Surprisingly, years later, when the time came to purchase my home, I'd COMPLETELY forgotten about how much I wanted a dogwood tree because, naturally, I was more concerned with the MAJOR things like the roof and the mortgage and the insurance and the alarm system and the storm door and the... LORD! Who had time to think about trees with all that going on? I certainly didn't!
It was early August when I closed on the house, so Fall was about to make her grand entrance and roll right into a show stopping winter that I didn't even know I wasn't ready for! Maaaan...September through February showed me more than I ever wanted to know about the great Georgia pine. I could have literally opened a store to sell all of the pine straw I raked and bagged that year. It was endless! (Needless to say, I don't do the yard anymore. Thank God for my yard man!) But winter couldn't last forever; the season had to change. All the woes of that hard work was forgotten the moment that first sign of my first home owner Spring bloomed in my yard. Pinks, reds, whites and purples came from out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time. I knew I had a lot of trees and bushes, but I had NO idea there were so many! Sure, I'd seen the yard when I visited the home a few times with the realtor, and I'd seen it again at the inspection. I saw it when I was stalking the house before we went to closing. and I saw it when I was moving in, but I was too busy thinking about the business of the move. I couldn't see the beauty in the yard.
After the winter I had, though, I saw every inch of the beauty, and I took it aaaall in.
And then... the moment...
Maybe a week or two after enjoying the beauty of spring, I opened my front door in a rush, trying to get somewhere on time. I looked over and stopped dead in my tracks to see a dogwood tree in full bloom in MY yard! It was almost like someone had planted it over night to surprise me. How could it have not been there before but be there now? (Many dogwoods bloom to announce spring, but some, like the one in my yard, bloom after. Dogwoods are in bloom for 2-3 weeks.) I almost cried from sheer, childlike excitement. I saw it in MY yard, but it hadn't clicked that it was in MY yard. I was too taken! And then the Lord gently spoke to my spirit and said, "Isn't that what you wanted?"
Right then, I tuned back in. I stepped back into reality and recognized that this was MY yard. That dogwood tree was on MY property, and MY God had provided for me a desire that I'd forgotten I even had. He didn't forget though.
In that moment, He reminded me that He hears me. He reminded me that every concern of mine, no matter how big or small, how faint or how near, matters to Him. The desires of my heart reach His heart EVERY time. There were so many confirmations that my house was my house, but if I hadn't had any of those, His reminder with the dogwood tree would've been enough for me. It was almost like He was saying, "So when you said you wanted a dogwood in your yard, I made sure it was planted here for you. I made sure I led you to this house, making all others completely undesirable and even closing some doors so this one would claim your heart. I had this surprise waiting for you. I knew how much they make your heart smile. Don't you love it?"
I got a little teary as I stood there listening to His reminder. Not only was it a reminder that He cares about my desires, but it was a reminder that He's my provider. I can ask Him for anything according to His will, and because I'm the righteous, and because I obey and walk uprightly, I can have it. It was a reminder that He'll make crazy ways for me simply because He loves me. It was a reminder that He's with me and that no matter what happens while I'm in this house (Augusta Ice Storm 2014), He's got me. It's my reminder that He's with me. That dogwood tree blooms every spring like clockwork, and every spring when I see it, I remember Him remembering me. He's there like clockwork. Always.
This morning, when I snapped the picture of my dogwood's first day in full bloom, it was my reminder that yea, this is the house. Yea, that's the tree. And yea...that's my God.