Have you ever run into someone you were just thinking about? Whenever that happens, it unhinges me. It’s the strangest sensation – a split-second rush of shock and awe. Don’t laugh – but whenever it happens, I tend to wonder…

Did I do that? Did I just pluck this person out of my imagination and place him here for realz? Did I attract that person to me – in the flesh – while I was holding her in my heart? 

I believe thoughts create things. I believe there are no coincidences. I believe everything happens for a reason, that we are always given exactly what and whom we really, really need in any moment. So, when I have one of these not-so-chance encounters, my head spins a little. I’m reminded of all the unseen forces at play, pulling us all together.

You can imagine, then, why I could hardly catch my breath on Monday. I had not one, not two, not three of those out-of-the-blue run-ins but – FOUR of them. Enough to make a girl woozy.

One brush with serendipity was with a magazine editor, Melissa, whom I’d been meaning to email for days; I’d literally had her name written down on a to-do list all week. On Sunday night, I’d posted on Facebook that I’d be appearing on a  local TV show the next day. Guess who left a comment saying SHE was scheduled to appear on the same show?? Yep.

So, when I got backstage on Monday, I walked into the green room fully expecting Melissa to be sitting there. But the first person I saw was not Melissa – it was Andrea, a former colleague I hadn’t seen in probably five years.

{Cue head spinning}

Her four-year-old daughter was going to be modeling some kids’ clothes on the show, so they were sitting backstage. We were both so surprised: what an odd place to reconnect! And while I hadn’t been thinking specifically about Andrea lately, she shared some work-related info with me that was so helpful and perfectly timed. It was like God had just planted her there, in the most random of places, to mention some projects and people I needed to know about.

Melissa was there, too – and we had a chance to catch up. 🙂 But not before I realized yet another person I knew was on the same show.

{Please start playing the Twilight Zone theme song in your head for full effect here}

When I was taken into the studio, the hosts were wrapping up a cooking segment with BT, a local radio personality I met several months ago and had just been thinking about days before. My heart skipped a beat as those questions – did I do that? – started swirling ’round my head. When he popped into my head last weekend, I was driving and daydreaming about our chat at a mutual friend’s party. I remember thinking to myself, that’s weird – wonder why he just came to mind.” And then BAM! – there he was, a couple of days later. We shared some laughs after the show . But, ahem, I didn’t inform him I’d just been thinking about him {that would have been a little creepy, no?}.

All these seemingly coincidental but mind-boggling run-ins happened mere hours after another crazy-cool encounter. I ran into a former co-worker, Marsh, who’d been on my mind so much lately. He lost his wife, Vicki – so suddenly and unexpectedly – days after my dad died. I hadn’t had the energy at the time to reach out to him, but thought of him many times over the holidays – his family’s first Hanukkah and New Year’s without Vicki. On Monday, I ran into him in a waiting room, sitting right by the door as I left an appointment. At a place where I didn’t even wear makeup – that’s how sure I was that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew there. I think he was equally stunned by the synchronicity of seeing each other there. I felt so grateful to have a chance to give him a hug. And I just knew Vicki and my dad were right there with us, probably giving each other high fives for orchestrating it seamlessly.

I suppose I could just chalk it all up to coincidence. Tell the story of my day of “chance” run-ins and be done with it. But I’m easily dazzled by a single bolt of serendipity – so, when FOUR appear within a matter of hours, I sit up and take notice. I see magic in it. I feel comforted by the ways we’re all connected by invisible string, pulled to each other at just the right moments – in thought, in heart, in a waiting room.

What if every coincidence is actually a nudge, a sign, a gentle hand offering evidence that we’re not alone? What if dumb luck is actually a brilliant plan? What if you’re reading this not by chance, but because something or someone led you to it? What if serendipity keeps showing up in your life, just waiting for you to notice?