Sunday morning, Pastor taught about anxieties and worry. He referenced this verse:
Matthew 12: 22-24 He continued this subject with his disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
25-28 “Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
29-32 “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
And it clicked- this is the very same verse God used in 2006 to give me comfort when I was facing the anxieties of my breast tumor and then I remembered that I saw a ladybug in my dream the night before! Allow me to explain…
The Ladybug Story
One of my many nicknames growing up was Ladybug. Ladybugs are to me what butterflies are to a lot of people; they give me peace and encouragement- and they seem to appear when I need them the most. The significance began when I was in a hotel room in Rochester, Minnesota. My friends and I drove down from Minneapolis to attend my pre-opp visit at Mayo Clinic to have my breast tumor removed. To give you a bit of background: I had been in Minnesota (where I was spending the fall semester) for two weeks when I received a call from my Florida doctor saying that I needed to get my breast tumor removed ASAP as my last test showed very suspicious abnormalities. All the while, Allan was in Iraq- which added to my daily anxieties. Okay so anyways, we checked into our room on the 7th floor of a downtown hotel in Rochester. I sat at the desk in the hotel room and played on my laptop trying to distract myself from the worries of what the next day at the hospital would bring. As I was sitting there in front of my computer I noticed something had landed on the sweater next to me as I looked over I noticed that it was a ladybug! The ladybug crawled on my wrist and stayed there for about 45 minutes- it crawled up and down my arm and around in circles on my wrist. As I watched the ladybug I said to myself, “Wait a minute! There are no windows in any of these rooms or hallways! …This ladybug somehow got from the downstairs lobby up to the seventh floor, down the hallway, made a left, then proceeded to enter my room”. And to make conditions even less favorable for this ladybug, it was 37 degrees outside! -God had sent that ladybug to me as a way of saying, “Look Juli, you see this ladybug? I provide and take care of this tiny ladybug. Are you not more important? Don’t you know that I will do the same for you?”
The next morning, Allan called me from Fallujah, Iraq to pray with me before my appointments. Before he could get 3 words out, I interrupted and told him about the ladybug that God had sent for me. Allan paused for a second and then said, “Babe, I’ve been meaning to tell you that I was on a mission a few days ago and a ladybug landed on my rifle. It was so cool babe and I thought about you!” A tear of happiness fell down my cheek- “I’m so foolish God!” I thought. “Why do I doubt you sometimes?!?” I mean – c’mon – the God of the universe makes sure that I am looked after and that Allan remained safe on every single mission. It only makes sense to me that a ladybug in my room on the 7th floor of my hotel in freezing Minnesota winter and a ladybug around the world in the hot desserts of Iraq on the battlefield had to be an act of God as a reminder to His children. He knows exactly what to say and what to do to make us realize that He is and will always remain in control- He even uses things as little as a ladybug to help remind us of how BIG and SOVEREIGN He is.
He even sent a ladybug to us on our wedding day:
Then there was the time that Allan and I were separated (you can read about that here) and He sent a ladybug to me at the beach:
And then there was the time when my brother broke his neck and my Heavenly Father sent a ladybug to my house.
I know God gave me the vision of the ladybug in my dream the other night to remind me that He NEVER fails – He speaks to me in a language I understand. He is always looking after me and taking care of me. As frustrating as this whole journey is – He wants what is best for me. He is my protector and my rescuer. So while the insurance is still fighting to not cover the MRI/Brain Scan – I will wait patiently for my next step… after all, I am not in control – Thank God!