White Irises – Stone Series

This will be my last stone in the series. I may pick back up later, but for now, I feel I’ve exhausted the topic. In fact, I’m taking the remainder of the year off from the blog so that I can focus on family and the holidays. I will resume in January.

I love this stone story. It’s one that makes me smile at the wonder of it.

Backstory: I missed God. I thought I had heard Him speak, but I was wrong. At the time I was in a weakened state anyway. We had just suffered the loss of my sweet step-dad. During his sickness and ultimate death, I was there taking care of him and my mom. Many things had my mind scattered, so the fact that I heard deceptive voices shouldn’t surprise me.

When I realized I had missed God, I was devastated. Not that what I thought I had heard was what I wanted – that wasn’t it at all. My devastation came from the fact that I had missed Him at all. The enemy took full advantage of the fact that I was so dumbfounded and planted all kinds of doubt in my mind. I started to wonder if I had ever heard God at all. (See why I need my stones? They are proof that God is active in my life.)

There was a morning when I was awake super early, like 4 a.m. early. I was praying, trying to reconcile all my questions before God. I thought about the Bible and all the stories of His clear and out-loud direction to His people. I considered His miracles, then asked, “Where is the God of the Bible, the One who does all those miracles?” No answer.

The following day I called a friend of mine before going to visit. She had lost her vision the year before and was left with the ability to only see shadows. I tried to go hang with her at least once a week, and that was my Tuesday. While on the phone she told me she had a surprise for me.

When I arrived I followed her into the kitchen. She opened a little devotion book and began to read from it. It was titled “Friends,” so I figured it had to do with our friendship. Duh… It took me a few seconds for it to hit me that she was reading at all. I was squinting at the text without my glasses, so I couldn’t understand how she was reading it at all. Finally, I said, “You’re reading!”

From there she told me the story of what had happened the morning before – yes, the morning I had prayed asking where the God of the Bible was. She had woken up and gone to open the blinds like she always did. It took her a few seconds to realize she was actually able to see out her back window. She was looking at white irises growing on a hill behind her house. Whaaa!!!??

If you read my last blog, then you know my purple iris story. Are you kidding me, that God would actually use irises again to take hold of me? Yes, it was her miracle of restored sight, but it was also my miracle of restored faith. All the doubt that had been plaguing me was gone. I hadn’t missed God. I had listened to a foreign voice. That’s something we all have to take great care to avoid. Our enemy is more than happy to plant seeds of doubt. Especially when we’re in a weakened state, he pounces like the cowardly lion that he is. Still, God was right on time to counter the enemy’s attack with His out-loud reminder that He was right there and had heard my prayer.

If nothing else has come from this Stone Series, I hope you have begun to look around you and watch for the many ways that Jesus is vividly alive in your life and how He pursues your heart to make it wholly His.

I pray the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you.

Much love to you, and have the happiest Thanksgiving.

When Given Flowers – Stone Series

In my earlier years, I would have never considered myself a romantic. Or at least if I was, I would never have admitted it to myself. I accepted such poor and disrespectful treatment in my romantic relationships, that I never expected to be wooed. If I was pursued by a healthy guy, it made me so uncomfortable that I often sabotaged any hope of a relationship. I thrived best in chaos because that’s all I had ever known of love and life.

Flash forward to my early walk with Jesus: With Him I found the One who invented the woo. He was my first experience with loving kindness and unconditional love. No matter how many times I had pushed Him away, He maintained the pursuit. This stone is but one example of His relentless pursuit of a truly broken and unhealthy woman.

At the time I lived in the first house that I ever tried to plant flowers. During that season, the most notable healing that has ever taken place in my emotional and spiritual life happened while playing in the dirt there. Up until then flowers had never been a big deal to me, but because I was an enthusiastic new gardener, I often took note of flowers in other people’s beds so that I could copy them in my own.

One night on the way to church, we passed a house that had a mass planting of purple irises in full bloom. I sighed and wished I had purple irises. On the way home from church, we stopped to drop my nephew off at home. My brother told me he had dug up some cannas from a job he was working on that day. He had black garbage bags filled with them. Guess what was mixed in there with them – yep, purple irises! There were so many that I was able to plant a cluster in the front and back yards.

I knew Jesus had given me those flowers, the exact ones I had wished for. I will never, ever forget that moment in my walk with Him. I hadn’t’ asked for them, but He knew that they were the desire of my heart, and more importantly, He knew what the unexpected gift of them would do in breaking down my remaining defenses. Since then, I’ve had no doubt of His love for me and His willingness to show me that love in the sweetest ways. That was a relationship changer.

Technically, I don’t need a stone to remember this one. Every spring serves as a reminder when I see purple irises. Since I don’t live in that house anymore, I have to enjoy them in other yards, but always I carry the memory of them in my heart.

You may remember from a past blog that I’m convinced that I’m God’s favorite. I hope you also remember that I’m convinced that you are too. These crazy, stone worthy things don’t just happen to me. Jesus is wooing you too. What He gives to you will look different since your needs differ from mine, but He’s pursuing you. I hope my little stone will remind you to watch for the ways in which He woos and pursues you. Live with spiritually open eyes and watch for His gestures of love.

It’s easy to allow life to get in the way of God. We all do it. People and things vie for our time and attention when always there’s the God who loves you enough to die for you waiting with flowers in hand to romance you into the truest of love relationships. Watch for Him. Wait for Him. Remember that He created the woo.

Many blessings to you, my friends.
In His love,