Tuesday, January 6, 2009

About One Hundred Cardinals

Six weeks already? Surgery is done, recovery nearly there. Read up, rested, and inspired. I had great times with the Lord and He gave me direction. I'm excited to be back and share His heart with you.

Kim, Maria and I need to meet but we knew before my surgery we were going to pull back a bit and see what God would have. I know that stands for all of us. I'm ready to post, but I don't know how often. I don't know what His plan is for all of us. We appreciate your prayers!

The cardinal has been an ongoing theme here at the Narrow Gate Invites. For a season Kim was getting cardinal dive bombs and the message God gave her was to "slow down, it's of the utmost importance."

For me, I read up and learned the male cardinal is a loyal defender. I wasn't getting dive bombed as much as I was watched. During spring and summer the cardinal would perch himself in my sight and just stay for hours. I recognized his call and would miss it if I didn't hear it.

Fall came and I rarely saw or heard from the cardinal. Yet my spirit was all about trusting God. It's been my issue for the longest time. I've cried, been sick, repented, cried more and still I can't say it's automatic when an issue comes up that I'm able to trust God.

Then came Christmas. We traveled to Upstate NY. I saw cardinals in the front yard. Cardinal window decorations. My jaw dropped when I saw Christmas trees filled, filled with cardinals.

He is my loyal defender.

I returned home to find an insurance bill from a claim in 2006. Apparently because our insurance changed in 2008, the hospital refunded the insurance we had in 2006 and billed us. My stomach lurched. Anxiety zoomed.

Actually? Still happening.

Through it all, He keeps telling me He is my loyal defender. My guess is if it takes a million cardinal sightings, He'll do it to get the point across.

He is my loyal defender.

I'm starting to shift my prayer from why this again, how come, why not to...this is your battle. You are my loyal defender. Take it.

I still have to research this and it's hard because it is my name on the correspondence, not Jesus. But He is my loyal defender.

About one hundred cardinals in 2008 told me so.

Julie Arduini is a wife, mom and surrendering writer. Her personal blog, The Surrendered Scribe, shows her writing resume. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she is also a columnist with Take Root and Write. She recently placed 10th in the JournEzine Christmas story contest about the Good News of Bethlehem. Her verse for 2009 is Deuteronomy 11:1-12.