It was around this time last year that Jesus told me “there will be poppies.”
I know for sure it was the 13th week of 2014, because the message was meaningful enough for me to create a Project Life card about it. The message was delivered not long after our trip to Israel. I was working on the book that is now with my new agent, but I was still with my previous agent at that time. My career had not gotten off to the start I expected, and I was struggling with what the future held.
I already shared with you that I tend to run away from Jesus when I am afraid of what He will tell me. This time last year, I was in that place. I was afraid my writing future was doomed and I didn’t want to deal with the possibility that the beautiful future I dreamed about would never be mine. But I can never run too far from Jesus. I always come full circle until I find myself sprawled at His feet.
Every. Single. Time… He picks me up. He dusts me off. He pulls me into His lap and tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ears. He kisses my forehead and laughs that soft Daddy laugh I know so well.
So that’s where I was, sitting in my bedroom with my Mac in my lap and my heart in my throat. I set aside the computer and lay down on my back on the bed. I closed my eyes and meditated, picturing myself lying beside Jesus. Having just returned from the Holy Land, I chose to meet Jesus there…
In a field of poppies.
The poppies in Israel had taken my breath away. I’m not talking about Emerald City poppy fields where the flowers are a thick carpet. These were lush green fields with little red dots sprinkled like candy through the grass. I wanted to leap from the bus and run through those fields, but that wasn’t an option. So, instead, I revisited them in my spirit and invited Jesus to lie beside me.
A few moments passed in silence and then I asked, “What does my writing future hold? What is going to happen?”
He didn’t answer at first. He let me think and then I added, “Am I headed for a desert or a field of poppies?”
I had seen both deserts and poppies in Israel, and both held beauty. I could cope with either answer, but it was the poppies I dreamed about.
There was a wash of silence and then, so clearly my body felt drained of everything, I heard Jesus say, “There will be poppies.”
That was it. No other explanation. Of course, within days, I started telling myself I’d only heard Him say that because it is what I WANTED to hear Him say.
I am a skeptical mystic.
Or a mystical skeptic.
Slowly, over time, I quit being skeptical of this. Why? Because everywhere I turn, there are poppies. Every time I start to feel fear for my future, Jesus sends me poppies. I wish I could tell you about each and every time this has happened (especially the discovery of blue poppies, which are gorgeous and showed up in something I was reading). Since that would involve writing you a book, I will settle for sharing two recent examples…
My friend, Janet, sent me a card in the mail. It arrived on a week I was struggling with some writerly things. My spirit was sagging, and I wasn’t thinking about poppies. I opened her card, read the front, read the inside, smiled and set it down.
Then I did a double-take and picked it back up.
On the front of the card… the red flowers I had glanced at without recognition while reading… They were poppies.
Out of the blue, my friend had selected a card for me. Not knowing about my poppy-laden message from Jesus, she chose a card covered in poppies. I sat down on my bed, the same bed where I first heard Jesus in my mystical poppy field, and I cried. I couldn’t stop crying. Jesus used Janet’s hands to send me flowers, to send me the very right flowers He knew would renew my spirit.
Last week, someone in one of my Jamberry Facebook groups (I am a Jamberry consultant) posted their custom designed poppy nail wraps. They were gorgeous and I wanted to buy them, but custom designs are more expensive and I could not justify spending the money. So I passed them up.
Fast forward to Sunday. I took my Jamberry wraps to church with me, because a friend had a few half sheets she wanted to trade. I handed over my wraps and opened the sets Susan had brought. One of the designs was…
Jesus can use anything to tell you He loves you. ANYTHING. Even a sheet of stickers for your fingernails.
This week, I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to close your eyes and meet with Jesus. Meet Him somewhere dear to your heart and ask Him the question that is weighing you down. Ask Him and then stop. Sit. Listen.
I believe He will answer you.
I believe He will keep on answering you.
I believe there will be poppies.
*originally published on Middle Places