Archive for April, 2014

April 1, 2014

Jesus Sent Me Roses For My Birthday

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.25.56 AMToday is April 1st, and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke! As my birthday falls in this month, I was reminded of a very special gift.

Several years ago, I had just had a house fire, lost my home and it’s contents and was recently divorced. Although I had a new house, twice as nice as the one I lost, I could not enjoy it because I just felt like such a failure. A vague but persistent condemnation was always hanging over my head, and at that time, I thought those feelings were telling me how God felt about me. I was worried that perhaps I did not deserve such a nice house, that somehow I had been selfish, and I just didn’t really deserve anything nice. It FELT so real. It was SO oppressive; it was suffocating my hope and I had little expectation for a better tomorrow. Really and truly, I had little desire to live. I was not suicidal so much as just exhausted from disappointment. I felt unloved, unattractive, unsuccessful, unintelligent, unprepared, unworthy, etc. and etc.

One morning as I was getting ready for the day, I thought about my upcoming birthday. I had recently studied about the story of Gideon in the Bible, and he had asked God for a sign, and not just one, but two. I thought to myself, “If I could just know that I was not out of God’s favor, that He still loved me, and that I had not done anything to sever our relationship, I can handle the rest.” So I thought about asking God for a sign. I thought what kind of sign should I ask for? I decided to ask for something that would be highly unlikely to happen, that way, I would KNOW it was God.

Just so you know, I’ve also received more “holy” type answers to prayer. I wanted a baby in spite of a doctor’s report, and I was blessed with one. I was sick with fibromyalgia and given no hope of a cure, but Jesus healed me. I gave money to a missionary when I really needed it myself, and got a ten times bigger return on that gift within a week’s time. I have all kinds of stories!

So I decided to ask for cut flowers for my birthday. I really don’t care if any religious types think this was silly, that’s what I asked for! 🙂 I knew my mom would most likely get me hanging baskets for my birthday, or something to plant in my yard, but cut flowers are something generally reserved for boyfriends, husbands, etc and I had neither. I also didn’t want to just ask for flowers, and then have the devil steal my blessing, when it could be easily said, “Your mama gets you flowers every birthday.” It was also a somewhat frivolous expense, and I didn’t know anyone who would do such a thing. I thought maybe I’d get one of those roses in plastic that you see at a gas station or something. Maybe my young daughter would ask someone to help her pay for it, so that she could give it to me. That was pretty much my expectation, nothing fabulous, just any cut flower would do.

Well a few days passed and I completely forgot about this request, in fact, within minutes of the request I had forgotten all about it. I have gone into a bit of explanation about all this, but honestly, the thought process probably only took a few seconds at the most, and as I’ve already said, I completely forgot about it almost as soon as I prayed for it.

In fact, my birthday came and went, and my mom brought me some hanging baskets, and I still hadn’t thought about my request for a sign that God and I were on good terms, that He wasn’t mad at me. The day AFTER my birthday, I woke up at 4am with a friend from church on my heart who was struggling with a diagnosis of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I got up to write her a letter of encouragement. It was still dark outside when I started the letter, but about the crack of dawn, I walked from my home office to my living room for something. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something propped up on my front door, which is mostly panes of glass. Strange, it was a skinny long rectangular cardboard box.  As soon as I open the door, I see the FTD symbol, and recalled my prayer request!

I was shocked! I had forgotten, but the Lord had not. I crumpled on the floor and began to bawl. “OMG, He remembered! He cares, and He’s not mad at me!” My emotions were all over the place– extreme joy, disbelief, and OMG! This was an outrageous, silly, off the wall request, and when I made it, I couldn’t imagine who might send me flowers, but He had remembered my desperate need to know that our relationship was intact.

Then I opened the box…….. oh my! I would have been happy with a wilted, pitiful flower from a gas station, but what I had in front of me, was a bouquet of 40 miniature roses of all kinds of colors! (I turned 40 that year.) Roses are my favorite flower by the way, and not only for how they look, but for how they smell. The friend who sent them to me had no idea, but God did. I took in a deep breath, expecting them to be pretty, but maybe not really have much smell, because sometimes they just don’t. My lungs were full of rose perfume and tears streamed down my face. They even smelled good!

A creative director at a local advertising agency had sent them! I hadn’t known her that long or all that well at the time, but she did it just because she felt like it. Little did she know, that Jesus had set up that whole thing! The flowers HAD arrived on my birthday, I just hadn’t seen them until the next morning!

This answered prayer blessed a deep place in my heart, because it answered a deep need to know that I wasn’t just loved a little bit, that I wasn’t just a faceless girl in the crowd, but that I was ADORED by the creator of the universe and that He delighted in blessing my heart. Our heart aches really matter to Him, and the need to know that we are truly and deeply loved matters to him. I am still trying to grasp that, and need a lot of reminding, so I adore the Word of God and my church who gives me regular doses of the Good News, the “almost too good to be true good news”. He ADORES us! And what’s more, He adores me and knows me personally and intimately. He knows what I like!

My birthday is coming around again, and this year, I am more secure in that love now than I was then. However, I am so hungry for more! As a single mom, it blesses me to read that He is not only my Savior and my Healer, but He is also my Husband and I am His Bride. It also says that He delights in me. Imagine that!

You may need your mortgage paid this month, heck you may need groceries, or a child healed, or you may need hope and strength to just keep going one more day. Know this, that He is FOR YOU! Anything that says otherwise is a lie. When the enemy tries to tell me that I don’t matter to God, remembering that bouquet tells me not only that I matter, but that He’s actually pretty crazy about me. How awesome is that? I hope you know, that because God is “no respecter of persons”, that means if He’s crazy about me, He’s crazy about you, too. Hard to believe, I know, but maybe you need to ask the Lord to show you just how crazy He is about you someday soon. If you do, I would LOVE to hear about it.