Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Heron Stories

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 19:13 - 14

I’ve posted before about God’s special messages to me through the Great Blue Heron, native to our Maryland area. Here are two more sighting stories at special moments from this past year and the message behind each.

I do find it interesting that as I have worked through the challenges in my life, the sighting messages have also changed to match my current challenge. The heron moments began when I had to face the sovereignty of God in my son Andrew’s life. Then as God healed that area with the comfort of his truth, challenges began with Peter. So then the messages and reassurances from the sightings matched struggles with Peter.

Recently, the meanings have changed again. Not that I don’t struggle as far as issues with Peter any more, but I do have an underlying peace and acceptance of God’s presence and plan in his life. So now, I find it interesting that the key sightings this year have been related to my husband. He is my completion and other half. But he also started apart from me and has to choose to remain a part of my life. At times it feels less secure in today’s culture than the relationship of mother to son. How gracious of God to use the heron to confirm his faithfulness in every relationship in my life.


This past spring life reached an unbearable stage that had to change. Peter’s inability to appropriately express his frustration at life wrecked havoc in our home. We finally made the commitment to get regular counseling for Peter. But to be successful, it needed to be family counseling so we all operated from the same page. I knew my commitment. I hoped for my husband's.

One Sunday as we drove to church these thoughts swirled in my mind. Would it make a difference this time? Would my husband be part of the process, part of the answer? I gazed out the window sharing my thoughts with God. Then I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye, a heron. As it came more into view I smiled at God’s reassurance. Then, to my surprise, another came into view a few yards behind the first. There were two; two herons flying in the same direction, together.

He’s with you Juli, I heard God whisper to my spirit. Like these birds, he may not be right where you are, but he’s with you. He’s a part of this. Trust him. Trust me.

Sad that I needed a physical sign to support my faith, but with that picture to keep before me, I let go of my concerns and accepted God’s gift of peace. We were together, all of us, God, me, Peter AND my husband. Whether this brought success or not, we were together, a most treasured place to be.

Behind and Ahead

Fast forward several months to our 22nd anniversary. Peter demonstrated some improvement with the counseling. My husband and I had also started meeting with a mentor couple from our church. The intensiveness to support our family consumed our time but proved worth it. Prioritizing time for us as a couple became part of our strategic plan.

My husband took the day off to spend our anniversary together. With Peter in school for the morning, we planned a bike ride and breakfast out. I anticipated a great morning as the day dawned clear, sunny and beautiful. We got Peter to school, grabbed our bikes and headed for my favorite trail.

The trail began with a single lane swing bridge over the Patapsco River which we walked our bikes across. As we did my husband saw a heron, standing on a rock mid stream on our left, take flight. He pointed it out to me as it came out from under the bridge on our right. It had flown right underneath us. What a special gift for our anniversary I thought to myself as it flew off.

But we both watched in amazement as the bird suddenly turned, flew back towards us, underneath us yet again, and back to the rock where it started. As we reached the other side of the bridge I heard God whisper, I’ve covered your first 22 years, and I’ve got the next 22 as well. Just like the bird was under you, I am supporting you and your marriage. My faithfulness is even here.

What a special anniversary present!

These are special moments for me. But know that God is no respecter of persons. He promises in Jeremiah that if we seek him with all our heart, we will find him. Look for him today in your own life. He waits patiently to reveal himself to you.

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