I've been reading When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence and whole-heartedly recommend it. (Not being paid for the opinion, wish I was...) It is all about how God uses circumstances in our lives to point us in the right direction. Often times, those who don't share my faith will call these events coincidence. The stories in the book are very compelling, so I wanted to tell one of my own.
Before the end of the last school year, I was struggling with a decision. Earlier that year, my younger sister has asked our parents to raise her two sons for an unspecified amount of time, "while she got herself together". She said she had an addiction to prescription pain medicine. My parents had raised her sons previously when she had struggled with an addiction with illegal drugs. So my parents had taken in her sons again. But both had full-time jobs, and as summer approached, what they would do with the boys for the summer was a problem.
They were thinking of putting them in the local YMCA's summer program but the boys had both been bullied there. "They can come stay with us," I had said. "I'm home with the girls anyhow, so it's no big deal."
But my parents worried that it was too big for a "burden" for us. And, deep down, I wondered if I could really handle 4 kids. Plus, our guest room only had a full-sized bed.
So, one Friday morning, after the Engineer left for work, dropping Hedgehog off at school on his way, I got Monkey and I ready to go garage-saling. In my bathroom that morning, I prayed. I told God about how uncertain I was, and wondered if I was getting in over my head. I told Him I would really love some bunk beds, preferably twin over full, to use the mattress I already had. And I distinctly remember telling Him that the bed was a want, not a need, but it sure would be nice.
So Monkey and I set out. We went to several disappointing garage sales before time for my annual eye exam. Once I was finally done with the eye doctor, it was nearly lunch time. I almost decided to go on home. I figured all the good stuff would be sold from the remaining sales, but decided to go to one more sale.
As soon as I walked into the barn of the last sale, I saw them. Wooden twin over full bunk beds, standing in the corner. I saw a piece of paper on them, and sighed, assuming they were already sold, but looked 'just in case". The paper was the price, which was in our price range! I bought them immediately.
Doubters will say that it was coincidence that the DAY I prayed specifically about twin over full bunk beds I "happened" to find them at a late garage sale in our price range. But I believe that it was God telling me that taking the boys in for the summer was the right thing to do. And that He would provide the strength and patience, just like He had provided the bed.