Have you ever had a Divine appointment? You know a meeting that has God’s fingerprints all over it? Perhaps you call it a date with destiny or kismet or you may even have a serendipitous story of coincidence that begins with “the weirdest thing happened to me today…” I have many of these stories. I never recognized them for what they truly were/are until recently.
This past month has been particularly rough and I have been teetering on the precipice of emotional instability for much of it. The gist of the cyclical hormones seemed to revolve around a repeating loop of despair regarding time running out, my fear of dying alone with nothing but 100 awful, smelly cats as my legacy (this is a very real fear for single women over the age of thirty), and the ever-present worry that I should be doing something else with my life. Over dinner I even warned several single girlfriends that buying a cat was , in essence, waving a white flag of surrender. You may as well buy granny panties, orthopedic shoes, and pants with only elastic waist bands because marriage is just not in the cards for you at that point. Like I said: rough month.
As I was wallowing in self-pity about everything that I could think of (my bed is too large for only me, Why can’t someone cook me a steak already? why isn’t there a boy to change the oil in my car? How hard is it to like me for serious and then pursue me and live happily ever after. Seriously?) , God brought to mind my Hawaii BFF, A–.
A— and I have only known each other for 7 months, but I sometimes get the feeling that we’ve been talking all of eternity. Other people get the same impression when they see us together and always ask where we met. Which used to start with me saying “the weirdest thing happend…”
You see A— and I go to the same church but had never met (I was on deployment and she had just started going), but both of us independently decided to go to the Ladies’ bible study one Monday night. It was both of our first night and we sat next to each other, but only exchanged I’m-new-here-smiles since I was late. We went around the circle to introduce ourselves – each person giving some interesting fact about herself. I had my interesting fact ready to go, something guaranteed to make people come up and talk to me more afterwards, but A— was ahead of me so she went first.
I listened attentively waiting for her to finish so I could say my piece only to hear my words coming out of her mouth. She said my interesting fact: “I’ve moved 5 times in 5 years,” she said.
I’d been planning on saying the same thing only with 9’s instead of 5’s, but she beat me to it! I don’t even remember what else she said because I was so shocked to hear what I’d been thinking coming out of her mouth. Having moved so frequently, I always have more than one interesting fact for these situations so when it was my turn, I said my backup fact:
“I’m from L.A. (comedic pause) lower Alabama.”
This garnered the standard polite giggle, but A—laughed outright. “Where? I lived in Mobile,” she said.
“I’m from Mobile!” I replied.
The amazing coincidence didn’t stop there of course. Turns out A—works for the company that the Twin worked for and also knows my twin sister (who I don’t look anything like). We marveled over this story, got each other’s numbers and quickly became the best of friends (though we didn’t continue with the bible study.)
It was during A—‘s Christmas party after multiple retellings of this meet-cute that it finally hit me how crazy – how coincidental — our story really is. I started to calculate probabilities of girl A meeting girl B and having our Venn diagrams intersect in such a perfect way, but the numbers don’t quite add up – it’s statistically improbable. What was the likelihood that we would ever cross paths? I honestly don’t know, but we did.
The thing of it was I needed a friend. I have colleagues that I spend 89% of my life with and though I love them, they’re all dudes; my roommate from college and her beautiful family were moving, and my only other friend was going away on deployment. I needed a friend who loved Jesus and would hold me accountable, and love me through all of my struggles and emotional instability. I didn’t even realize that I needed that until after the awfulness of November, but God knew that. Perhaps you read this and still see it as fate or karma or some metaphysical energy in the Universe, but I am certain that our meeting was as planned and scheduled as a weekly television show. The meeting between A- and I was thought of long before we ever laid eyes on one another – long before either of us moved to Hawaii! It was most definitely a Divine appointment.
What does one make of a God who provides for your every need no matter how small the details? And if God can give me a best friend like A— then perhaps there is no need to fear being suffocated by an army of cats.