In deciding to join them, I ran into a mental wall. Hmmm. What would be an apt word for me, for my hopes, my challenges, my growth?
The ladies suggested I let the word just come to me rather than trying to sort it out myself.
So I did.
And guess what? A word came to me in all its gloriousness. That word is serendipity.
Why? Because during the past year in which both of my daughters were married with all the planning that entailed, plus the enjoyment of a month long European vacation, with all the planning that, too, entailed, plus the actual carrying out of these weddings and the joyous living of the trip, I discovered a phenomenon only slightly experienced until now: serendipity.
|The Mediterranean and Me - At Last|
See, planning weddings and trips have one thing in common, they will not be entirely controlled. Many aspects are out of our hands, left to others such as florists, bakers, churches, attendants, salons, photographers, Airbnb hosts, airline schedules, rental cars, cab drivers, Venice water busses, and the Eiffel Tower. People don't have the same priorities we do, much of the time. People move at difference speeds than we do. People don't understand the vision we try to convey. Snags and hitches occur outside the control of all of us, leaving delays, inferior services and products, frustrations, the need to search elsewhere, increased security checks (so many security checks!) and the definite requirement of patience. Lots of patience.
Once the realization sunk in that I could control only my own role, my own self, once I fully grasped the truth that others would, indeed, let me down, that things would go wrong, that delays were inevitable, and that I did not have enough fingers to stick into all the leaky holes in the dam, then, and only then, did I decide to quit flailing around and, instead, embrace serendipity. Again, why? Because once I gave up and let things go the way they'd go, I discovered that often things went better than I imagined. New ideas surfaced. New places appeared. New people entered the picture. Beauty arose, noticed.
Once I took care of what I could do, and left the rest to God, I found that He revealed to me His wise, intelligent, guiding hand in absolutely everything. He took gentle care of me. He guided me through fearful situations. He fed me, literally, when I was hungry. He provided water when I was thirsty. He provided kind faces when I was anxious. He introduced me to the immense joy of a Venetian water taxi merrily speeding my weary family and me along the Grand Canal when my exhausted legs and feet could tread no more. He showed me wonders I never knew existed. My curiosity grew and I saw things that before I would miss as I was struggling with all those fingers in the dam. God allowed others to help me, but more importantly, He gave me the grace to let them.
Soon, I was awakening each morning with the question, "I wonder what serendipity God will provide today? Maybe nothing. But, oh! maybe something!" More and more the days held something.
2018 now has a word for me: serendipity.