Do you believe in signs? I do. And why not? Whether you believe God is sending you a message or it's just your intuition, it's usually in your best interest to listen. That's been my experience anyway. Understanding what you're being told, that's the difficult part.
Two years ago, in January of 2017, I sat in a mostly empty room writing in my journal near a window with a mostly full bird feeder attached to it. We had recently moved to Chattanooga and I was lost. How on Earth I was going to transition from being a full-time office employee making art on the side to being a full-time artist in a new city where I knew no one. I couldn't even get birds to come to my feeder! Then, as if on cue, a bird landed on my windowsill - a little reddish-brown bird I couldn't identify. (Later, I found out he was a Carolina wren). He was nothing special, and he didn't do anything except sit there, but his presence made me feel less alone and gave me hope.
That bird came to stay. He was always the first to visit the feeder in the morning. When I exercised, he sat on the back of the porch swing and encouraged me with song. After some time he found a mate and they built a nest in the boxwood beside the porch. Soon, the peeping of baby birds could be heard. One evening, a year and a half later, a snake appeared on our porch. Kevin shooed it away but the next morning everything was silent. The snake had found them. I was heartbroken. We had begun packing up the house at that point and it seemed like an ominous sign. But a week later my wren was back! He had survived! He no longer nested next to the porch, but he visited us almost every morning right up until we left.
Now, in our new home, it feels like we're back to where we were two years ago, trying to build a life in a new town where we know no one. As I journal, I remind myself that we've been lost like this before and managed to find our way. We're still reaching for our dreams.
I've set goals in the past. Some I've accomplished, others I haven't, and for the most part, it hasn't really mattered one way or the other. My art is different. My writing and paintings are a huge part of what makes me who I am. It's how I love the world and everything in it.
If I'm not successful with those things, then who am I? What am I?
As I wrote those lines in my journal a flash of movement caught my eye. A Carolina wren landed on the porch rail right next to the window. The first time I've seen one here and the only time any bird has done that since we moved in. And then he began to sing. In that song, I heard a message meant not just for me, but for everyone. "God loves you. You cannot fail."
“One life on this Earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.” ― Frederick Buechner
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