The Lord has a way of blessing me that really speak to my heart and grab my attention, so that no matter how thick-headed I am at the time, I can't help but notice it was His doing.
The first time I remember being aware of this particular way of His to bestow a blessing on me in neon sign fashion (or as my husband says, knocking us over the head with a two by four) was in the middle of June, 2004. My mother and mother-in-law had just died, both losing the battle cancer within hours of each other. In a whirlwind of airplane rides, visitations, memorials, funerals and burials, I was unable to even begin to comprehend what had just happened. Our moms were both so young, vibrant, needed and loved - they were just 56 & 59 years old.
It wasn't until we finally arrived home, weeks later, that I began to try to make sense of what we had just experienced. Although, brought up in the church, my faith was still young and immature. I rarely opened a Bible, and we were still church hoppers.
On that June afternoon, some 17 years ago, I vividly recall the thoughts that were running through my head as I unpacked my bag. Those thoughts were pretty much boiled down to "What is this whole thing we call life all about??? What's the point?"
My suitcase was on the bed, and once emptied, I zipped it closed and lifted it up at exactly the moment I had placed a question mark on my thoughts. At that precise moment, I looked down to see something small and shiny on the quilt of my bed, right where my suitcase had been lying.
It appeared to be a small silver, broken piece of jewelry - shaped in a circle with two hands holding a heart and a crown on top of the heart. I recognized it and knew it was Irish but did not know what it signified - not to the Irish anyway, but I certainly knew what it meant to me.
God was blessing me with this little reminder. I asked of no one in particular and He answered me directly - "It's all about love, family and the Kingdom of God." At the time, I didn't bother to look up the meaning behind this Irish symbol (the claddagh) because it didn't matter what anyone else thought, I knew what it meant to me. (And this was pre-Google, pre-internet).
Incidentally, I called all of my family to see if anyone would claim this little piece of jewelry or knew if it broke off of something that belonged to my mother. No one knew where it came from - it just somehow fell from its little hiding spot on my suitcase, exactly when I needed to see it. I may not know where this little silver blessing came from, but I certainly know and trust the One who placed it there.