a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

herons and hawks

(I wrote this the Sunday, 12/18/2011, after my FIL died on 12/16/2011 but it is such an awesome story about God's faithfulness I'm sharing it now)

The day after my mom died, 12/14/2006, I was sitting working, crying, sad about my mom's passing, and I heard a sound outside. I turned and looked out the window and on the brick wall was a hawk. Not a black bird that was so common there. But a hawk. I had never seen a hawk in the area up until that time. God sent me that hawk to comfort me, I truly believe. So whenever I see hawks in the sky, I know that's God's way of reminding me he is with me, he knows my struggles. Sometimes I don't see them for long periods of time, but when I'm going through tough times or something is bothering me, etc., I usually see a hawk. I thank God for the hawk; I don't worship the hawk, but I do worship the One who knows what I need when I need it.

Hubby and his brother were not 100% sure about their parents' faith; they believe that their parents did have faith in Jesus, but weren't positive. After his mom passed, I asked God to help me to know if she did believe in Jesus and he directed me to John 11:25, which says "Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die"; which I shared with hubby that I do believe she had a faith.

Hubby and me were talking yesterday while he was cooking dinner and I was telling him that I had asked God to give me a verse about his dad. I said that I knew that God would give me one, I just didn't know when it would be, but I trusted God would. I also told him that I hoped that God would give him something like he gave me the hawk, I knew similar people have gotten similar things from God; a dear friend had gotten robins from God. Hubby said if God didn't, that was okay, he still knew God was there for him.

This morning, I started reading my emails and I got an email from a site that was talking about how to resist the temptation of overeating over the holidays and it cited specific ways to resist temptation, don't sit close to the buffet table, eat before you go to a gathering, etc. Anyway, the newsletter cited 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. " That triggered something in my mind of a letter a cousin had written to hubby's brother about how hubby's dad had been a mentor to him in his walk with God and that his dad had shared this verse with the cousin years ago. We had found this letter in our cleaning up earlier in the year and I had shelved it some place. I found the letter and shared the verse with hubby, confirming that indeed we believe his dad must have had a faith in Jesus too.

Each person's walk with Jesus is different. Some are content not to grow, some want to grow more to know Jesus, to spend time reading the Bible, spend time in prayer, etc. Hubby's parents had a different walk with Jesus than hubby or me might have, but we do think they knew that Jesus was their Lord and Savior.

Naturally I thanked God for the verse that he gave me. Thanks God!

Here where it gets really, really good.

We are driving to church and we pull into the parking lot. Our church meets at a high school. In the athletic field right where we are going to park I look over and there is a blue heron. We had been following blue heron nests earlier this year in one of the places we walk Koda. I wrote about it; I thought it was a pelican nest but found out later it was a blue heron nest.  Hubby had recently seen the blue herons on his walks with Koda down by the waterfront. The high school is at least 10 miles away from the waterfront. We had never seen a heron there before in the nine months we had been going to that church.

The blue heron is sitting on the grass at the high school this morning. I said to hubby "what is that?" And he said "looks like a blue heron".

We got out and walked towards it. I told hubby to take a picture of it with his cell phone, which he did. It stayed there for a moment but then flew away.

God sent him a blue heron! I truly, truly, truly do believe that blue heron was sent there by God to remind hubby of God's great love for him and that he is with him during this time of grief and sadness.

My God is awesome!! Thank you Lord!

It was tough getting through the church service; small church, everyone knows everyone. Hard to keep telling the news, but comforting to get people's support.

But in the back of my mind through it all, though, I'm secretly smiling because HE GOT A HERON!

God sent it to him. Thank you God!

It really is going to be alright!

Flash forward to today, 01/03/2012, we buried FIL. Didn't see any blue herons, but saw a few hawks in our travels. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. We move into a new chapter of our lives in the days, months ahead. Again, I don't know what this chapter holds but I know who holds the chapter and I'll just keep trusting in Him.

Meanwhile, I'll keep watching the skies for those hawks and those herons. One never knows where they will show up, but I know they will show up where God wants them to be. And for that, I thank you Lord.


Shelly said...

This gave me goosebumps! You are so right. God is faithful to us, especially when we grieve, and I, too, believe these signs are from Him to give you both comfort. Thank you for sharing!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Those birds were a blessing to you. Robins always remind me of my mom. She and I sat watching them from the bedroom window just before she passed away and every time I see them, I remember how she said that their little song seemed to say Cheer UP, Cheer up. It is a comforting thought to know that our loved ones are where there is no more pain, no more sorrow. Hold on to your faith and trust in the promises we have been given. I'm praying that 2012 will be a Happy New Year for you and your hubby.

Rjet33 said...

Awesome story! Thanks so much for sharing! You always lift me up. I've missed you! I stay on Facebook more these days, but I miss my blogspot friends (formerly my J-Land friends), so I had to come visit today. :)

Rjet33 said...

P.S. I don't see the follow button. :(

Intense Guy said...

Do you know something that made me fill with wonder?

On January 1, 2012 I took a walk and guess what I saw?


Not only did I see a Heron, I saw a Hawk... you know how "connected" that makes me feel?

jack69 said...

As my granson would say, "SWEET".
My dad told me once about his attitude when delivering a Eulogy. Always go with the Good. Any question, Go with the Good. God is Good.
Love the story!!!

Betty said...

I´m so happy you found strength and comfort in these "messangers" from God. God is good to us and he knows what we need.
I love the verse your FIL quoted and will be using it in a future post.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I love how God works in our lives. My relationship has always been with signs from Him. This is so beautiful.

JosephAlsarraf said...

