When Kevin and I first moved back home to Texas, it was a corporate move, and we were put up in a furnished corporate apartment for the first four months, while we made arrangements for a more permanent living situation. At first we looked at houses, but nothing was striking our fancy, so we started considering purchasing a lot and building a house.

It was nearing the end of the four month period, and we still were not close to being settled on a plan, having already had one lot fall through, and a builder flake out. So, we ended up having to move to a different apartment, this time on our own dime, and rent a bunch of furniture to fill it because all of ours was in a storage unit in….wait for it….SEATTLE.

Oh the joys of the corporate move…

Right after we got settled in the new apartment, we received some crazy, life-changing news, that put us – me, especially – in a tail spin of epic proportion. I felt like I’d been cast out to sea, bereft and alone, with no real place to plant myself. It was like I’d been put on hold for an unknown length of time, just waiting to live my new life.

One day, I got out of the house to look at lots. It had been my full-time job before THE NEWS dropped into our world, but I’d really been unable to make myself do much of anything for a while after that. This day, however, was a beautiful fall day, and I decided to try to enjoy it. I stepped out of my car onto a heavily wooded piece of property that made my soul stir. I decided to walk it, and once deep inside it’s thick woods, I began to pray. Crying from a well of tears I thought had run dry, I met God out there. Just then, I heard some branches breaking under footfall behind me. It startled me, but I didn’t feel afraid. Just as I turned, I felt the words in my heart…

You are dear to me.

And my eyes fell onto a buck, majestic and glorious, with a full rack and those wonderful, soulful eyes. We stood there, staring at each other with not ten feet between us.

I couldn’t tell you how long we stood like that. Not really. But it seemed a long while. All I could think of was that the God of the universe met me at one of my lowest points to tell me I was dear to Him…and then gave me a deer to prove it. It’s something I’ll never forget.

Fast forward to now. Yesterday morning, and again, this morning. My first sight upon opening my eyes has been a deer – a doe this time – right outside my window, grazing under the bird feeder. She’s looked right at me, not even moving when I’ve stood up, and I heard that Familiar Voice again…

You are dear to me. Just a reminder.

I’m thankfully not in the throes of any big crises, but I am still a little adrift out here, in our 4th location since that initial apartment. I’m working on that, but God knows my heart, and knew I needed to hear those words and see that promise staring back at me. While I’m grateful for God’s sovereignty, strength and omniscience, His justice and love, it’s His tenderness that always takes my breath away. His care and thought for what will speak directly to me is just about more than I can take. It may not change the circumstances, but they can certainly seem less consuming with His gentle reassurance.

Keep an ear to the ground and to your heart…He may be giving you a message you need to hear today. Because, well, He’s sweet like that.


He will feed his flock like a shepherd.He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.” Isaiah 40:11 NLT

Because of God’s tender mercy,  the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,  to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,  and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 NLT

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT

As the deer longs for streams of water,  so I long for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1 NLT