Bob Denny: Don’t miss that sign


Published: Friday, October 25, 2013 at 4:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 at 4:09 p.m.

I watched the “Blue Collar Comedy” redneck comedy show recently, starring Jeff Foxworthy and his team. In his standup routine, Bill Engvalls says, “Here’s your sign!” to point out how we miss obvious clues life gives us. Maybe it’s true: We’re given signs at major crossroads in our lives, and we’re given opportunities to change the very direction of our lives?

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Do you believe that life gives us signs? Are they really coincidences, or do some things happen because they’re supposed to? Is there such a thing as luck? I asked my minister about a belief in signs. He thought about it, and includes the idea of receiving signs in his beliefs.

Have you ever thought there were times when you were given a sign? Did things ever seem to come together, just at the right time? Did a sign point out an important moment, where you faced crossroads, and saw an opportunity to make major life changes?

One day 25 years ago, my girlfriend and I walked on the windy overcast beach. Deep in conversation, we sat down in the sand at the edge of the crashing surf. Love had brought us joy, and a deep caring for each other. We mused over where it was going. We talked about an uncertain future, and about our hopes and dreams.

A sunbeam slipped through a break in the stormy clouds. I said, “What if it shone on us, would that be a sign?” he sunny spot on the ocean advanced towards us, and when it reached us, we were bathed in the bright yellow warm sunlight. Our sunbeam lingered briefly. We smiled at each other, we felt that somehow everything was going to turn out right for us. Yes, there were goosebumps. Now and then, all of these years later, we still get a thrill when we share the memory.

We’ve been married all these years now, free of anger, hostility, or fights with each other. We’re soul mates, and we’re best friends. What’s our story? She was two years out of a bad relationship, and had decided to stay single. One day her friends talked her into going for a day cruise to Catalina Island, on an old 115-foot sailing ship. She only agreed to go at the last minute, and believing that she would show up, they had bought a ticket for her.

At that time in my life, I was restless, and sought new adventures, and new directions. I had surfed and sailed small boats for years, and had a love for the ocean. I stumbled upon an opportunity for a day trip to Santa Barbara Island, and enjoyed it so much that I hired on to help crew that ship the following weekend. It was on that trip, on the open ocean, that I met that wonderful lady. We hit it off right away. We dated. We soon realized that we were meant to be soul mates.

Another sign? I’ve always had an interest in psychology and counseling, and wanted to do counseling. I earned a bachelors’ degree in psychology, but couldn’t qualify in California as a therapist without a master’s degree. A few years later, my parents were living in Florida, and my mom passed away. My dad was devastated, and we moved to Florida to help and support him t so happens that in Florida you can work as a counselor trainee with just a BS degree. So I applied as a youth counselor for troubled youth and families, earned the masters’ degree and became a licensed mental health counselor. I found the career of my dreams, and since then, I’ve enjoyed my favorite career, and helped kids and families for many years.

You never know when fate may give you a sign, and shed the light on a direction you’re supposed to go. Don’t miss that sign when it comes up!

Bob Denny is a licensed mental health therapist, and teaches psychology at Florida Gateway College. Email your comment to Bob.Denny8@gmail.com.

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