I Don’t Believe In Coincidences, I Believe In Jesus

by Yvonne Chase on September 9, 2020

Earlier today while walking to the subway, I joyfully said hello, how you doing…have a good day to a white man in my path. He turned abruptly and said hello…to which I replied, hopefully, I didn’t startle you, and he said, “No, I’m in my thoughts.” I’m still walking to the subway when I said, good thoughts I hope to which he replied, “No…bad thoughts.” Really, I said. What are these bad thoughts? What happened next…I can’t even find words. Keep reading…

“I think it’s providence that you said hello to me today.” Why I asked. Well, he said, you’re a black woman and I’m a white man. I’m having bad thoughts about my partner who is a black man. We broke up because he felt I was talking down to him as a white man. Did you say anything racist, I asked?  “No, of course not,” he replied. “You know how it is when you have a disagreement with someone…sometimes you raise your voice and say things you don’t mean.”

Oh yes, I know all about it. He went on to tell me his partner broke his trust last summer and he forgave him, however, he recently found out he’s doing the same things again and that is why they broke up. Tell me your definition of forgiveness, I said. What does it mean to forgive? He looked flummoxed and unsure of how to answer the question.

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I said to him, let me turn a lightbulb on for you. Forgiveness does not mean automatically letting the people back into your life who hurt you. Forgiveness is for you, not him. It’s about letting it go and not seeking revenge on him for the things he’s done to you. Forgiveness keeps your heart open and free. It doesn’t mean reconciliation or relationship. If he wants to have a relationship with you, he needs to be repentant. He needs to be sorry for what he did. He needs to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about his wrongdoing.

Biblically, repent means to turn away from…go in a new direction…change course. Make a radical turn from one way of life to another. He needs to stop doing the things that hurt you. Has he done that? No, he replied and then said, “Wow! I didn’t know any of this! Don’t feel bad, I said. You belong to a large majority of people who were never taught the truth about forgiveness. Like me, and countless others, you have fallen into the forgiveness trap which says, if you’ve really forgiven me, you would allow me back into your life even though I haven’t changed and even if I continue to do the things that hurt you.

As he continued to share about his relationship, I asked him to ask himself some hard questions: Why am I in a relationship with someone who disrespects and dishonors me? Why am I putting my life in danger? I asked him what happened to him. Why don’t you like yourself? Why are you accepting the unacceptable and settling for crumbs? He said, “Childhood stuff.” We all have childhood stuff, don’t we? Some of it follows us into adulthood until a lightbulb is turned on. A lightbulb was turned on for him today.

“You’re amazing! You’re amazing. You’re so strong. I need to be strong like you” he said and then he asked, “Do you believe in coincidences?” I said, no. I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in Jesus. This is not a coincidence. This is a divine encounter…a divine appointment. I believe he orders my steps in the way that I need to go, and he puts people along my pathway to fulfill his divine plans and purpose for our lives. God created you. He has a great plan for your life and this ain’t it. What you’re involved in is not it at all. I asked him if he’s ever heard about Jesus or read a Bible…I told him he needs to get one or go online to read it because God has some things to say to him.

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He kept saying, “You’re amazing, you’re amazing” to which I replied, you’re amazing too but you don’t know it. If you did, you would not be entangled with this person. If you continue on this path, it will end in destruction and death. P.S. His partner is involved in dangerous behavior.

“He was going to marry me”, he said. My visa expires in two months and then I’ll have to go back home to Paris France. Do you really want to marry him, I asked? That’s not Gods plan for your life. When he mentioned his childhood trauma earlier in the conversation, I told him to get a journal, notebook or piece of paper and write it all out of his system. Instead of marrying him, you need to do that exercise and be prepared to go back to France. God has a better plan for your life. This is your way out.

“Wow! Wow! You’re right he said. Wow! How can I thank you,” he asked? “You’re so amazing” and then he shared wise words from the late Elijah Cummings; “Things don’t happen to you. They happen for you.”  I said to him, wow! I love that. What’s happening in both of our lives is happening for us, not to us. “Yes! It is,” he said and then asked to keep in touch.

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Here’s where the story gets even better. We decided to keep in touch via email, so I sent him an email with my first name. Yvonne is my middle name. If I had used that name, we would not have had the next moment. After reading the email, he flung his head back, walked back and forth a bit all while smiling from ear to ear, and said, “That’s my grandmother’s name.” His eyes welled up. “You have my grandmother’s name.” Is she alive, I asked and he said, “No” and kept smiling while pacing back and forth in awe. I can’t make this stuff up. Our time together ended like this:

Him: Have you been to Paris?

