A few weeks ago my wife and I made a road trip up to Peoria for an Alzheimer’s event. We left in the afternoon, got there just before the event started and came back that same evening. It probably seems like a bit of a distance to drive for an Alzheimer’s event I know, but it was their guest speaker we went to see, Teepa Snow. My father-in-law has Alzheimer’s and in my typical fashion, I spend a lot of time researching it, discussing it with people, and learning as much as I can about the disease. So I follow a group on Facebook that deals with the disease. It was started by the author of “While I Still Can” who had early on-set Alzheimers and wrote a book about the experience.
This is how I found Teepa Snow. Someone posted a video and I watched it, but then began to research her and that’s when I found the event that was happening two weeks later in Peoria, which is the closest she would get to St. Louis. We reserved our spot so we could go see her. She mainly talks about the caregiving side of the disease with a little medical to explain. It ended up being a perfect event for my wife and she gained quite a bit of insight. Plus she walked away with a better understanding of what is happening with her dad. As Teepa said “It isn’t about memory, it’s about organ failure. You wouldn’t look at someone with lung disease and tell them to breathe better, so why do we expect someone with a brain disease to think better”.
I believe finding Teepa Snow at the time that I did is a God thing. It was perfect in helping my wife, as her dad is slipping into a new stage of the disease. It was perfect timing so we could go see Teepa live, and because what Teepa said helped my wife. It’s a God thing, and while others might call it coincidence I have too much proof in my own life to just mark it off as coincidence.
“I know the plans I have for you” it says in Jeremiah and I can tell you that my life is full of God’s guidance to bring me to where I am today. So many moments that there had to be a guiding hand involved to help me along. His hands placing the people in my life at the right time, helping me be aware of poor behaviors, opening opportunities for me, and so on. He gifted me with talents that helped me prosper, then took those talents and put them to use to help others.
He has provided lessons all along throughout my life. Ones to open my heart, to bless me with a different kind of sight that sees all the caring in the world, and lessons to open my soul to understanding what it means to truly touch another’s life. All of those experiences and helping hands I have received are more then just coincidence. It is guidance from someone that loves me.
We had an Astro van that we took on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, and on the day before we left to come home, the speedometer quit working. Then as we journeyed home it began to have more odd behaviors, but still drove. We stopped for the night in Clarksville, TN, got up the next morning drove on, stopped at Rend Lake to swim and then on home. The next morning, I went out to start the van and it wouldn’t start. The fuel injection system had went out and took the computer with it. My family wasn’t left stranded somewhere, we were able to get home where I could take the time to replace the parts needed. How can someone say that was just coincidence and not a God thing?
My children have heard me retell the various stories of my life and the influence of a higher power that was there. I just can’t accept coincidence for so many occasions in my life. I learned at an early age to just have faith and follow where I am lead. From my personal experience, hearing God isn’t a voice but a push, an inspiration, an article or show placed at the right time for you to see, and so on. It is about just allowing yourself to be open to seeing it and well, sometimes realizing it only in hindsight.
It is interesting sometimes to look back over your life, and look for those moments that God had an influence. Even more interesting is to look back and realize that something you may have thought was negative, actually had a positive effect because it really was a God thing.
Just remember sometimes those things we pass off as coincidence could very well be a God thing.