Do You Believe in Coincidences?

I don’t!

On a recent Sunday night, I was unpacking boxes in my new garage. I came across a lot of my race bibs from over the years and thought I’d hang them up on the wall for memories. The first number I pulled out was from a triathlon in Hawaii, on April 4, 2005. It was the very first endurance race I ever competed in. Six months before that race, I had seen a flyer for it and thought the idea of doing a triathlon in Hawaii was pretty cool. At that point, I hadn’t trained in running except for when playing various team sports growing up. One of the requirements to compete in the triathlon was raising $7,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. That race was over 11 years ago. I fell in love with the running portion and have been consumed with it since.

During my training for this event, I remember feeling like somewhat of a fraud because I was one of only a few on the team that did not have a direct link to the cause – or a “reason” to put on my shirt. Most of my teammates I trained with and raced with in Hawaii had a close connection with someone affected by this disease and it was personal. I did not.

Fast forward four years (to the week) and my twin boys, Van and PK, were born

–> Fast forward another seven years to that Sunday night. I am unpacking those boxes in my garage and telling my girlfriend about the triathlon in Hawaii that started everything. I’ve always wondered, why was that my first race and why did I do it? What led me to do it? Raising $7,000 for a cause without a direct connection to it was still odd to me.

Two nights later on August 2nd, I get the phone call. My son Van has leukemia. Feeling like I was just shot after hearing that word “leukemia,” almost instantly, that race popped into my mind. The realization that it had come full circle 11 years later.

Coincidence?

Then this past Sunday night, my girlfriend and I were reading our devotional. There are 52 chapters in all and we try to read one per week. We were on #21 – all 20 up until now were mostly focused on the differences in men & women. They were about learning how to serve each other, all while keeping the full focus and glory on God. It was my turn to read this one. This was day six since hearing “the news” and overall was the first time I had felt a little perspective and wasn’t a mess the whole day. Then I dove into the reading and saw the title of this chapter was: “Keep your eyes on the Lord, not the problem.” Immediately I felt the loud and clear voice from above and my voice gets shaky.

The second sentence talked about “feeling powerless with a problem ranging from serious to overwhelming.” I knew God is speaking through these words directly to me. My eyes glanced to the next sentence and I lost it before I could even read it. It clearly said, “We don’t know what to do with a medical report revealing cancer.”

I couldn’t breathe. I don’t know how anyone can not believe in a higher power in these moments.

There is meaning in everything.

I could write for days right now on the happenings of just those weeks. Every hour I had a conversation or got some sort of message that hit me right between the eyes. I will never believe these were all simply “universal coincidences” that randomly happened.

I believe in Providence.

Providence is the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth. God directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.

I don’t know what the future holds. -> Not for my little boy and his cancer. -> Not for the many health issues so many face. -> Not for any of the situations our nation and world face either.

There was a political slogan for one of our candidates this past election stating, “I’m with her.” Well, I am not with her and I am not with the other guy either.

I am only with Him.

The one above that guides all. The truth behind everything.

Faith is a muscle and like any other muscle, it must be exercised to grow. I won’t lie and say my faith hadn’t been tested in those weeks. I hadn’t been strong. Rather, I had been weak. I had been a wreck.

In spite of this, I do believe there is meaning in this. My son will be used to impact many lives in a far greater capacity than my little pea-brain mind can imagine. None of this is random; it all has meaning. It is a choice for each of us to decide how we view things and how we respond.

I know my choice.

#TEAMVANNY

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