June 15, 2015

Misfortune & Serendipity

"Two Dices" by Charles Rondeau
Two months ago, my family and I went to a buffet restaurant. My toddler coughed so hard that he vomited. We paid all this money and we couldn't take home what was left on our plates! The servers gave us small clean up kits that didn't even begin to clean up the mess. We left in a rush and huff. The restaurant gave us two meal tickets, but how could that make up for our children begging to finish their dinner?

The next week, my husband and I went on a date to that same buffet with the free meal tickets. I ran into an old roommate that I haven't heard from in nine years there. I smiled because I had tried to contact her that entire time, but had outdated contact information. She was at the restaurant because she had run out of gas and her dad had picked her up. Our misfortunes led to our serendipitous meeting.

We visited last week and she helped me gain some perspective for my life: We are all beautiful in our own way. What we look like is not our true beauty. The world has set patterns of beauty, especially for women. I don't fit the ideal like I used to, but she reminded of the beauty I have. I have red hair that so many people dye for. I am a caring and talented person. But I still want to lose weight!!! I also am learning I don't need to compare myself with others. I especially can't compare myself to the media's portrayal of a flat stomach, large chest, and wide hips. How many pictures are photo-shopped? Or how much surgery did someone get for that body? We live in reality with imperfections. So my friend reminded me of my own worth.

God works in mysterious ways to bring people together (or apart). Several times I have been annoyed at my misfortune or bad timing, but the misfortunes turn out for my benefit. I meet friends or strangers who I need to talk to. (Or I miss seeing toxic people at the store.) Misfortunes have been serendipitous in bigger ways in my life. For example, I had wanted to go to BYU when I was in high school, but I ended up going to a junior college first. The timing was perfect to go to BYU as a transfer student when I roomed with my future husband's sister.

So when I'm frustrated at my misfortunes, I try to remember that it could be God intervening for my benefit.

Has misfortune led to serendipitous (lucky) situations for you?