When I graduated from college in 2005, I was 23 and full of big hopes and dreams but I was also faced with the fact that I had just racked up a lot of student loans and I had no job. As is always the case, I was not left wondering what I was going to do for too long because God put a job in my path. My sister informed me that there was a teller position at the bank that she worked at. Not wanting to be a college graduate living at home with her mom and dad, I jumped on the opportunity and a week after I graduated I had a job in the banking industry. That first job would be the beginning of a successful yet unfulfilling career for me. I’m not ungrateful for this career though because it offered me many opportunities and taught me a great many skills. My career was not a coincidence but a necessary path I had to take to learn what it meant to stumble and pick myself up, and I did so many times in my career. It also taught me humility in leadership. Though this was not the career I wanted for the rest of my life, it was necessary for my growth.
When Matt and I agreed, after many years of tears and frustrations on my part, that I would quit my job and we would move back to my home state, I felt like things had fallen into place and were clicking. Though I had wanted this for some time it wasn’t until that moment, when we both agreed that it felt truly right. What I didn’t know was that it felt right because I was going to need to be free of my career and prepared to move back to my home state to be with my family during a very trying time. This was not a coincidence, this was life, clearing the way for me to make this necessary next step in my path.
Not only was I able to be with my family, without the worry of returning to my home and job 1000 miles away, I was able to stay home with my daughter, which I had yearned to do since the day I left her to return to work. This was not a coincidence. There were many growing pains for my daughter and I, mostly for me. I learned to be a more patient person, to really listen and observe my daughter, to understand her needs, become a better parent, and to gain the perspective I needed to take the next step in my life.
In the end, I found that being a SAHM was rewarding but ultimately not what Addie and I needed. Addie is extremely social and though we live in the same area as her cousins, we did not see them often enough (by that I mean every day if Addie had her way.) and Addie craved more social interaction. I realized that I needed something that allowed separation from being a mommy, even just for a few hours, so that I could stretch my mind and have a chance to miss my daughter. Addie needed something that allowed her to engage with children her own age, luckily she started school recently. This was a necessary growing pain for Addie and I because though we now miss each other after being separated every day, we come back to each other more connected and excited to be in each other’s presence.
As you may recall, I had been searching for a job for a few months before I got the one I now currently hold. I thought I was ready to return to work much sooner than now, but God knew better. He knew that Addie and I still had things to learn as a parent. He knew that it would be better if I were working close by so that I could still walk Addie to school each morning. He knew that it would be easier for us financially that we weren’t paying for a full day of daycare and He knew that I needed a job that would allow us to move one step closer to our Big Goal. Coincidences don’t happen. There are moments that happen and you look back and say, “wow, that was just what I needed at that time.” Those aren’t coincidences, those are God’s way of saying, “See, I’ve got you. Just trust me.”
I don’t believe in coincidences because I believe that all things happen for a reason. There are things that I still don’t understand, the really tough things that I don’t think I’m ever supposed to understand. Everything else, though, every stumble, every tear, every trying and happy time all were placed in my path and allowed me to make a choice. If something is repeatedly placed in my path it’s because I haven’t learned what I needed to yet. The best I can do is trust that certain situations and experiences are there for a reason and learn and grow.
What are your thoughts on coincidences? I challenge you to look at a pivotal point in your life and relive the moments before that point, how are they connected?