Or How God began blessing me with hearts…
How did I become known as the “Queen of Hearts”? It all started through a season in my life where I was struggling to cope with all that life was throwing my way. I felt lost and broken; World/National news was tragic; I was having a hard time accepting truth about a loved one’s fatal illness; I had already lost loved ones I was still grieving for; work was stressful… all I could see and feel was struggle. Yet I knew there was something more…a better way to be processing and coping with life in general. After all; people have stress, it’s not uncommon in this day and age. I was sure there had to be something for me to do to change my perspective and find my peace again. So I started searching, again, for the ultimate questions… What is my purpose? How am I to find peace and joy? Where do I fit? Am I enough? What do I bring to this world? How can I defeat my fearful and negative way of looking at life?
This inner questioning and seeking led me to prayer and meditation. I would spend countless sleepless nights reading through various devotions and bible scriptures as well as searching the internet for guided meditations and affirmations to repeat. YouTube became my favorite place to visit on the Web. You can find so many Christian guided meditations, videos of sermons, and uplifting Christian music to refresh a weary spirit. The one thing I did know was my answer for peace would be found in God’s word.
Isaiah 26:12 LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. (NIV)
My favorite thing to reboot and recharge is spending time in the great outdoors. There is something so calming and re-connecting, so grounding and tranquil about spending time in God’s beautiful creation.
John 1:3-10 “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made….He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”(KJV)
Deuteronomy 10:14 “To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” (NIV)
My husband is a treasure hunter by nature and so we love to head to the mountains to gold mine, metal detect, or just explore God’s beauty. On one such journey, we ended up at a beautiful babbling brook we like to frequent. I love meditating by water flow, so as my husband started setting up his Gold Magic Machine for a little mining fun, I headed up-stream to find a quiet place of my own to be still…
Isaiah 26:12 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (NIV)
When meditating, I begin by saying a short prayer to our heavenly Father and start to clear my thoughts by focusing on six simple but powerful words; God’s Peace, love, joy, and healing. I meditated on God’s peace and goodness for quite a while that day and when I was done with my quiet time with our Father, I felt so relaxed and harmonious…One with nature, if you will. I looked up and in the sky right above me was this heart.
This blessed feeling came over me that is almost indescribable… like a giant hug from God almighty himself. Peace, joy, and calm enveloped me like I have never felt before as I was sent on a spiritual journey I will never forget. For the next few hours, where ever I looked I saw hearts as if God were sending messages to just me and me alone. These signs and Messages left me with feelings of unconditional love in abundance, of total peace and joy in my heart; feelings that every little thing was going to be ok no matter what! I was exploding with excitement at each new heart discovery that day. By the time we were ready to go home I had captured 20 or more hearts with my trusty camera and was on cloud nine. Here are just a few more hearts I found that very first day…
Well, I got home thinking that was an awesome spiritual experience and assumed it was over… As I write this it is almost two years later and I see hearts every day in some form or another. I have also come to realize that while that very first experience with our Father sending hearts my way to remind me he is always there no matter comes, may have been “just for me and me alone”; my heart blessings are NOT just for me. I take pictures of them almost every day and if I can see them; any one can see them. It just takes a person wanting to slow down and seek them.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. (WEB)
God wants you to know he’s there and he’s real. He wants you to know you can trust in his promises. He wants you to search him out daily. He wants you to draw ever close to him. God wants us all to know he is always with us and will never leave us. Our Father wants to talk with YOU and show you his signs, these signals, these messages, these manifestations and evidence of unfailing love for us and his desire to bless us each day. If a picture is worth a thousand words then my words to show you are too many to count as I have literally more than a thousand photos of hearts in the most random of places, many of which I have shared here on Refreshing Hope in our Photography group and other places around this Ministry. You see; God has put it in my heart to share my blessings of hope and love with the message that you too can ask to see your daily blessings and God will be true to provide. I’m not saying all blessings come in the form of hearts; You will know when you receive a sign of hope or a message of love from Him as you will be filled, if only for a moment, with calming peace and joy beyond measure, like you were just kissed by an angel or hugged by God himself. I love hearts, so when I prayed to feel and see his presence in my life he answered that prayer with bountiful hearts of hope and love everywhere I look. Do I get that blessed feeling by other things I encounter? Yes I do! Although hearts seem to be what gains my attention most I am very blessed by simple things such as the miracle of rainbows; nature’s majestic beauty; and a grandchild’s precious hug. Do I still struggle and have trials in my life? You bet! God doesn’t say following him will make one immune to the storms of life but he does say he will walk and even carry you through those times if you trust in him. He says he will work all things for the good of his people and for his Glory. I have seen that to be true in my own life and in the lives of others around me. Events that, at the time, seemed the worst possible thing became the very blessings needed to make change a positive thing on so many occasions I cannot even count them anymore, and I no longer doubt that when trials arise, God will work it out for our greater good and his greatest Glory!
If you have never encountered blessings such as I have described, I invite you to ask… Sit down in a quiet place and have a conversation with the one who holds us through all of life’s joy and sorrows, the one who knows you by name and is waiting to bless you. May the peace and joy of our Lord be with you always.
Biblical references – Holy Bible in various translations
Photography by – Dianna Wyles