Me: No

Him: (Excitedly) You must come to Paris. You now have a friend in Paris. Please keep in touch.

Me: I would love to come to Paris, and I will keep in touch.

We hugged each other tightly, him, a gay white man, and me, a black heterosexual Christian woman. Meeting Simon today made my whole day. With everything happening in my life right now, he did more for me than I did for him and he doesn’t even know it. God knows what I need, and he constantly supplies. Before I got on the train, I checked my phone and there was an email from Simon that said, “You are the providence. I admire your strength. Today was not a coincidence.” It wasn’t.

Something to think about…

What say you? Do you believe in coincidences?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Yvette September 9, 2020

Oh my gosh. How this story almost brought me to tears. I love how you allowed the Lord to use you in such a loving way all by a simple hello. My God there is a lesson for the saints on so many levels. Wowwwww

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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@Yvette,

And that’s all it was, a simple hello that turned into so much more that I didn’t see coming. God will use us if we let him.
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Michele Morin September 10, 2020

God is amazing and his fingerprints are all over this story!

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Joanne Viola September 10, 2020

Reading this story of your interaction with Simon reminded me of something my youth leader said constantly, “There are no accidents in the Kingdom of God.” May God use this crossing of paths greatly in Simon’s life in the days to come. Blessings!
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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@Joanne,

That’s right, there are no accidents in the Kingdom of God. I believe that with all my heart. And yes, that is my prayer that this encounter with Simon will stay with him forever and that it will lead him on a path of righteousness.
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Bev @ Walking Well With God September 10, 2020

Yvonne,
Wow, what a testimony. No, I don’t believe in coincidence. I truly believe you had a divine appointment ordained by God. God flung the door wide open for you to step through it…and you did! Too often, God presents golden opportunities and fear or being self conscious, etc. hold us back. I have to say that any time I have heeded God’s nudging in situations like these, I’ve never been sorry. God definitely had you in the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing!
Blessings,
Bev xx
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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@Bev,

Yes, that was a divine appointment completely ordained by God because the truth is, I couldn’t wait to get home to put my bags down and eat something. I was tired! So glad I put self aside and let God work through me.
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Lisa notes September 10, 2020

Wow, just wow. I hardly know what to say. Except…God! God was in you so much, that you spilled Him over onto Simon. Thank you for your willingness to engage people in the midst of your own situations. Thank you for writing out this story for us. Thank you for being the you that God created you to be, Yvonne!

Glad you shared this at Do Not Depart for the readers there as well. This story will bless all who read it.

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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@Lisa,

Engaging people is why I wake up in the morning. It’s not a good day for me if I haven’t engaged with another person. People are my ministry. Simon blessed me so much. Since then, we’ve remained in touch as he makes plans to return to Paris.
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Sue September 10, 2020

I love this story and God. And go to Paris as soon as you can!

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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@Sue,

That’s the plan. This pandemic has shown me the brevity of life. Life is short has taken on new meaning. Going as soon as I can. And oh yes, I love God more than life. Jesus is the BEST thing that ever happened to me.
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My Corner of the World September 12, 2020

A fabulous story! I know God is always working, no matter what we call it.
Thanks for linking at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!
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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@My Corner of the World,

That’s right! God is always, always working no matter what we call it. He’s sovereign!
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Natalie Ogbourne September 14, 2020

Thanks for sharing this encouraging story. It’s a great reminder of God’s involvment in our lives.

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Yvonne Chase September 14, 2020

@Natalie,

I love the way you put it; God is always involved in our lives even when we don’t think he is or it seems like he isn’t. That was his reminder to me that day.
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mariel September 14, 2020

God is so faithful and present on you!! I love your heart and your passion for Jesus and yes ma’am, nothing is a chance happening, our God is sovereign! love this reminder!!

glad i found you from crystalstorms.me link up!

<3 mariel
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Wemi Omotosho September 14, 2020

Wow. I loved this so much – it blessed me in so many ways. Amazing how God can use a simple thing such as a friendly hello to turn things around. Your willingness and openness with Simon has also encouraged me – one never knows what God will do! Thank you for sharing this story x

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Laurie September 15, 2020

Wow, Yvonne! Powerful thoughts on forgiveness. You are so right – forgiveness is for you, not the person who is forgiven. Holding on to grudges is toxic. You reaching out to that man was probably the best thing that could have happend to him. So glad God put you in his path that day.
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Yvonne Chase September 16, 2020

@Laurie,

He was the best thing to happen to me that day and yes, holding on to grudges is toxic. Forgive and move along if the bad behavior continues.
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Jerralea September 17, 2020

Wow, this was a divine appointment if I’ve ever heard one! We can change the world by taking the first step to engage.
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