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As a child of missionary parents, I grew up absolutely knowing that nothing was a coincidence. If we were in a hurry to leave the house and something prevented us from leaving on time, one of my parents always commented about how that little event could have saved us from a tragedy down the road. The same thing was said about flight delays and petrol shortages and vacation cancellations and flat tires and any number of disappointments or inconveniences.

Some part of me scoffed loudly, annoyed at the seemingly ignorant and misguided blaming of Divinity for poor preparation or stupid people. And yet, another part of me greatly enjoyed the anticipation of and uncertainty of possibility…of evidence of a larger unseen force…of magic.

Both sides of me wished I could have experienced both paths just to see and know what actually happened…to prove or disprove one or the other of my voices so that I could proceed through life in peace.

This desire only magnified as I got older and my decisions become more significant. For example, I knew, at the age of 14, that my life would be dramatically altered by the high school I chose to attend. No matter what, I would be different based on whether I went to a school in Africa or if I returned to the United States. Such a dramatic choice made the pressure of the decision rather intense. Similarly, when graduating from high school, I had the option to go to colleges around the world. Choosing between England, Germany, Australia, and the United States was difficult enough, and then within the United States I had several options as well…although having never visited some of the campuses, I had no idea how to know if I would like one over the other. Again, I wished I could travel down each path and explore it before choosing.

Even after I did choose, I never felt fully comfortable with my choice. I always wondered what if I made the wrong choice? Is it too late to fix it? Did I miss my chance to meet who I was supposed to meet? What if I ignored all the signs and really messed up my life?

These same questions have become my constant companions throughout this month of July. Even though doors have miraculously opened with alarming speed and synchronicities, I still find myself doubting that I’m doing the right thing. Even more challenging, I find myself looking back on all these pivotal decisions in my life, wondering yet again if I made the right choices…or if I simply ignored the opportunities presented to me.

And there were opportunities…opportunities to do exactly what I am now doing. I’ve considered this career path for almost 15 years. In those 15 years, there were at least three different times when I could have chosen this path and I didn’t. To be fair, there were many other considerations in those same moments that I didn’t pursue either. And yet, here I am…finally saying yes! to this thing that has haunted me for 15 years. But why? Why not then and why now?

So I did what I always do when I need answers…I went for a walk in nature.

As I walked, I asked Divinity and my Guides all of these questions…did I mess up? did I ignore opportunities foolishly? could I have spared myself some significant hardship had I chosen a different path? why this now and not then?

And, in the midst of all the turmoil and frustration and doubt and confusion, an entirely different perspective came to me…a blessing. This perspective began by showing me that my particular personality is one that needs some time to consider something before I choose it. And choosing is vitally important to me. The more someone tries to force or manipulate me to do something, the stronger I resist. My co-operation only happens by me choosing the same thing another chooses…in my own time, after all my questions have been heard and answered. I’m deeply grateful that my mother has always had such patience for my needs in this area.

Additionally, They showed me that whenever change happened in my life I knew about it ahead of time. Not everyone I know had that opportunity. One friend’s family was evacuated out of Rwanda overnight due to the civil war. He never saw his Rwandan friends or his home again. I never had to experience that kind of change. I always had at least a month to get used to the idea of something happening…usually I had three to six months. How I used that time is a different story altogether…an admonishment that came through with this understanding. And, despite the pain I have felt in such dramatic moments of change in my life, I could, for the first time, express gratitude at the love and support from my Guides and Divinity in accommodating my needs.

Then They showed me that because I needed so much time to get used to the idea of a big change, certain situations had been placed in my life at specific times in order to get my attention. These “missed” opportunities or “wrong” choices were, instead, a priming…little hints and suggestions for consideration in order for me to fearlessly say yes! when the true moment arrived.

As this perspective settled into my body, I felt so much emotion…relief, relaxation, understanding, humility, gratitude, comfort, overwhelm, softening, and lots of tears. Maybe I made mistakes…maybe I didn’t. Maybe I did choose the right thing, and maybe wondering about parallel lives isn’t that important. Because maybe, just like in Sliding Doors, the important points still merge no matter which path I take. Maybe, all I have to do is continue to trust my heart and its guidance…knowing that I have a magnificent partner in the Universe preparing me to say yes! when it really matters.