This week we have an accomplished author, Beth K. Vogt who shares her moving story. Anyone in the military will relate to Beth’s dread of moving one more time to an alien state. See how God answered her prayer reminding her He hadn’t forgotten her.
The exciting news is Beth has graciously offered a give away. Yahoo!!! If you leave a comment, you have a chance of winning her yet-to-be-released book, Catch a Falling Star. (released in April) You can be one of the first to read it. Just sign up for my blog and leave a comment.
After eight years living in Niceville, FL (yes, Niceville), my roots ran deep into Florida’s sandy soil. My kids were happy. My husband was happy with his job at Eglin Air Force Base. And me? I was happy too.
I treasured a wonderful circle of friends, taught women’s Bible studies and helped lead the women’s ministry at my church. My phone rang constantly – one of my kids labeled my pantry with a sign that read “Phone Booth” because I often retreated there to enjoy uninterrupted conversations.
If God had pushed the pause button on my life, I wouldn’t have complained.
But I know there’s no pause button—especially for a military family. The time came for us to PCS, military slang for move.
“I want you . . . to go to Colorado,” the military, aka “Uncle Sam,” declared.
What? Move from the land of white sand and emerald waters to a landlocked state with not a drop of humidity?
Several months later, we pulled out of our driveway. I drove one of our cars, suitcases in the back, my two young daughters in the middle seat. My husband drove our van, with our son riding “shotgun.” I cried for an hour—all the way to the Florida and Alabama border. The only reason I pulled myself together was the alarm on my daughters’ faces—and their anxious chorus of “Mom, are you going to be okay?”
My car may have been pointed west, but my heart’s compass did not budge off of south. I burned emotional heel marks all the way from Florida to Colorado.
After telling my husband, “I can’t live in base housing again,” our Florida home didn’t sell. Not wanting to juggle two mortgages, we chose to live on base. As I clambered over my bed to get to the miniscule bathroom, I tried to banish images of my large, comfortable still-on-the-market Florida home. Only two people could fit in the galley kitchen at one time. Colorado weather assaulted my body—in mid-July I crawled into bed wearing sweats and socks. July!
Most of the family settled into Colorado easier than I did. My husband had a job to go to—a reason for being there. And once my kids started school and began making friends, they had a reason to be there too.
I struggled to adjust.
One morning at the base gym, I pounded out my loneliness and frustration on the stair-stepper. I also prayed. I’d never been much of a “Could you send me a sign” kind of pray-er, but I was desperate for a tangible bit of hope.
God, I need some encouragement. I need to know You love me, even though You let my life turn upside down. Could You give me a sign? Nothing big. How about a hummingbird? Would You send one to show me that You love me?
With my hope set on a small, fleet-winged bird, I gathered up my water bottle, gym bag, and car keys and headed home.
Several days later, I visited a nearby nail salon for a manicure. Gail, the nail technician, introduced herself, and directed me to her work area. Walking down a narrow hallway, I rounded a corner—and stopped short.
At her worktable she had set up an adjustable, white architect-style lamp—and dangling from the arm of the lamp was a crystal hummingbird.
That wasn’t all. On the wall behind her table hung a hummingbird calendar. Next to the calendar was a stained glass image of yet another tiny, ruby-throated bird. The final touch? Taped to the wall beneath the picture were the words: God loves you. I think God wrote his answer to my prayer in black and white so I didn’t miss it.
Since my hummingbird encounter at Gail’s shop, I’ve scattered reminders of God’s love throughout my house. A crystal hummingbird adorns a vase in my dining room. Another dangles from the lamp in my office, and yet another handcrafted hummingbird hangs from my car’s rearview mirror. Whenever my family hikes in the Colorado mountains in the early spring, my ears tune to the sounds of hummingbirds in flight. And whenever I hear the whir of hummingbird wings, I hear God whispering, “I love you.”
Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Her contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013