Meaningful messages, not coincidences

My friend Cindy cheered me up the other day with an invitation to lunch, a cherished Scripture and a greeting card with a message that was “just right” on a difficult day.

“You may not know exactly where the road is leading,” the card said, “… or what the days may bring, or how you’ll manage them … but there is one thing you can know for sure … you’ll always have the help and support of people who care — people like me.”

Cindy is one of many supportive friends who have come into my life since a change of jobs brought me to North Carolina 15 years ago. Somehow, each has managed to say or do just the right thing at the very time when it was most needed. I refuse to believe that their appearance in my life is sheer coincidence.

It was surely no coincidence to be assigned to a team at my new job with Burgetta, Gene and Teresa.

Burgetta’s strong Christian example and repeated invitations to join her at church led to my Baptism on Easter Sunday 2004. She also introduced me to Cindy, whose patience, determination and grace in raising a son with a debilitating muscle disease have been an inspiration.

That same team included Gene, whose wife, a retired school principal, would develop Alzheimer’s. I am sure it was no coincidence when Gene dropped her off at an adult day care center at the very hour I arrived, reluctantly, to enroll Joe, who by then could not be left alone while I was at work. A familiar smile and a hug assured me I was not alone.

That team also included Teresa, the friend I trusted first with my suspicion that Joe was developing cognitive problems.

And it was surely not coincidence that of all the hairdressers around, I found Eric, who along with my monthly color and cut encourages my walk with the Lord. For better or worse, his suggestion that I share my journey led to this blog.

I can’t imagine what I would do without them.

If  someone you know is hurting, please follow my friends’ example and be there. Trust that your smile, hug or words spoken from the heart will be just right — just as it was with Cindy’s card. In it, she shared one of her favorite Bible verses. May it encourage you as much as it does me.

For know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11