The past few weeks have been an amazing time of revelation and growth; however, I must confess that the weeks prior were a real struggle. A mentor and friend told me, "This is all about faith, Kim. It is all about faith." Faith . . . confidence and trust in God. Did I really have it? Did I really believe and if I did was it to the fullest or just halfway, you know 'playing it safe.' At times it felt like an isolated mountain climb. A time where I could either choose to keep climbing even though my footing was slipping and the top looked too far away or a time when I could have started on my descent to the what looked like 'green grass' below. I chose to keep climbing. I reached out to friends, mentors, and my husband crying for help. My friends listened and encouraged, my mentors told me to read my bible, and my husband said, "You are just like the Israelites! When things are not going your way you whine and want to go build a golden calf. You keep forgetting all that He has done for you." Ouch!!! He was absolutely right. So I started reading, continued reaching out to others around me (I can easily isolate myself), and sat in awe of the stories of Daniel and Esther. I admired Daniel's faith as he lived in a pagan world. Mordecai and Esther taught me about prepartion, timing, patience, faith, and importance. I became so engrossed I did not want to put my bible down. In the meantime, the visits from male cardinals surrounded me.
Throughout the summer I received e-mails from Julie concerning the cardinals in her yard. Another friend also told me that Joy kept seeing a male cardinal. I had never experienced something like this before and honestly I thought, "Are they really making more of this, come on!" And then a male cardinal visited me. In late July we went on a last minute getaway to SC. One morning while sitting on a very, very small screen porch drinking my tea a male cardinal flew up next to the door and sat on the banister. He looked right at me and chirped for a very long time. I giggled and asked him what he was saying. He continued to chirp and eventually flew away. When we came home I started seeing a male cardinal in our backyard. Then the diving began. When sitting outside or taking a walk around the block male cardinals would dive only a few feet in front of me and swoop to the opposite side. This happened day after day. One day while driving down our street a male cardinal swooped in front of my car, I slammed on my brakes, it furiously fluttered and then flew away. My children in the car claim that there was nothing there. I shared my cardinal encounters with Julie, did a little research, and sent it onto Joy. She responded with her interpretation and her recent accident. Honestly I thought her interpretation was good but it had to be much bigger than that. The next morning I took my children to school (something my husband does 99% of the time), encountered an unexpected detour which caused delay, pulled into an area which I rarely use, and after my giggling children got out of the car I slammed into an oversized cement curb. When I put my car in reverse I could hear my front fender being ripped apart. Okay God, I got it! Slow down and pay attention. It is of the utmost importance. I started thinking about Mordecai and Esther. They took it slow, paid attention, it was of the utmost importance.
Male cardinals, His word, mentors, close friends, a spouse . . . all tools He used to reveal Himself to me once again. Looking back I had two choices, give up (which looked more appealing at the time) or press on. Frustrated, disappointed, and with tears in my eyes I chose to press on and once again it was all worth it. Amen!!!
Disclaimer: My writing on what Joy and Julie experienced and shared is to the best of my recollection. Any errors I have in thier interpretation is my own.
**On October 11th I will be leaving for a nine day trip to Romania. Two other women and I will be ministering in Oradea and a very remote gypsy village. Please join us in prayer as we prepare for our trip, keeping in mind the words revealed through the male cardinal. More details coming soon**