I believe in signs — I’m not talking about Zodiac signs here — I mean actual signs from heaven. Signs that prove we are not left alone here on earth, that there is, in fact, someone in the great beyond, that is at least aware of our deepest struggles and has compassion for us.
I’ve hit rock bottom more than once. That’s the beauty of being middle-aged. You’ve had the pleasure of smacking your head on that rock a time or twelve.
In 2006, I gave birth to my sweet baby girl. I was so relieved and happy for her safe arrival. The birth was perfect. We were surrounded with love.
In a parallel universe, I was dealing with the unmitigated disaster of my divorce. I was now a single mother with three children under the age of five. I had no paying job, because I had been a stay-at-home mom up until that point. My stress was high and unchecked.
The dam broke loose the third day after my little girl’s birth. We got in the car and my sister drove us home from the hospital. My tears fell as freely as the rain — a liquid mixture of post-birth hormones, grief, exhaustion, and fear.
At some point it stopped raining. We rounded the lake near our home and then we saw it. A rainbow.
I feel you cringing. Maybe you’re thinking, “Rainbows follow rain in nature, you idiot. End. Of. Story.”
Think what you will, but in my heart, in that moment, I knew it was a sign of hope that better days were ahead. I desperately held onto that miracle.
Fast-forward to 2014. My current husband and I were pregnant with what would have been my fourth baby. We were also briefly separated at the time.
Unfortunately, we miscarried very early in the first trimester. It was brutal at first — physically and emotionally.
Compounding matters even more, we were a literal ocean apart. The one person I needed next to me in that hospital room could not be there, and I could not be there for him. We were grieving separately, with the exception of supportive, loving phone calls to one another.
Even though it felt like my world stopped, my children’s all-important worlds kept turning. My daughter had a choir concert to attend and needed a dress, so, even though it was only about three days after the miscarriage, and the last thing I wanted to do, we popped over to Kohl’s. The pressing needs of a pre-pubescent middle-schooler know no bounds. The things we do for our kids…
I still remember hearing the rainstorm on the roof as we shopped. When we left and opened the steel front doors to exit the store, there it was. Another rainbow. Right in front of us.
I knew, with no doubt, that this was not a coincidence. I had received a visible sign from above, not once, but twice. Heaven opened up three days after the birth of one baby, and three days after the loss of another — acknowledging my anguish and suffering, and offering a glimmer of hope that better days were coming.
Those heavenly signs are written on my heart as a reminder that we are never left alone. By the way, I’ve since been blessed with many better days (and a few real stinkers).
Do you believe in signs? Share your story with us.