At the end of last month I went on vacation to California to stay with one of my mom’s oldest friends. As luck would have it, I received a bittersweet phone call the night before the flight out, and while it didn’t ruin the excitement or hope I had for the trip – it wasn’t exactly what I hoped to receive.
Life is funny like that isn’t it?
You can get unexpected messages out of no where and they can really make or break wherever you find yourself in that moment.
Anyway, back to the trip.
Years ago I felt like I was starting to find my rhythm for how I uniquely experience God in my life. Symbolism, messages, getting inspiration from a book or show at the right time always felt like a creative way to be spoken to spiritually. For my subconscious in dreams to be unraveled and investigated later on or seeing something on a mundane day on someone’s shirt or floating near by. But I’ll admit – I haven’t felt this connection in years and it’s hard to know if this is because I’ve personally moved away from God and the church to unpack trauma and rebuild my worldview as a whole or if it just so happened that spiritual breadcrumbs stopped being left for me.
If the photo in my phone is accurate the day after my flight we had an unexpected visitor – a praying mantis on the door leading outside. I don’t know about you but I’ve maybe seen one other praying mantis in my entire life. They aren’t common. And it reminded me that a few days before it was night time and I stopped at a stop sign in a local town near by. And out of no where there was a thwack on my windshield. A praying mantis. I grew up hearing it was illegal to kill them and all sorts of weird information about them but seeing it hitch a ride on my car out of the blue felt weird.
So in classic Jess fashion – I tried to ignore it. Weird things happen all the time right? Don’t dwell. It spread its wings a few time going 30 on the way home but never flew away. It was right in my view the entire time – watching me.
Eventually when I pulled into home it disappeared but now seeing another one in California was weird right? Hitching a free ride home was one thing but there’s no way it held onto a plane all the way across the country.
Over the next few days two more praying mantises landed on her house. Was I starting a plague?
It felt obvious that maybe this was a sign – but I don’t like bugs. Ironic in many ways – but – we’ll leave that here.
So after the 10th or so time that my mom’s friend said she’s lived in California for 40 years and has never seen one at her house – I figured let’s look this up. It can’t hurt.
I don’t remember the exact website that came up but since then I’ve thought about writing about it and the same sorts of themes came up when searching:
Reminders to pray. To be patient. Surrender. Mindfulness.
I mean I truly need all of those reminders – all the time. So message received – but it’s strange that these all appeared within the same time frame in two different places.
Have you experienced something like this? What did it stir up for you?