Hello and happy Sunday funday and also St. Patrick’s Day. [Blogged while recovering from a flooded basement, a close call with a chemical fire and an icy fall that was broken by my skull.]
As part of wedding planning, I’m shopping around for a church. As one does. And last weekend I tried a new one. It had floor-to-ceiling windows that let in beams of natural light, a shiny marble stage (but also more like a runway — not sad about it), and circular seating so there wasn’t a formal front or back. It had a fresh, inclusive feel that I liked. The churches I’m used to are…a bit stuffy. You know what I mean. And if you don’t, go to a fucking church once in a while. I used that morning’s mass to observe the crowd, get a feel for the vibe and scope out a potential ceremony space.
There was a woman named Dorothy sitting next to me. (I know this because she introduced herself, but also everyone was wearing name tags.) Dorothy and I bonded over my essential oil hand sanitizer and our distaste for germs, and then we started talking about why I was there. She eventually introduced me to a woman sitting behind us. Lori. Laurie? (She wasn’t wearing a name tag.) Anyway, Lori* was very sweet and bubbly. Upon learning I was getting married, she proceeded to (yes, really) jump around in a circle. Then she said she had something for me… She pulled out a tiny four-leaf clover encased in a small plastic sleeve from her purse and handed it to me. She said she was good at finding four-leaf clovers and that I should put it in my wedding book. I was both delighted and confused.
Delighted because I just met two really kind women who made me feel welcomed. And confused because, well. See above. After saying goodbye, I left feeling…energized? Inspired? Validated? Maybe equal parts all three? In a world of stranger danger, it’s refreshing whenever I make a connection with people I don’t know. Even a connection as small as that. And then I checked in with my feeling of validation. Was this really pleasant interaction and this lucky four-leaf clover a sign that this was my new church?
I’ve gotten good at letting moments of validation guide my decisions. If you let yourself believe something is meant to be a certain way, life gets a little lighter.
I visualize life as one of those paper chain link streamers you make in fourth grade. Each link as a moment, memory or connection that continues to build out your chain. And when you’re deciding which color paper to use next, it can be stressful because you have the entire rainbow to choose from. But if your neighbor offers you blue, well maybe the next few chains are meant to be blue.
Let yourself be open to finding validation in small moments where you least expect them. You might just get lucky.