• Leigh Gerstenberger

Coincidence – A Sign of God’s Caring

Updated: Feb 24, 2019




My wife Mim and I just celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. To put that in perspective, as of today we’ve now been married 15,376 days!


In talking with a friend of mine who has also been married for over 40 years he shared the following insight which I’m sure has contributed greatly to the longevity of his marriage. Simply stated, he said to me that when he married his wife he told her, “If you ever leave me, I’m coming with you!”


What I like about that phrase is that it underscores the fact that marriage is a long-term commitment and for a marriage to be successful it takes commitment…no matter what.


While Mim and I have had a great marriage and are now blessed with grown children and five grandchildren I’d be lying to suggest that our life together has always been easy.


During one of the more difficult periods in our life together we actually sought marriage counseling which turned out to be a huge blessing for us and, in my opinion, one of the main reasons why our wedding vows have been able to persevere.


At the time we realized that we needed the help of a counselor, not knowing who to turn to, I sought a recommendation from our family physician who gave me three names. One of the names, Isaly Counseling Associates was more distinctive as it shared the same name of the iconic Pittsburgh ice cream company Isaly’s. We made an appointment and began meeting weekly with June Isaly, the founder.


June was wonderful to work with and had a great deal of experience and insight personally and professionally around helping couples improve their relationships.


I’ll never forget a comment she made during one of our first meetings. “There’s no such thing as coincidence. Coincidence is a sign of God’s caring.”


The quote of the week from the renowned American psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross reminded me of the season that Mim and I spent with June Isaly and the impact she had in helping us improve our marriage.


I would say that the fact that she shared her surname with our favorite ice cream store was not a coincidence, but a sign of God’s caring.


SPECIAL NOTE – While I believe marriage is meant to last a lifetime and is a long-term commitment, if you are in a relationship where you are dealing with physical or mental abuse or you have concerns for your personal safety, please seek help immediately by contacting a member of the clergy, healthcare community or law enforcement.



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