Some people might call it serendipitous, but I am not one of them. Nor am I a believer in luck. The past couple of weeks have had numerous "weird" instances of people showing up at the exact right time to encourage me along this unchosen and frightening path on which I find myself.
The first of these instances occurred the moment I stepped out of the Breast Clinic, following my initial MRI, and ran into a friend, Kelley, whom I had not seen in years. Kelley became an immediate comforter, encourager, and prayer warrior for me, right there in the parking lot (as mentioned in a previous post). Thanks, Kelley!
A couple of days after my diagnosis, I was contacted via Facebook by Joy, (a friend with whom I really hit it off during my '08 visit to Japan). I hadn't heard from her in over a year and assumed she'd just gone dormant on Facebook, and, while adding one to my friends list, would possibly never surface again. (Joy is a gifted and busy teacher from New York, with many irons in the fire, and is better than I am about ignoring things like social networking and other such time-eaters.) But Joy suddenly appeared, just checking in to see how I'd been. I let her know about this whole BC thing, and the next thing I hear from her is that she had the same type of cancer many years ago (she was very young), went through much of what I'll be experiencing, and is doing just great. She's very knowledgeable about this type of cancer and has been a great source of advice, comfort, and encouragement, plus, she's just fine and dandy...many years after the fact! Thanks, Joy!
I had to visit a general surgeon this past Friday to arrange to have a chemo port placed (I say installed) near my collarbone (tomorrow!). As I stepped in the office and was signing in, one of my wonderful art teacher cohorts, Linda, appeared behind me with a friendly "hello!". Needless to say, I was thrilled to see her. We art teachers tend to be a pretty tight bunch. She was just leaving after an appointment and said she'd sit and visit with me while I waited. As I filled out that obnoxious thousand question paperwork, I caught her up on all the fun stuff I'd been doing lately (she already knew about the BC...email, of course). It was great to see her and she kept my mind in a good place. The wait was a bit long, but she insisted she didn't have anything better to do (lucky me). When they finally called me in, I was happy and calm. Thanks, Linda!
I sat next to a stranger in church yesterday (we attend what would technically be called a mega-church, so that's not hard to do). During the usually awkward (at least for me) meet & greet time, we shook hands, exchanged names (she was Debbie), and compared city of residence (like I said, mega-church). Both being from Springdale (not such a coincidence, considering this was our monthly community worship...all Springdale), she started asking questions. Our exchange went something like this: "Are you a teacher?" "Yes!" "Are you an ART teacher?" "Why, yes!" "Did you visit Japan and China recently?" "YES!! How did you know?" She immediately hugged me and said she'd been praying for me! Wow! Who are you!? Turns out she's also a teacher in one of the junior high schools in my district and has followed my travel adventures as they've been published on the school website (she's been to Japan, so had an interest). She's a friend of our community group leader and he had shared with her what I was going through. She has also battled cancer, as has her son, so she totally could relate to where I am now (and where I'm going). Following the worship service, we sat and visited and tried not to cry (good tears, of course), both feeling like I sat next to her for a reason. Thanks, Debbie!
I have NEVER felt alone in this, but I love how these tangible, human, and,...all right, serendipitous interactions only prove that fact to me all the more. I guess I do believe in serendipity, especially the kind that is divinely guided. Thanks, God!