There are No Coincidences with God
There are No Coincidences with God… God Answers Prayers…
This is essentially a continuation of my story. I had always sensed internally that God brought me to Sandusky for some greater purpose. It was my job that brought me here initially, and then I became very active in my local Catholic parish… But I always felt like there was something more waiting for me here IN Sandusky. Something else to do… Some other mission to accomplish… It wasn’t until March of 2004 and the few weeks and months that followed that I finally realized what that purpose was.
In addition to that internal intuition, I had been searching for quite some time for a special person to share my life with. Somebody who would accept me for who I am and not for who I could be if I would only change this or rework that. I met that person in the winter of 2002, but it wasn’t until March of 2004 that I connected with her on a higher level.
I found Linda through my ministry involvement in my parish. I first met Linda when she and I served on a parish retreat team together in 2002. We later shared some of our personal thoughts and faith experiences together at the “Aquafina… Purity Guaranteed” table in March of 2003. At that point I found Linda to be both interesting and attractive, but I didn’t take any steps to explore a deeper connection at that time.
We then worked together on another parish retreat team from September of 2003 through March of 2004. I gave a brief witness on the role of the parish in my life at that March 2004 retreat and began my comments with the very thoughts at the top of this web page: I told everyone that I had the definite sense that God brought me here for more than what I was then experiencing and contributing, but that I did not yet know what that deeper purpose/plan might be. Just a few days after I gave that personal witness, I experienced the beginnings of my true God-given purpose for coming to Sandusky, Ohio. That was when Linda and I began to explore the possibility of a relationship together.
We had our first date on March 14th when we went out to eat and then to a movie: 50 First Dates. Since that day I haven’t looked back and have only looked forward. I always look forward to the next opportunity I will have to see Linda’s smiling face.
On the evening of our first date, I went back to Linda’s house and met her daughter, Kelsey. Rather than the standard first date interrogation by a girl’s father, instead I got the 3rd degree from Linda’s daughter, which was a bit surreal. But I apparently passed the test because Kelsey welcomed me back the next time. Linda made a chicken Caesar salad for dinner that night. Since then she has made countless other meals for me, all of which have been uniquely special. I don’t necessarily believe that the way to a man’s heart is exclusively through his stomach, but it certainly cannot hurt (unless you are a horrible cook). Linda may be shy and modest about her own culinary abilities if you were to ask her directly, but I know quite a few people, other than myself, who will tell you otherwise. Linda made some fantastic meals and amazing desserts for me throughout the time we’ve shared together. Those of you who haven’t experienced her retreat meeting treats or family gathering snacks will have to just take my word for it.
One thing I can guarantee to each and every person reading this portion of my story is that God DOES answer our prayers. I have always believed that, but like many others, I’ve had times when I felt like the exception to that rule. But I never was an exception. I just forgot that our prayers are answered in God’s time. The answer never comes right away, it rarely comes in the way that we anticipate it, and it almost always comes when we least expect it. The key is to be patient and keep an open mind and open eyes so that you recognize the answer to your prayers when it comes along.
I haven’t always made the best decisions in my life, and I have gotten myself into various predicaments and stressful situations (we can all identify with that). I often turn to prayer more during the darker times when I am afraid or insecure or depressed. On the flip side, I sometimes forget to pray as frequently in thanksgiving for the blessings and joys that God gives to me. (He gives them to all of us daily). When I experienced some of the darker moments in my adult life, I again turned to God in prayer. Through my feelings of hopelessness, God answered my prayers. He sent an angel to me who picked me up out of the dirt and dusted me off. That angel reminded me of the extent of God’s love for me and reflected some of that love herself. If I said a prayer of thanksgiving for that angel every hour of every day of the rest of my life, it still would not be enough. Linda, thank you for being an angel of God. Thank you, Linda, for being my angel.
They say that church is a great place to meet people for dating and relationships.* Our situation is proof positive that this is true — even if it took close to 18 months for me to realize it. Spirituality is a wonderful gift from God to all of us. An even greater gift from God is when He gives you someone special to share that spirituality with. I have hit the jackpot.
* They also say that the grocery store or the library are great places to meet people for dating relationships, but I’ve been doing my own grocery shopping for years and I once moved into an apartment right next to the public library (even got myself a library card), but I never found anyone suitable in either location.
Like I mentioned at the end of my story, I still don’t know where else my path will ultimately lead me, but I don’t have to picture it without angels. On Sunday, September 26, 2004 Linda agreed to be my wife for life. We were married on October 1, 2005. We had a new baby girl in September 2006! God has entrusted me with three of His most precious daughters. Just three more reasons that I am eternally grateful for his Love for me.
This is only ONE incident which has convinced me that There are No Coincidences with God. Have you ever found yourself in an encounter with another person or situation that seems like an amazing coincidence or stroke of luck? It is my firm belief that when God is involved, there are no coincidences. Things do not just happen by chance. We all certainly have free will to make our own choices and so forth, but those chance meetings and encounters are not coincidences. God leads us to situations where we can help other people and He leads us to other people who can help us. My most often quoted phrase has become “There are No Coincidences with God.”
If in reading this story you have any of your own experiences with the realization that There are No Coincidences with God, please e-mail a short (or long) explanation of your experience. Or better yet, visit my blog No Coincidences and share your story there. I am really interested to hear others’ experiences.