My son moved to California probably about ten years ago, not knowing a soul. Through the years he's developed several friendships that have held true. Recently when I went out there to visit him, he arranged a get together with a couple and their daughter at a local Newport restaurant. We had a great time together and made an instant connection. Teri and I seemed to hit it off right away. She and her husband mentioned they'd be coming to the East coast, so I invited her to come out early to Emerald Isle. FInding out she'd fly into Raleigh, she said, "Hey, I have an old high school friend who lives there that I haven't seen in 14 years. That would be great, I'll visit her too." I said, "Come on!"
As it turns out, Teri brought Barb down to Emerald Isle with her. Barb's young husband has recently been diagnosed with ALS and I can only imagine what is going through her mind as she contemplates the task before her. How well I know her fears, her sadness, her questions, her doubts, her strength to stay positive. She is 49. I was 46.
Now, some may wonder why these three strangers have come together. None of us really knew why, but we just followed our instincts. It didn't take long before we realized that we were all believers in Christ. We shared our testimonies, our life struggles, danced a bit, ate a lot, and laughed. We wondered which would be worse… losing your body and not your mind…or losing your mind and not your body? Both are unimaginable, but this is, and will be, our journey. Our meeting was divinely orchestrated and we knew it.
One morning, I received an email from Jerry's previous nurse practitioner from Duke, Candace. Jerry and I truly love her and "broke the rules" by becoming pretty attached to her. She is a gift to the medical profession. Anyway, I had not had contact with Candace in over a year. That’s 365 days. What were the chances that she would email me on the day that Barb was here?
The next day, while we were all sitting on the beach, I asked Barb who her doctors were and where they would be going through their journey with ALS. She mentioned Duke. I couldn't help but tell her how much I loved the Duke staff and how they were a "Godsend" to me. Then, I mentioned Candace. Barb, stopped me in the middle of my sentence and said, "Candace?" It was like a bucket of blessings were poured over us. Candace will be taking care of them.
Who could have predicted all that? Who could have orchestrated that this beautiful young girl, just entering the journey of her lifetime, would come to my home? She came to the home of someone who has walked a similar journey for 13 years before her. Who could have used a feisty young man, 3000 miles away in California, who would make a particular friend out of millions of people, Teri, unknowingly arrange a get acquainted dinner that would eventually help a young girl entering this journey and who’s doctor was the same as ours? (I think that was a run-on sentence.)
Where’s the statistician? I’m just sayin’.
“And My God will meet all your needs/according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19