the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this
Serendipity is one of my favorite words, and has been since long before the movie starring John Cusack was filmed. Since the ’70s, in fact, when I learned it at a meeting of my ecumenical youth group in high school (thanks to Dave, Randy, Bill and Chuck, the college guys who led the group).
There have been many instances of serendipity in my life and I am always happy to share stories of these moments and experiences because their impact has, invariably, been important. The hunger challenge, completed on Easter Sunday, was one such experience. The impacts on my life have been documented in this blog, and I won’t bore you with a lengthy recap. But hang on to that idea of serendipity for a moment, while I make a slight detour.
Yesterday, I met with the staff of Horizons and Meals on Wheels in order to deliver the donation collected from the hunger challenge sponsors. If you check out the Horizons website http://www.horizonsfamily.org/news_details.asp?News_Id=105 you’ll see an article and photo documenting the event. I was THRILLED to be delivering $1,756.00 to Meals on Wheels. Many people have asked what my original goal was for the donation, and I honestly answered that I hoped for $800 and thought if we hit $1000 that would be pretty cool. The only thing missing from the true pleasure of handing over the funds yesterday was that I was alone when making the delivery — I would have loved for the sponsors to be there, representing the unified effort it took to reach and exceed our goals!
As I left Horizons, I was a little emotional. The entire hunger challenge experience was so much more life-changing for me than I could have envisioned when I had the original idea to do it. Easter was a bittersweet day: I wasn’t sure I was ready for that leg of my life journey to come to a close. But in recent weeks, as the checks came in and so many friends (old and new) celebrated the journey with me, my perspsective began to shift.
And here’s the serendipitous part: I had a lot of expectations for the 18-week challenge, but personal happiness wasn’t one of them. I don’t mean that I didn’t expect to feel good at the completion of the challenge. I mean, I didn’t expect to feel deeply happy and at peace in my heart. I didn’t realize that I was opening the door to a truce with my past, yet this truce and the healing it has brought have substantially changed my outlook.
As I continue my personal journey, I am more ready than ever to make progress toward becoming the person I want to be, and creating the life I want to live. And I am able to be deeply grateful for the ongoing effects of the challenge, rather than sad that it has come to a close. Who knows what the future holds? I feel certain, though, that further experiences of serendipity lie ahead!