Great story! That's really great how God sent y'all those birds to tell you that everything is ok. God usually sends me a cat when i'm not felling that well. : )

Seriously Though said...

Wow. this was special. God has used Ospreys, herons, and hawks to speak to me of his faithfulness and nearness. He is so sweet and near the broken-hearted.

Sharon said...

Oh Betty! I just LOVED this post! How precious. God is so faithful in sending us the smallest reminders of His good presence JUST when we need them.

You might remember my post this summer about how God sent me a butterfly. It seems that He uses butterflies in my life often to let me know He's there.

But, here is something really cool - it was laid on my heart this week to write something about hawks on my blog!! Yes, indeed. So, next Monday, if you get a chance, check out my post "The Sentinel" - maybe it's God's way of giving you and hubby another hawk "sighting!"

Love to you all as you venture forth into 2012!


DMarie said...

Inspiring story! Thank you. Just this morning, when I crossed the bridge at the river, I saw this huge eagle trying to keep warm. We have these 2 eagles who have made their nest close to a busy section by the river. They have been here for 5 or 6 years and we have eagle cams, watching them, when they come back to lay their eggs and nest. The city even has a eagle naming contest. Anyway, it was the first time, I actually saw that huge bird and then I read this.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I'm thinking, that was my message from God - I need to keep my focus on God and not my circumstances as I embark on this new yet challenging year.

Jane said...

That's a beautiful story, Betty. Years ago I remember reading a very sad story on a blog. The blogger's little girl had drowned in the ocean. Her daughter loved turtles. The day of the funeral the family was out in their garden and they looked down to see a little turtle resting there. It gave me chills but also affirmed that God is there for us sending us constant signs and little reminders that our loved ones really never do leave us.

Lynda said...

God is soooo awesome to give us a personalized message to comfort and encourage us. He did that for me after my mom died because I didn't know if she was saved - - - but HE gave me peace about it, too.

Chatty Crone said...

Well I call them God winks and I just wrote about that - I think God sends us signs in the beauty he gives us. I am glad he gave you peace. sandie

Caroline said...

I believe in signs from God. This is a beautiful post & if you read my post today I feel like the email I got a week ago was a sign to help me. Love you , thanx for sharing.


I LOVE herons. They hold a special place in my heart too. Such beautiful birds. Hawks are so majestic too. It is wonderful that you got this sign from above. Truly inspirational story.

Toriz said...

Everyone has different faiths or ways of showing their faiths. I think the most important thing is that you feel what you believe is right for you, and if you believe that God sent you Hawks and your hubby Herrons then it is so!

Robyn :) said...

That's awesome.

In my faith we believe that when you die if you did not get a chance to know Jesus and accept him as the Savior in life you will receive that chance in heaven.

We had a rosebush at our house on post that I had planned to rip out before winter because I thought it died. However, I was very lazy, but it was good because it came back to life in the Spring. This was the first time I successfully kept a rosebish alive. It came back the next year, too. I believe my mom has had something to do with that since she loved roses.

SweetMarie said...

I'm so happy for you both!
Happy 2012 Betty!

Nezzy said...

Isn't this just like God to put our hearts at peace.

My dad was almost anit~religion. I knew he had many visits from the hospital Chaplin but all appearances were that Dad had not made things right.

Toward the end I was told how Dad welcomed and even looked forward to those visits. Upon Dad's death I still wasn't sure but a peace that passes all understanding came upon me and I simply knew.

It wasn't 'till weeks later when I was talkin' with my son and he had the very same peace come upon him. He knew his Grandpa was with God in heaven.

That was just the icin' on the cake for me. God truly does take care of His children.

God bless ya sweetie and I sure enjoyed my time over here. :o)

Hollie said...

I'm so, so sorry that I missed your FIL passing! I'm so sorry for your losses!

What an amazing entry! GOD is so Good & Faithful!

Martha said...

Love this story Betty and remember the hawk story well. I had the similar story about the seagull after my father passed and then it was the butterflies after mom was gone. How awesome it is to be given signs like this.

I hope you and hubby are doing well. I've been thinking about both of you this week.

Deb said...

For one, I am sorry for your mother’s passing. I do believe in signs and very aware of them. I remember a family friend (my mom’s best friend) was very ill. She told us that when she passes on, she would send us a white rose located in an unusual spot. We just brushed it off as a “nice gesture” - and that was that. Three months after her passing, a single white rose grew out from a huge tree that had fallen down during the winter. It was spring thaw and everything was blooming. It was the biggest sign I had ever seen.

I’m sure your husband’s parents’ believed. Remember, if you only have faith the size of a mustard seed . . . And I also believe that many people aren’t so open about their faith or spirituality with others. It’s sometimes seen as “crazy” or just fanatical. My parents are the same way. They say they believe but don’t practice anything at all. My dad is suffering with cancer right now and has a 50/50 chance with his operation this coming Thursday and asking me about God right now since he knows that I have a lot of faith, to the point of knowledge...

Strange how sometimes we face our own mortality which brings us closer to God. Why do we sometimes become distant when we’re healthy and nothing seems to threaten our lives?

The hawk story is incredible. I hope it gives you comfort knowing she’s out there sending you her love and is with you whenever you need her, yet with Jesus. I believe in signs, but I don’t believe in direct communication. Jesus comforts us when we’re at our wit’s end. And of course, He is the only one to heal the brokenhearted. Without Him, I don’t believe time heals - He heals.

Thank you for sharing this. :)

(Sorry for the long comment!)

Renegades said...

Sending sympathy and letting you know you are in my thoughts.

Great writing.