Coincidence

(noun)

A remarkable occurrences or circumstances without apparent causal connection

I used to think very little about coincidences. I would take note of the timing of a coincidence, perhaps tell my husband about this really strange thing that happened and then think nothing of it again. But as my faith has grown over the past several years, I have come to realize that I am no longer a believer in coincidences. It is one of my deepest beliefs that the “without apparent causal connection” is a lie. There is a connection and those coincidences are not random occurrences but carefully orchestrated ways of the Holy Spirit revealing Himself to us. In times when are open and willing to see the Spirit move in our lives, He is there. They are moments for me to pause and give thanks. A gentle reassurance that I’m not going this alone.

Several days ago, while shopping for some supplies for our country house, my four year old son toppled over a cart at the home improvement store and suffered an open fracture of his middle finger. As a pediatric nurse, I am calm and collected emergency situations that do not involve my own children. But when any of these little souls who grew inside my belly involved, all of my pediatric nursing skills fly out of the window. As I looked at Bop’s middle finger and saw bone, I immediately felt faint and needed to catch my breath. The salesman who was helping me pick out windows just kept muttering “Oh God, Oh God”…we were quite a pair. But, thankfully, there was an incredibly kind gentleman ordering a custom window. He scooped up my frantic son, wrapping Bop’s bloody hand in his t-shirt and looked me square in the eye, “You are going to be okay. He will be okay. Take a deep breath”. This kind soul then brought my son into the bathroom to take a look at his wound and determined we needed to make our way to the emergency room. All the while, this man spoke gently and kindly, reassuring me, Bop and the nervous sales staff. I wish I would have remembered his name so that I could properly thank him for helping this scared boy and his mama.

After an evening spent at the emergency room getting xrays, my son’s finger set into place and sutured, we were all spent, tired, hungry and thankful. I was worried he was going to lose the top of his finger and but the ER staff reassured us that it wasn’t a concern. But we needed to follow up with a pediatric hand surgeon “just in case”. Ummm…not reassuring. That night as Bop spent the night snoring on the pillow next to me, I prayed he would be without pain, sleep well and his finger would heal.

The next morning I called the surgeon’s office at 9am to schedule an appointment. She wanted to see him that morning, could we be there in an hour? Ummm….why the rush? I was nauseous and scared. My first thought was to email out to my women’s bible study group. They are my prayer warriors, they would lift us up and ease my fears. Our church talks of a harbor. A community of believers you can turn to when the seas of life are rough and they will be your calm. Those women are that harbor for me. They prayed, emailed, texted. If you do not have a harbor- find one, create one. You need one, even if you think you don’t. I promise. They come in handy.

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We managed to arrive at the office with fifteen minutes to spare. Bop and Vivi had fallen asleep and I decided to turn off the radio and sit in silence for a minute. But just before I did, K-LOVE shared that their scripture of the day was Romans 12:12. I clicked off the volume before I had a chance to hear the verse. I grabbed my bible and opened to Romans. The verse brought tears to my eyes and peace to my wearied soul.

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12

The staff at the surgeon’s office was incredible. Kind, warm, funny. Just what I needed that morning. As we walked back into the exam room. I saw the surgeon and immediately tears flooded my eyes. Dr. Katie, as I knew her back then, started her general surgery residency on a floor where I used to work at the local children’s hospital. The nurses on that unit and I agreed that she was the BEST resident we had ever worked with. We were devastated to learn she was pursuing a career in orthopedic surgery which meant that she would only be working with us for a year. Many new residents do not see the value in a nurses’ perspective the way Kate did. She always asked what we thought, she always was quick to thank the unit staff for the care we delivered, she was loved by patients and families alike. And in the intervening years, she had become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specializing in traumatic injuries to the hand. Coincidence? Hmm… I don’t believe so. Dr. Katie assured me that Bop’s finger would be okay. I believe her to the depths of my being.

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We are all part of a story, one that is long and detailed. While some may view the coincidences in our stories to be simply “a remarkable occurrences or circumstances without apparent causal connection”, I would argue differently. I would encourage you to stop and pause the next time you experience one of these divine moments and think how the Holy Spirit may be leading you. Each time I do, I am humbled and grateful for the intricacies of my story that go beyond my understanding.

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Bop and his “power finger”

 

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