured her to work as a nanny and eventually led her to teaching ninth grade. For extra money, she sold Mary Kay products.
"I move through seasons," she said. "I get sad when one season ends, but you need to know when to move on." When Corrinne met Tim, her future husband, they knew it was a good, new season. They were both Christians and his calm, humorous manner was a good complement to her more fiery nature. They married six months later.
"We were so happy," Corrinne said, "but we struggled financially. At one point, we were desperate for a new car. Ours was falling apart and we were still paying for it." She decided to aim for a Mary Kay car. "The sales goals were very high to earn a car, and I hadn't done anything close to that kind of volume, but I gave it 100 percent. So I taught during the day, then did more Mary Kay work when I was done. Toward the end of the four-month period, it looked impossible," she said. "And with just days to make my goal, my car broke down on my way to appointments. I was dressed up, soaking wet and ranting when Tim picked me up in his work van. I was so bummed. But he said, 'You go do what you said you will do.' When I lost faith, Tim gave me his. He helped me get to the appointments. I realized with amazement that we were going to get the car! It was two days before our car was totaled in an accident!"
She continued, "We straightened out our finances; I qualified for a second car and then became a fulltime Mary Kay sales director, traveling the East Coast and directing 40 consultants. But we both really wanted children and it just wasn't happening. I had three miscarriages and was heartbroken. Rather than go through surgery or shots, we put the matter in God's hands."
Last June, Corrinne felt a change of season coming. "I loved my job, but I missed my husband when I traveled. So, I stepped down as sales director and went back to working from home. In August, she learned she was pregnant. "God's timing is so perfect," she said. "If I had been on the road, it never would have worked. I'm now in my fifth month and all is well! I'll be a stay-at-home mom doing Mary Kay business with a baby on my hip." She is going to need a bigger car, but it shouldn't be a problem. After all, miracles do happen!
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Family: husband, Tim, and three cats: Kanick, Kanate and Kanoli Favorite Hilton Head Island spot: Burkes Beach Future dreams: to run an orphanage with her husband and adopt more children Best time of her life: right now Best advice: "Fear is an illusion. Just like in the Wizard of Oz, if you pull back the curtain and face your fear, you'll see that it's not that big of a deal."