I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.
- Sue Monk Kidd
In the sitcom Seinfeld, George Costanza worried about his “two worlds colliding”—the world of his romantic relationship and the world of his friends. But I’ve seen wonderful things happen when two sides of our lives are brought together by Mysterious Ways.
In the April issue of Guideposts, we announced our 2012 Guideposts Writers Workshop, an opportunity for aspiring authors to submit their true inspirational stories and win a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to Port Orchard, Washington, to learn about storytelling from our editorial staff and bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
Until this year, we always hosted the week in Rye, New York, at Wainwright House, a gorgeous prewar mansion overlooking the Long Island Sound:
I enjoyed my visits there. It was a great opportunity to meet some of our most passionate Guideposts readers and bond with my coworkers. We took jogs up to Rye Playland, hiked through the nearby marshlands, joked about how some of the more old-fashioned rooms seemed to be pulled from scenes in a Hardy Boys mystery novel:
This year, while my “work world” has been busy planning the workshop, in my “relationship world” I’ve been busy planning my own event—my wedding.
At first, wedding planning was a breeze. Venue, check: a beautiful synagogue where my bride-to-be's grandparents had been founding members, attached to a catering hall. Music, check: a top-rated wedding band that had been a big hit at a family friend’s event. We looked at one venue, two bands, before making our decisions. Easy.
But a few months before our wedding, we hit a snag. The wedding photographer. My fiancée and I both wanted the snapshots of our special day to be beautiful, and different from the carefully posed shots that our parents had in their wedding albums. We wanted photos that would catch the fun of our wedding, the action, the excitement.
We met with one photographer. Then another. Then a few more. Soon, it felt as if we’d visited every guy with a camera in the tristate area. I could recite their basic pitch from memory: “Well, our package includes six hours of coverage on your wedding day, a leather-bound full-size album for the bride and groom, two parents albums ... blah blah blah.” The ones we liked the best were over our budget; the others didn’t show us the kind of photos we wanted.
We were frustrated and stressed. My fiancée especially. She did not appreciate my jokes about hiring a caricature artist instead.
Finally, we met with one photographer who impressed us. He was a photojournalist who had shot, among other luminaries, President Obama and President Bush. His prices were reasonable and his pictures looked great, but one thing held us back. We didn’t know anyone who had used him for their wedding.
“Could you send us pictures of a recent Jewish wedding you photographed?” we asked. “Can you put us in touch with the couple?”
A few days later, after checking with the couple, the photographer followed through. He sent us the pictures. They were beautiful; lively, in-the-moment. He perfectly captured the fun of the event—from the glass breaking under the chuppah to the hora and beyond.
But it was something more that convinced me he was the photographer destined for us.
I recognized the venue: Wainwright House.
What were the odds? To me, it was a little message. We could be sure this photographer would take good care of a Guidepostser like me, and my bride-to-be.
Have you received a little message, a nudge that told you everything was going to be OK? A reassuring gift from an unexpected place that put you at ease? Tell us your story! Or click here to submit your writing to the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest.