You Might Say Coincidence, Serendipity; I Would Say God

We each have times of our life that can seem as if the stress of a situation is unbearable. Surely you’ve had one? In particular, when the unbearable brings to light a miracle, You Might Say Coincidence, Serendipity; I Would Say, God

For me, one time was when my dad fell at age 92 and broke his femur bone. How in the world can you be blessed to be that old, never breaking a bone, and then breaking the strongest bone in your body?

Intuitively, his fall for me seemed to be a prediction of things to come. I found comfort and strength through my daily prayer and meditation more than anything else. In this post I share some of the Bible verses that helped me through this anxious time.


You Might Say Coincidence, Serendipity; I Would Say God

I was speaking with my two sisters almost daily about dad’s progress. We all felt an upcoming planned trip would be safe for me to take.

My husband and I checked into our hotel room in Austin, Texas. Every year for many years, we attend the Formula 1 races. Formula_One_Austin_Texas_You_Might_Say_Coincidence,_Serendipity;_I_Would_Say_God

Just an aside: as anyone struggles with pre-existing conditions in ourselves or our family, there’s some peace of mind with travel insurance.

After struggling in rehabilitation for two months, dad had complications. My youngest sister, father’s health care proxy, and the facility agreed to move him back to the hospital for the care he needed. But when dad took a turn for the worst, the doctors told my sister to gather the family around because dad would have just hours to live.

She called my husband feeling he would best know when and how to communicate the news with me. No matter, when or how you get this kind of update on a loved one, it can be a shock. It was stupefying. I was sobbing. He helped me talk through what to do to go back east.

I would say God

The fact that the hotel was sympathetic, and did not charge us for leaving early from a five-day reservation is a blessing. Airlines, well, you know how detached they can be from life events like this.

As I stood in the hallway with the lead doctor and my sister, I realized in the story he was telling, was a kind of shock therapy. He was storytelling from experiences with other similar patients, what would likely happen.

Dad did not have a DNR. No. It was at about age 88 when activating his health care directive that he said, put in place all life-sustaining treatment. My sister did so.

Incongruity can cause dissension

Not realizing my reaction and conversation with the doctor, as my sister stood by, was interpreted that I agreed with the physician. My sister needed to put the DNR in place. To this day I’m not sure if it was my body language or my words. What I know is she told me my word was worthless about supporting her, and she never wanted to see me again.


For two months, and up to the day of the funeral, she didn’t speak with me. She would text and call my husband to update him as to dad’s status. When dad did pass, rest his soul, it was my other sister who called me directly at 2:00 am.

Because you may have read about my mantra this year, [blog link] you know it is, Surrender. And yield to the rejection I did. It wasn’t easy in particular at the funeral service, and then the 21 gun salute at the Veteran’s Cemetery. It’s just that, I’m a quick learner and the previous two years with the situation after situation were teaching me, God has it all worked out already.


Time can be short or long

On our last day being in town for the services, my husband, son and I stopped at the funeral home. I had to pick up the case for the American flag given to me, being the oldest sibling. As I was waiting in the hallway for the director to bring it from his office, my youngest sister was walking in.

I must be denser than lead as I smiled, saying, “Oh hi! The director is …” and she walked by me, purposefully turning her head to the side without a remote glance forward to look at me.

“Leave it alone,” says this voice in my head. I decide to head to the ladies restroom.

When I come out, looking over to the parking lot, I see her getting in her car. The director finds me, and we chat about the beauty of the service, and flag case, and I head to the car.

Unbelievably, there is my sister! She is smiling and talking with my husband and son. The still voice in my head says, “Smile, just smile.” Dutiful to this voice, I slow to walk up to join the three of them and just listen. Suddenly my sister turns her face to me, smiles and says, “It was beautiful, wasn’t it? I mean wasn’t the service lovely?”

“Absolutely,” comes out of my mouth, also with a smile.


Remind me again

I really couldn’t tell you what the four of us were talking about for about 30 minutes after that. It was surreal. First, in being as if we never stopped talking with each other. Second, in that, I just don’t recall the conversation.

As we each hug on parting, she goes to her car. My husband, son and I get in ours. We buckle up for the ride to take my son to the airport for his flight.

Then I burst out with, “What the heck just happened here?”

My son guides most of the conversation. He starts with, “Mom, did you notice the leaf she was twirling in her right-hand fingers most of the time?” Yes, I did.

He exclaims that she was hightailing it out of the parking lot in her car when a strong wind blew up every leaf imaginable. He and my husband saw her stop, pause then back up and get into another parking space.

Then after about 2 minutes, she was getting out of her car and walking over to them. He handed her the leaf that he caught in the wind gust.

The conversation was starting. “Mom, it was one of those God things you always talk about.” This kind of happening is always amazing to me.

Coincidentally we both heard that voice

Once we dropped my son off and said our goodbyes, my husband and I head for the highway. In my excitement, I call my other sister.

Almost as soon as she says “hello,” with a smile in her voice she exclaims, “I heard all about it!”

Taking me off guard for a moment I thought, is this another God thing? But instead, I ask, “How did you know?” It turns out her ex-husband told her, but she still wants to hear from me.

As I replay the experience, she laughs and says, indeed it is God. What she knows is my youngest sister, when she paused leaving the parking lots, she hears a voice of her own, God’s voice, telling her, “Time to let this go.”

She takes this to her heart, and you know most of the rest of the story of the almost 30 minutes of standing in a funeral home parking lot to talk and talk and talk. There are six months behind us now, of regular contact between we three sisters. And plenty of lessons learned for me.

You Might Say Coincidence, Serendipity; I Would Say God

What kind of experience have you had where you might claim it was Coincidence, Serendipity; or God?

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  1. <3 = Beautiful! Pat, you are a great example of decorum, class and sass. Family dynamics, sibling dynamics and grief are a crazy combination, yet you kept it together in the midst of conflict and are a great example to others who will follow in similar situations, as it DOES happen! – I say God too!

  2. You ask what kind of experience we have had that we might claim to be coincidence, serendipity or God? I have had many throughout my life. Too many, in fact, to be able to remember them all or count them. And, I just added another!

    I am going through a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking split from a man I think I loved with all of my heart. And I never say something is a coincidence or serendipity – I always believe it is God’s whispers. I have been told by many people that I am serendipitous in that I find things, or things find me, by accident and sometimes when I am looking for the exact opposite thing. Anyway, I was doing a google search on serendipity in the Bible for references but your link caught my eye. I have read this article twice now, tears dripping down my cheeks, because I have been in a situation like you described and it hurts. So the tears started running as I understood your pain and confusion and then I hit your first Bible reference – Psalm 34:18. That’s when the dam broke and the bawling began. I continued reading your article after a minute and truly empathized with you and hoped that at the end of the article, you and your sister would make up. Then I hit your second Bible reference – 2 Timothy1:17 and that crushing, crushing, crushing feeling that I have been feeling dealing with what I am going through seemed to break as I bawled like a baby.

    I am very grateful that you wrote this article. And grateful that you and your sister made up. I couldn’t express my thoughts on how you handled yourself better than Moe above…but I thank you very much. Blessings to you for your courage to share.

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