When I started writing my blog in 2011, an old friend, Cheryl, was one of the first to encourage me to keep writing. In fact, she also bought a copy of my book and posted it on her Facebook wall. She was a true encourager. I had not seen her in years, but God was using her to encourage me. The last time I saw her was backstage at the Kenny Roger’s concert. She beamed when she saw me walk through the door. She knew I loved him and was so excited for me to be able to meet him in person like she was doing. She was such a wonderful lady.
I knew she was ill the last couple of weeks and when I saw a red bird in my back yard this weekend, I was reminded of her story. I felt it was appropriate to re-blog a blog from 2011 with her God story, as Cheryl went home to be with the Lord today.
I know heaven is rejoicing…here it is…
I prayed for a home that had nature and trees and feel truly blessed that I got exactly what I asked for! Every morning as I am preparing breakfast, I have one or two squirrels out my window hanging upside down from tree branches getting their breakfast of seeds from our tree branches. They are about twenty feet or more up in the tree so I feel privileged to be able to see their daily activities so clearly from my kitchen window. I never really knew this about squirrels until now since I don’t typically get to see them one-on-one that high up! I truly enjoy watching the show every morning.
One thing that totally fascinates me about our trees though is the number of redbirds living in them. When we first moved in, the leaves weren’t yet on the trees and I counted fifteen one day at one time dispersed throughout my trees. Wow! I was in awe as I have never seen anything like it. I rarely see one redbird let alone fifteen at one time!
This reminded me of a story an old friend shared at least twenty years ago and I would like to share it today with her permission. My friend, Cheryl, had Cystic Fibrosis and was very ill. In fact, if she didn’t get a double-lung transplant soon, she would die. As she tells her story, she described her outlook one day as having no hope of survival. As she too, looked out her kitchen window, she remembers feeling numb. She asked God, “Where are You?” Just as she did, a beautiful redbird landed on her deck as close to the window as possible and stared at her for the longest time. From that day on, she continued to see redbirds whenever she was down or discouraged. They seemed to be everywhere she looked! God had given her a gift—one that encouraged her through the next weeks and months as she continued to battle her disease and awaited her transplant.
I was looking into a few facts about redbirds this morning as I was writing my blog and I was once again encouraged. You see, redbirds don’t migrate; they stay the same place all year around. This morning as I went out to snag a photograph for my blog though, there was not one to be found. The funny thing is however, redbirds are quite vocal. They even have various songs that they sing for different reasons. Although I couldn’t actually see any of them, I knew they were there. They were belting out their melodious tunes from all over but were hidden from my sight for some reason or another. I love that God chose to use the redbird for encouragement for my friend and I. It never leaves, is always there, whether you see it or not. Hummm…sound familiar?
God is so cool like that. He uses nature sometimes to bring us closer to him. It inspires us, entertains us and even encourages when we least expect it. When I asked Cheryl (Yes, she is still alive and well!) this week to remind me of her story, I had to laugh! Since we moved a few weeks ago, we have had one thing after the other go wrong with this home not to mention many personal struggles as of late. It seems like we will never get life back to normal! But God has shown me He’s got my back through Cheryl’s story. He knew one redbird here or there wasn’t going to keep me going like it did for Cheryl. This was a job for a whole flock of redbirds! So now as I count my redbirds every morning and marvel at the beauty of nature, I am encouraged to know God is watching over me. Why do we worry when we serve such an awesome God? May God’s peace speak to you with whatever means He uses to assure you it’s going to all be OK!
Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
John 20:29 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Blessings, my friend.