“Tiny Blue Bird”

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On May 29th of this year, the day that my dear Granny passed away, I started getting little signs from her. The first one came that night after she had died. They would come when I was missing her terribly and upset that she was no longer with us. Now some may think me crazy for believing such things but I have no doubt that they were real. I always felt a very special bond with my Granny. I practically grew up in her house and there was rarely a Sunday afternoon that wasn’t spent with her. So I didn’t expect her to just completely be gone out of my life.

As Christmas quickly approaches, I have found myself feeling quite emotional. Christmas Day will not be the same this year. For the first time in my life, there will be no Christmas dinner at my Granny’s house. As I pondered this again yesterday morning before church, I found myself speaking to Granny and telling her how much I missed her and missed the signs that she had be giving me. I hadn’t seen any in a while and was starting to miss them. So I told her how much I love the blue birds that I always see in winter and asked her to send me one, just to let me know that she would still be with us for Christmas. I went about my day and later in the afternoon, I had to run out to my car to grab something and as I opened the car door, something caught my eye. I looked through the window of my car and saw a tiny blue bird sitting on Callie’s rabbit cage. It sat there a moment, bobbing its head back and forth and then it was gone. I ran over toward where it flew away and I couldn’t help but smile. A big smile. Ear to ear. She heard me and she is still with us.

It may seem that heaven and earth span a great divide but they don’t. Love connects us no matter the distance. I truly believe this. God’s love for us allows us to love others in the same way. Love is given to us as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is a gift to us from God, so how could the love we feel for our family just end when they pass away? It doesn’t, so neither does the connection. Our loved ones who have gone before us may not be here in the physical form but the love we felt for them and that they felt for us will eternally unite us to them and there is a great comfort in this.

No matter who you are missing this Christmas season, trust in knowing that your bond is still there and that they are with you in those exact moments when your heart is breaking from the pain of loss. They are with you when laugher turns to tears as memories are recalled. And they are with you when the old traditions come to pass and new ones are made.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” 1 John 4

 

“Don’t Pick Up The Baggage”

She wakes before dawn and immediately gauges how she feels mentally and physically. Before her feet reach the floor, she prays for God to give her strength for the day, to fill in the weak places and direct her steps. She rises and heads to the kitchen for a drink of water. On the way, anxiety about the day ahead start to creep and she picks it up like a backpack and slings it over her shoulder. She walks to the bathroom to get ready and one glance in the mirror brings insecurities and self-doubt to the surface, so she straps them on too. Breakfast is made and lunches packed but as she starts to leave, worry and doubt wait by the door like a beat up old suitcase. She grabs the handle and lugs them along with all she is already carrying. The trunk of her car holds negative thinking so she pulls it out like a oversized duffle bag and makes sure to cart it around with her through the day. Her mind was so weighed down that there wasn’t much room left for peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness and self control –  the fruits of the spirit.

The words she prayed upon waking have been taken back like a broken promise. They were said with good intentions but the worries were too big, too real and maybe God wasn’t listening. Maybe He didn’t plan to move quickly enough with her requests. Maybe she thought she was far more capable than He. She quickly realized what a foolish thought that was.

God never intended for us to bear the load alone. I’m pretty sure He never intended for us to bear it at all if we have complete trust and faith in Him and His abilities. I once read that worrying to the point of causing ourselves torment is like doing the devil’s job for him. Why would he have to work so hard to make us miserable when we’re doing a fine job of it ourselves?

1 Peter 5:6 starts by saying “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God”. Humble yourselves. This means we need to drop ourselves down a notch (or six) and stop thinking that we are more capable of handling life’s problems than the One who created us. Worry is like saying to God “Sorry but I just don’t think I can trust You to handle this”. I don’t know about you but to me, that’s a pretty arrogant statement. One I’ve been guilty of saying far too many times.

Don’t pick up the baggage. Leave it in God’s capable hands.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”