Coincidence is an interesting word, but a more interesting concept. What causes our minds to connect things? For me, with the faith I have, I see God in these details. Too often little things have collided to pave a certain path for me, or was a certain message I needed to hear. Was it a coincidence that we and the Durrants happened to bid for neighboring houses, not knowing we were both LDS, nor even realizing how much we’d get along and become like family? Some may dismiss that thinking, “proximity led to the friendship!” And while that certainly did help, on the other side we live next door to a single man in his forties with no kids and who has quite an ornery attitude. The chances of another LDS family moving next-door to us in Augusta, Georgia, who happen to have kids our kids’ ages, in addition to enjoying each other’s company, were slim to none. Yeah, I don’t buy most coincidences as just mere happenstance. Andy and I were prayerful during our house hunt, we thought we had picked a certain ward and only looked in that area. We had narrowed it down to three houses out of the fifty we looked at and when we walked into our current home, we knew it was where we were supposed to end up. Beverly screamed almost the entire trip. In the car. In the homes. On the plane. She just wasn’t a happy traveler, but the second we walked into our home, it was as if she was home. The other interesting thing that happened (aside from getting amazing neighbors), was that when we moved into our new ward, I quickly realized I did not feel at home. I went home from church every day crying. I just didn’t feel like I was clicking with anyone. I had left my Houston family of ten years behind and I was ok starting over, I put myself out there, introduced our little family to many of the ward members and I couldn’t help but feel like an outsider. I had never struggled to find my place in a ward as an adult: not on my mission, not in the countless student wards, but I did here. Then two months after giving it my all, the stake redid the boundaries. They made a last minute change that scooped us out of the ward I was in and sent us to an entirely different building that was a whole ten minutes further away. It seemed like such an odd boundary. It’s a straight line with a little bump right where our neighborhood is; right where our current Bishop is. The second I walked into that building I felt at home. The building was older and muskier. The ward more transient and smaller. But something about it felt comfortable. The members reached out to me instead of the other way around. I just knew I would love these people. Out of the three houses we had narrowed it down to, all three are now in different wards, despite being in the same at the beginning. Since being in this ward I have served in the Relief Society presidency, the Young Women’s presidency, and now the Primary presidency. It isn’t because I’m amazing, it’s because I am needed. And honestly, it is what I needed and the Lord knew that. It does blow my mind that he can be involved in the tiniest details of all of His children’s lives; I don’t know how he does it, but I do know that there is a divine hand guiding my life.
This week, this was brought to my remembrance. We were headed home from another late night baseball game and I was tired. We do family scripture study and prayer pretty much every night, but my motivation was waning because I just wanted my overly tired kids to go to bed so I could have some peace and quiet. I decided to multi task and give the scripture as I was driving. This meant I had to quote one, instead of reading one so I just said the first one that came to my head, “Fear not, for the Lord thy God is with thee.” I’ll be honest, at that moment I didn’t know the reference for that scripture, I just knew it was one (for those who want to know it is Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:13, and again in the hymn, “How firm a foundation.” And to be fair, my quote was not exact, but the meaning is the same. Anyway, Max came home later that evening from church activities and I reiterated the scripture to him. His reply, “I know.” I laughed. “What do you mean you know?” He said, “We had this scripture at church today.” I said, “Oh, that’s an interesting coincidence.” And Andy piped in, “Isn’t it in this week’s Come Follow Me?” I said, “I don’t think so, but let me check.” I didn’t see it. “Nope, just a cool coincidence I guess.”
The next day I was at the gym and a girl in front of me was wearing a shirt that said, “Fear not, the Lord thy God is with thee.” Twice may have been a coincidence, but three times in twelve hours? Andy had his Oral boards that day, so whether for me or for him, I felt it prudent to remind him not to be afraid, because the Lord was with him. The Lord can only bring things to our remembrance that we have at one time put into our memory, but I do believe He has helped me and Andy in our studies. The more I learn about Him, the thinner the veil feels and the easier it is to understand eternal things. Easier, but not easy. I still feel I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me, but it is encouraging to go forward when I see how much I’ve learned so far.