I often stated throughout my life that I wished God would provide a billboard for me alongside the road. Telling me I an going the right direction, perhaps reminding me to just “hang on’, or reassuring me that “Great things ahead.”
We live in a world which desires tangible answers. Tangible like a billboard. Many of us do not do well without a proverbial smack in the face. Sadly, even then we may find that we question it.
God may not deliver billboards or personalized letters but I do believe he provides us with signs if we are open enough to see them. At times we are too frustrated, angry or lost to recognize what has been placed in front of us.
As a grief counselor, most of my clients would eventually bring up the subject that they had or had not received a sign from their loved one. For many, a dream or some other sign allows them to feel that their loved one is OK and in a better place. I sometimes have to remind people that we may not be able to dream for many reasons (for one, if you are not sleeping well, you will not dream as you should). I also feel it can be the “needle in a haystack” theory. You are searching so hard for a sign that you can not see it in front of you.
The morning my Mom died, my brother and I were on each side of her bed. Her breathing had continually slowed to the point I had placed my hand on her chest. As she took her last breath, the wind chimes outside of her room rang. In that moment, without a doubt, I knew that she was gone and was in a better place. Although my Aunt, Nanny and James were also in the room, it was only my brother and I who heard the chimes.
Later that morning, as my Aunt and Nanny returned to Nanny’s home, loud wind chimes were heard. As they had never been heard before, my Aunt looked around at the neighbors and did not see any. Wind chimes have never been heard at my Nanny’s house again. I believe this was my Mom reassuring both of them that she was OK.
I have not had a dream of my Mother, with the exception of one night thinking I heard her say my name. However, each time I am greeted by wind chimes- on my front porch, the back yard, my Mom’s side entrance, I say “Hi” to her. I debate if I desire anything more from her than that. I am open to more but am thankful for this gift.
My Nanny was an animal lover and over the years had spoiled the mockingbirds in her yard. She fed them crushed up cheese and peanut butter crackers. A few weeks ago, my aunt was in Nanny’s living room and heard a mockingbird in Nanny’s fireplace. It went through all of it’s calls. My uncle also heard it but felt it was nothing. My aunt reminded him, there was a cap on the chimney to prevent birds from going in and it is not the time of year for mockingbirds. My Aunt left the room and when she returned, the bird was gone. We both feel it was Nanny letting her know she was with her. I have not had an experience like that with Nanny but I do feel there are times when the birds show up and sing that she is with me.
I have collected numerous examples like my own over the years and I never doubt anything. My clients often would say “You might not believe this”. There has never been one that I didn’t.
We search for signs from our loved ones, from God and the universe that we are heading in the right direction. I have spoke in this blog about listening to your gut as I feel that is often how God directs us. It is when we attempt to ignore all of those signs that we often find ourselves in difficult and sometimes painful situations.
James and I often remind each other that “Things are going to be OK” as the tangible verbal reminders we aren’t able to see. For years, I ignored the signs that I needed to leave my job. I reasoned out staying with the quote “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” After all, I was good at what I did, was comfortable in my own discomfort and was making a good salary. Things could have been worse……..
I took a a leap of faith when I resigned from my full time job in February. There were many things that James and I were uncertain about but what I was certain about was I didn’t need to be where I was. For the first time in my life, I truly do not know where I am going but I feel the direction is the correct one. It would be very easy to doubt myself, create signs that show I am not going in the right direction. However, I choose to look for the signs that provide proof otherwise. (And I should add that I haven’t received any tangible signs that I’m doing the wrong thing – those are usually my own negative self talk). God does provide signs that state to “hang in there” and yesterday I was fortunate enough to receive a card from a friend sharing how much she enjoys this blog and our friendship. It was a boost I needed.
Sometimes the signs are small and come in the way of friends, neighbors or even someone you meet at the store waiting in line. Sometimes the signs we receive are informing us we are on the wrong path. This article by Martha Beck was a sign to me and opened my eyes that all of the rough patches I had gone through over the past year were telling me something – “Change Direction”
Have you been searching for signs in your own life? From a loved one that they are OK? A sign that you are in the right profession? I also like to say listen to your gut – I like to think that is God’s voice and the universe leading us where we need to be.
I encourage you to slow down and look around you. Perhaps you are ignoring signs (perhaps you are wanting to ignore signs like I did for awhile).
Our answers are often right in front of us.