As a newlywed, I was captivated by the nurturing of a mother bird raising her young right outside our first humble apartment. We even rescued two baby birds on separate occasions, a starling, and a sparrow, when discovered on the driveway with no nest in sight until they were mature enough to be released back into the wild. I still marvel they both survived and thrived with around-the-clock syringe feeding as I became a foster mom. Then the Lord began to speak through them in the bible.
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King, and my God,
even the sparrows and swallows are welcome to build a nest
among your altars to raise their young. Psalm 84:3 TPT
Not long after releasing our last bird, we started a family of our own, and somewhere I learned that cardinals were a bird of promise. I kept it in my heart, and a cardinal instantly connected me to my Heavenly Father and how His promises are yes and amen.
After a tough season of life where traumas came like waves that left us breathless and gasping for air, afraid of drowning and being taken out completely, the Lord began to teach me about Holy Spirit. I started the journey of understanding Him and His role in the Trinity and the importance of worshiping in Spirit and truth. I had been missing out on Holy Spirit, and now I was getting a taste of the book of Acts Christianity.
Following Jesus became even more exciting as I stepped out and began to pray for healing for people. I learned about praying in tongues and desired to have all God had for me, and I received this gift of the Spirit on St. Patrick’s Day after several months of seeking and expecting. I grew in my understanding of Holy Spirit, who reminded me of Scriptures to share with people who were desperate to hear from God, although I had no idea and only found out later. Eventually, I occasionally received dreams and visions that guided my prayer and intercession. In one case, a dream came to pass in real life a few years later, much to my amazement.
I often sat in my car listening to sermons or reading books to learn about life in the Spirit. I heard a prophetic word given to someone about being given an anointing for mothering while she was pregnant with her first child, and I felt Holy Spirit bearing witness in my spirit. I was working on a seminar about Staying Spiritually Hydrated when I happened to look up and see a female cardinal sitting on the fence within 3 feet of my car. My mouth dropped in amazement as she just sat there looking at me for what felt like a very long time.
You can imagine my delight when upon moving into our new home, a pair of cardinals appeared and have never left. It has been almost ten years, and we have watched a couple of cardinals raise their young and call part of our backyard home. Without fail, no matter where I am, when I’m feeling discouraged or weighed down by life’s challenges, a cardinal, and usually a female cardinal, appears. I’m instantly infused with spiritual hope and strength by Holy Spirit to press on.
This past week, I listened to a seasoned leader in the body of Christ share what he felt the Lord was speaking in this season. He shared many great insights, but I was surprised when he talked about the cardinal as a symbol of homemaking and a stable family in passing. I laughed aloud and have been pondering and journaling about this latest revelation about cardinals and our family’s journey.
Only Abba Father could take our broken first-generation Christian family and transform us into a family of healthier individuals He can use to bless others because of our suffering and healing. He is doing it for us and will do it for you and your family because He’s the God of redemption and restoration.
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