It was a beautiful day in June at the Oregon coast, no clouds in sight, with only a slight breeze. The weather was exactly what one hopes for, but seldom gets at the coast. Perhaps the conditions seemed all the more idyllic in my eyes, since I had just spent a couple of months cooped up at home, suffering from a mystery illness.
At the time, the illness was a long nightmare that doctors couldn’t seem to adequately diagnose. Looking back, I think it was a combination of issues that hit my body all at once, resulting in loss of appetite, lethargy, allergic reactions, and panic attacks. I was convinced that if I went outside during high pollen count, that my symptoms would worsen, so fearfully I stayed indoors as much as possible. As I became weaker and less functional, family members wondered if I was dying. During this time I fervently sought the Lord, meditated on scripture, and researched possible answers to my health nightmare. Eventually, my breakthrough came! Without going into all the details, God met me, and compassionately pulled me out of the pit I was trapped in.
Just after my breakthrough, a friend asked if I’d like to go to the coast with her for the day. I felt like a bird let out of a cage! Outdoors in the sunshine, I breathed the clean coastal air, taking in the immensity of the ocean and comparing it to the power of God. Feeling free and grateful to be alive, I went for a walk along the beach, amazed by the beauty of it all.
In my gratitude, I asked the Lord to show me a special sign of his love in the sand. As I strolled, I looked down and noticed a bug stuck in the wet sand, but didn’t give it much thought. I continued hiking quite a way before deciding to turn around. It wasn’t until my walk back that the bug really caught my attention. I realized it was the same bug I had seen before, and thought, “What are the chances that I would see this same bug twice on this huge expanse of beach?” So this time, I walked over to it and bent down to look at it, and discovered it was a ladybug. I wondered if it was still alive, so I slid a finger under it and lifted it out of the wet sand it was stuck in. At first it was very still. Then it slowly started to move on my finger. Seeing it was alive, I decided to carry it to a safer place away from the water. As I walked, it kept crawling on my finger, slightly faster. At one point, it spread its wings and I thought it might fly away, but it didn’t. It let me carry it to safety. Moving as far from the ocean as I could, past the dry sand, I placed the fragile, yet tenacious little ladybug on a leafy bush, hoping it would provide protection for the creature.
At that moment, the Lord spoke to me and said, “That’s what I did for you. You were the ladybug, trapped in a circumstance that you couldn’t pull yourself out of. I lifted you from your despair, and carried you to safety.” I was awe struck! I had asked the Lord for a sign of his love in the sand, and he answered my simple prayer in a profound way, that only he could orchestrate!
Needless to say, ladybugs have become a significant symbol of God’s mercy to me. When I was helpless and my life at risk, my loving Savior lifted me out of a pit and carried me to safety. I can always trust him to hold my life in his hands. What a loving Father we are privileged to know!
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Kathleen lives in Happy Valley with her husband Scott, of 38 years, and daughter Hilary (pictured here). Together, they have attended Grace for about a year. She is the proud mother of six adult children and one grandchild. After many years of managing a lively household, she and Scott are soon to become empty nesters.
Having a passion for the arts, she has taught classes and ministered through art, music, drama, and stories over the years.
She loves the beauty of nature and the vast array of creative expressions by the Creator himself!