I'll freely admit to you, right up front, that I believe in fairy tales. Sort of. What I mean is...I believe that two people in love can live happily ever after. I believe in the power of things unseen. I believe there is more to this world than just what we can pick up with our five senses. I believe in miracles. I have no choice in the matter. I have seen miracles, I have heard of miracles, My children are miracles, I, myself,am a miracle. Go ahead...call me naive and gullible. (It's okay, I don't mind....you won't be the first). It won't faze me. I know what I know.
When my daddy died unexpectedly, I was devastated. Completely undone. We were close even though we didn't see each other very often. He was the only person I had known up to that time in my life to love me unconditionally. I felt my world had shifted on its axis. If you've ever lost a parent, you understand. We had made a promise to each other that if either of us 'went' first, we would send the other a sign. I looked around in the days and weeks following his death for something, anything to let me know he was okay. I got nothing. Nada. I was disappointed, to say the least.
Some time passed and I went out on a date (can't remember the guy's name for some reason) and saw the movie Forrest Gump. During the scene at the end when Forrest is talking to Bubba at his grave site...I lost it. All of my pent up grief and loneliness came pouring out and I was blubbering inappropriately out loud in the theater. This probably explains why I don't remember my date's name. I'm sure he never called me again! At the end I finally collected myself and was able to see the part at the end with the little white feather floating in the air. It was night time as we left the theater and fairly windy. Right as I was opening the car door, something made me look down, and right by the toe of my shoe, were two perfect little white feathers. One was smaller than the other and I knew in that instant that my daddy had sent me my sign. Right on time and right at the moment I needed it most! Since that day, at almost every important moment of my life, there has been a perfect little white feather drifting near me, sitting beside me, falling on me or even in one case swimming in front of my eyes while I was snorkeling in Hawaii. I know it is him. Loving, encouraging and consoling me just like he always has. I still have every feather he's ever sent me, including the one I found ON MY PILLOW (no, we didn't have any feather pillows) the day after my surgery when the Dr. said we would not be able to have children. I saw that feather and I just knew we would receive a miracle and have the baby we were praying for. How did I know? Because Daddy said so. Most of you know the rest of the story. If not...here it is: http://livinglikekingsburys.blogspot.com/2010/02/okay.html
What does any of this have to do with a heart of stone? Well, I'm about to get to that. A few years ago after going through a difficult time, God sent me my first 'heart rock.' It was a stone in the shape of a heart. It came right after a very direct request to God that He show me a tangible sign of His love. Since that time, I have found some very special heart rocks and have a little collection. I have had opportunities to pass some of them along to certain people when I feel like they may need a sign of God's love the way I did that time when I prayed for one. Some of them are very special and I will always hold on to them. One in particular.
While on vacation in Maine recently, we were looking for heart rocks every day along the shore. Maine is a really rocky place so trying to find one shaped like a heart is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. We simply had no luck. We had been praying for God to send us one as a memento of our vacation but on the day before we left, Mattie came to me and said "Mama, our prayer didn't get answered." I explained to her that sometimes the answer to our prayers seems like a 'no' but is really just a 'not yet.' I told her we were still in Maine and basically, 'It ain't over 'til it's over.'
That afternoon, she and her older cousins left to gather blueberries up in the woods behind the house. The girls somehow lost their way and used the cell phone to call us and ask us to come and find them. At one point the girls were beside a big rock and David told them to stay put so we would not be chasing a moving target. They moved on eventually and we found them shaken and scared but none the worse for the wear. When we got back to the house there was chaos and noise as the girls settled back in and shared their adventure with everyone.
The following morning we were busy loading the car and getting ready to head to the airport. Mattie approached me and said "Mama...I forgot to give you something." She opened her little hand and sitting on her palm was the most perfectly formed heart rock I've seen yet. "It's for you, Mama," she said in her sweet little voice. I asked her where it came from and here is her story: When the girls were lost in the woods and David had told them to 'stay by the rock' (the symbolism of that is not lost on me, either), Mattie had put her feet on the ground and happened to look down and see the heart rock right beside the toe of her sneaker. She told me that when she saw it, it gave her hope and she knew in that moment that God would guide her Daddy right to her and they would be found. She remembered that God's answer was not 'no' it was 'not yet.' Mattie's 7 year old mind and spirit understood something we could all do to remember. That God's timing is perfect. It may not always feel like it but is is. Mattie pointed out that if we had found the heart rock earlier in the week, she wouldn't have been looking for another one and would have missed God's message of hope and encouragement to her right when she needed it the most.