God makes His presence known in so many different ways. Some people need something huge to happen to them before they give God any credit. Some need the answer to every prayer to be "yes" before tipping their hat to God. And then there are others who take a rainbow in the sky, the moon up above, the soft tickling breeze, or a tiny insect as a sign that God’s there.
I fall into the “others” category. Lady bugs are my connection to God. They are the friendliest bugs - so cute! No two lady bug’s spots are ever the same. Lady bugs and my love for nature put me in this category and I love it because it means that I can experience God anywhere, at any time. Did God really create that rainbow just for me? Probably not. But I know that for someone else that rainbow means something beautiful and that makes me smile just the same. But let me tell you, when you have a "God moment” and you KNOW that that moment is uniquely for you, it can change your life.
My husband used to travel most of the year which left me with the privilege (I say that honestly) of raising our three beautiful boys alone. God gave me the personality, strength, and gumption to be able to take on that task, but some days were hard. No, that’s a lie (oh, crud, I lied on a Christian blog), some days were absolutely excruciating. Those were the days when I questioned everything. Was I offering grace or was I raising spoiled boys? Was I being stern or did I sound unloving? Was I completely messing this up? Where was my husband anyways? It was during days like those that I needed an outlet, needed a break, but I had no one to give me one. That’s when God, the funny guy that He is, stepped in to fill that need. He was probably screaming, “Brooke I’m right here! Wipe those tears from your eyes and just look!” but I didn’t look. All I could see was the bad, the angry, the frustrated, and with no outlet for that frustration I did what every woman does when she needs to burn off steam; I worked in the yard (you all do that too, right?)
That yard didn’t know what hit it. I pulled, I cut, I ripped, I threw. Nothing in my path was safe, not even that massive metal umbrella stand with the ripped and faded fabric, ravaged by the heat, left in tatters. Like me. I was going to show that umbrella who was boss. I grabbed it and it disintegrated in my hands. I very maturely kicked and shouted obscenities at it. That. Was. It! That umbrella was in for a world of hurt! I grabbed it and heaved it over my shoulder to throw it and I was swarmed. Absolutely swarmed. Hundreds and hundreds of insects attacking me. They were out for blood. The movie "My Girl" flashed through my head. This was the way I was going to go; dirty, sweaty, not even remotely cute for the paramedics. I was going to die and my boys’ last memory of me was going to be of me yelling at them. What a way to end an already crummy day. Thanks, God. But then I heard it; a faint whisper telling me to stop, breathe. And I did. Where there should have been painful stings were instead gentle tickles. What in the world? I wiped the tears from my eyes (and if we’re being honest here, the snot from my nose) and just breathed. That’s when I saw them…lady bugs. Hundreds and hundreds of lady bugs flying all around me. Crawling on me. Tickling me. I had destroyed the home that they had made inside of that blasted umbrella but instead of flying off, they stayed. I stood there in the sun looking up towards the Heavens while the lady bugs slowly made their way back to their tattered home. I had all but completely destroyed their place of refuge, they could’ve flown off and made a new home and yet they returned to their umbrella sanctuary. I smiled and said, “I hear you God, I hear you.”
See, God needed me to know that He’s my place of refuge. My sanctuary. He was telling me to turn to Him when I needed rest. He was reminding me that all I needed to do when times were tough was to look to Him and listen. Well God, I’m still listening for your faint whispers and every time a lady bug crosses my path I know it’s you saying, “I’m here, I’ll always be here, and I’ll never let you go.”
Brooke is warrior mama to three rambunctious boys, wife to an honest, hardworking man, daughter to one of the greatest humans our great God ever created, and friend to anyone who talks to her. She's has been dubbed "the most inappropriate friend." She lives for a good belly laugh and to bring laughter to others - laughter feeds her soul. She loves the outdoors (not like hiking or rock climbing - she's not that cool - more like standing in the sunshine listening to nature!) and she finds God in the simple things.