Do you ever wonder what would have happened if not for that one encounter? Where your life would be if you’d taken the bus instead of your normal tube to work; bought your lunch in Tesco not Sainsbury’s?
For me it was a coffee shop in London. If I’d gone to cafe Nero I wouldn’t be writing this. But I didn’t. I was in Pret.
A lady struck up a conversation with me. I felt a little nervous at first as in my true british-stiff-upper-lip way I just wanted to present myself as unbreakable and then run away and hide! No way was I going to admit I was unemployed due to mental health, or that I felt completely lost in life.
But she persevered, invited me to a church group (admittedly not really my thing but I went) and 2 years later we’re still in touch.
A few weeks ago she asked me if I’d like to join a Thursday evening ‘Zoom’ discussion. I was wary given the religious element I was expected but instead of a lecture it was a short bible passage followed by a general discussion about how we could related to the thoughts/feelings/concepts within.
The whole experience really stuck with me and it got me thinking about the other random encounters that have changed my life.
There’s the girl who I was introduced to as a pen pal when I was about 5 and still haven’t met but recently sent me a beautiful Bible and has been helping me with love, support and guidance.
Then there’s the guy who helped me when I collapsed outside the doctor’s surgery, and the woman down the street who gave me the ‘stories’ book that I blogged about not long ago which gave me so much comfort and reassurance. People writing honestly l about their hardships and how they overcame their struggles.
What if a housemate-to-be hadn’t failed his exams and dropped out of uni in my 3rd year, only to be replaced by a girl who rapidly became and still is one of my best friend?
Oh and last but not least there’s the guy who texted me out of the blue, thinking he was texting his friend Laura. Now, whether or not we do know each other and he’s gotten the two Lauras mixed up (me being one of them), or whether this other Laura gave him the wrong number and it’s a total coincidence… I have no idea. But his contact has helped me, and I think and hope my texting him has helped him.
The list just goes on and on the more I think about it. But I think I’ve made my point
I am really coming around to the idea that this is all happening for a reason. Call it fate or faith or God or whatever… I’ve had a few sliding doors moments recently and I do believe it’s in someone’s plan for me.
And I never thought I’d say that.