Yesterday as I sat re-reading my blog about forgiveness, I began to panic as I usually do when I start doubting myself. I did the one thing I knew would help, I began texting my older sister asking her to read the blog and call me when she could. As always she came through for me immediately, stopping what she was doing to do what she does best, listen. I began bombarding her with questions. The first, “how do I know if what I’m receiving is a sign?” “Should I take the words of men, as a sign?” “What if what I had read about forgiveness was not a sign?” “What if the chance encounter with the man who destroyed my life and my marriage was not a chance encounter at all and he purposely followed me just to find a way to get me to interact with him?” “How does she receive her signs?” “Did I misinterpret a sign of forgivenesses and a chance to forgive and therefore create an misunderstanding that I’ll have to deal with from a man who looks for any excuse to harass me?” “Should I have walked out the door instead of engaging?” She patiently listened and then asked me how I was feeling at the time (kind of a strange question I thought). I told her I was feeling great, I was getting ready for vacation. She asked me if I was feeling like I needed attention (ouch), but she knows every detail about my affair and I realized it was a perfectly reasonable question to ask. This man loved to heap attention on me (both negative and positive). It gave me pause, I no longer crave his attention, I know that, but did I just want him to know I was happy and had moved on or did I want to truly show forgiveness? She explained to me in simple terms, what forgiveness really is. She also admitted that she sometimes looks for signs around her, but usually finds them in the quiet moments of prayer. She could tell that I was struggling with my decision to stop and talk to him and the fact that I felt I might have misinterpreted what I thought was a sign and in doing so opened a door that I will, once again, have to find a way to close. I asked her for suggestions, something to watch or read that could speak to me of God’s messages in simple terms that relate to every day life and she suggested a “you tube video” she had enjoyed, by a young man. After I finished cleaning my house, I grabbed my iPad and my little dog and retired to my bedroom for some quiet time. I watched one of the videos she recommended (actually more than one, but started with this one). It described a hike this man was taking through the woods with his very young son. His son was in a backpack and they were about half way through the walk, when the skies grew dark. It was only a matter of time before they opened up and a deluge of rain began to pour down accompanied by thunder and lightening. The young man put his son’s hood on and began walking as fast as possible toward home, that is until his son starting screeching from fright. He stopped, put the backpack down, removed his son and picked him back up holding him tight and close to his heart, for the remainder of the walk, repeating the words “daddy’s got you, everything will be okay, I’ll get you safely home.” The point, during our storms in life, this is what God does for us. He picks us up, holds us close to his heart and tells everything will be okay, he “has us” and will get us safely home. It was exactly what I needed. The “storm” I faced yesterday was hardly the worst I’ve faced in my life, but I realized that during all those previous storms, even if they lasted for quite a while, God has always brought me safely home. So maybe reading about forgiveness on Friday and running into the man who took so much from me, was really a sign or maybe I was wrong and it will turn into a storm. Either way, I know God “has me” and will always carry me safely home. My sister is the wisest, most spiritual and humble person I know. I wanted to share her blog with you, as you deserve to be blessed by her words as well, please check her out if you’d like, she will always put sunshine and words of wisdom in your day as she has in mine for many years. I hope her words give you the strength they have always given me. You can find her blog under “Meandering through Life.” I love you Ann.