Frank and I were traveling in Botswana over Father’s Day in 2011. Our group stopped in Francistown for shopping and stretching so we decided to find an internet café so we could send our dads an email. As we waited in line at the Western Union to pay, we heard the couple in front of us asking to transfer some money to Denver. On a whim, I exclaimed, “We’re from Denver!” This led to a conversation with Sheunesu and Susan about what they were doing in Colorado. It turns out, Sheunesu was headed to a conference with Youth for Christ, the organization he worked for. We have been longtime supporters of missionaries with YFC, and the conversation continued to narrow the world. We exchanged email addresses and continued on our journey.
A couple months later, Frank picked up Sheunesu from his hotel a few miles away and we chatted over dinner in our backyard. It solidified a friendship of encouragement and gave us the opportunity to support the work of Sheunesu and Susan in Zimbabwe. Even though we haven’t been able to travel back to Africa, and they haven’t been able to visit Colorado, we keep in touch through email and Facebook and I look forward to the day when we can take our kids over to see them.
I was reflecting on the various serendipities in life. When I first had Bea, I knew I wanted to join a Mothers of Preschoolers group. Our church didn’t offer one, so I had been Googling MOPS in the area, just assuming I’d go to the one closest to our house. In the midst of searching, I met a woman at our library’s Book Babies group. She encouraged me to attend her church’s MOPS group, only about 5 minutes from our house. I did and connected with an amazing group of women. Funnily, I didn’t see the woman who invited me until months later. She is the Children’s Pastor at the church, so usually didn’t attend the meetings. A year later, I was in her minivan on a road trip with some other moms to the MOPS annual MomCon in Kansas City. We laughed that neither of us had been to Book Babies since – our conversation must have been divine intervention.
Even when Frank and I met, it was on a snowshoe hike with a group that neither of us had attended before and neither of us went to after that day. We just happened to decide to get up early on a Saturday and were in the right place at the right time.
Serendipity… Divine intervention… Coincidence… Whatever it’s called, I love those random, seemingly chance encounters that shape the course of my life. Thinking back on the incredible friendships I have because I took a small risk has renewed my desire to live life with intentionality and daring. As someone who loves control and planning, I’m learning to trust the unknown moments and embrace the risks.
What are some chances you took that have shaped your life? Is there a random moment that turned out to change your life?