Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prayer in the Sunshine State

WOW!! Just got back in town from visiting my sister, Jan in Naples, Florida. What a wonderful visit! My sister Geri and I flew out for a few days this past week. The sun, the air, foliage and wildlife are amazing. What a place for prayer! Every breath I took reminded me to be thankful for the air I breathe. The sweetness of the gulf breeze filled the air with goodness. The flowers in bloom scented the air with a clean and fresh Florida-only aroma. The night sky seemed clearer and the stars sparkled like diamonds against the inky black night. The moon's glow was warm and soft and the planets were visible with my own eyes. Another of God's masterpieces.

Every palm tree swaying in the breeze played a song of beauty that seemed as though it was playing just for us. When I saw the shadow of the palm fronds on the green grass carpet, they appeared like angel wings fluidly in motion. What beauty God allows our eyes to feast on.

When I entered her church I was greeted with a smile and warm welcome. The choir sang and the words melted my heart. The music was magical. My spirit was soaring as I left the church. On Sunday, a Jamaican choir sang for us and I cannot tell you how their music wrapped my heart in God's love. The words, the beat of the music and the vocals were food for my hungry soul. I kept beat with childlike awe as the music lifted me up to praising I hadn't felt in a long time. God's peace and spirit filled the church and I wept with the joy of the experience. It was beautiful..

Then, I sat back and remembered I had shared time in Florida with Kim, my middle Angel, and Tina my youngest Angel..but not Shannon. Somehow, we never had the time or our schedules did not mesh and we never shared the sand at the beach or the moonlight..I missed her. I longed to share these moments with her and knew physically that would not ever happen. My heart began to break into a thousand little pieces with the knowledge of lost time.

I quietly prayed for the strength I needed to accept that reality. But God had a different plan. His plan
wasn't that Shannon would physically share this time with me, but that spiritually I would feel her presence and be filled with a love only He could provide. So, as I walked the beach with my sister, Shannon was also playing in the gentle waves. And as I watched a gorgeous orange sunset , Shannon witnessed God's artwork across the Florida sky. And as I coaxed a shy little duck for the camera, Shanny giggled with me later, when my sister announced..those ducks will follow anyone, Rosie..and here I thought I was the "duck whisperer."

Every memory that was created, every prayer that was uttered, every hug that was shared..Shanny was a part of it. My Heavenly Father gave me that gift. Because that is what I needed. When I prayed in the Prayer Garden at Jan's church, I wanted so much to reach beyond my own selfish desires. But truth be told, I missed my baby and asked God to provide for me a way to share this all with her. And, He graciously did just that. How wondrous is He?

I cannot begin to tell you how much love I have felt this past week. From my sisters, from Jan's church family, from My Heavenly Father, and Shanny..we left our own footprints in the sand, just as Christ so often leaves His prints upon my heart. Thank you, Father..again and again.