One summer, years ago, when we were visiting my in-laws in London, I noticed that my mother-in-law got a little quiet, even seemed a bit brisk on the last day of our trip, as if she were distancing herself emotionally. Hoping we hadn't offended her, I asked my husband, "Is your mom mad at us? Did we do something wrong?"
"No," he answered, "I think she just has a hard time saying goodbye."
It took me a few more years to realize that the reason he understood his mom so well is he has the same struggle. He has a hard time saying goodbye.
At first, this used to make me sad. I'd drive away (or watch him drive away...even worse) and think, He doesn't love me. He won't even miss me.
It's a pretty unhealthy vortex. We talked about it a few times.
Then came the post-it notes.
When we were in Florida together last March, and Jeff had to fly back early to teach a class, I got back to the hotel room, already missing him, and found notes from him everywhere...inside drawers, in my suitcase, in the bathroom, stuck to my hairbrush, inside the book I was reading...so many notes! I was amazed he had (or made) the time to write them all and hide them all. And each time I'd find one it would make me so happy.
Last week was no exception. I left for six days of painting and teaching in Capitol Reef. I found the first note in the pocket of my hoodie. There was another inside a pad of paper. Another stuck to the Q-tip box in my cosmetic case. There was one inside my sketchbook. And another inside my palette. I kept finding them all week long. The students' eyes lit up whenever they saw me find one. Each note I discovered was a joyful surprise! There could be no doubt that he loved me.
When a shower repairman was at our house last month, he said, "Umm...when I'm in people's houses every day, I notice things." I thought, "Oh, no -- do we have a mold problem?" Instead, he said, "Those notes on the mirror....are awesome!" Yes, they're on the bathroom mirror too. Now as many from me to him as from him to me. We save every one. I love all the little reminders smiling back at me from the mirror. (And apparently so does the shower guy.)
Then I got to thinking...so many people seem to doubt God's love for them. They live with a constant black cloud over their heads, thinking not only "God doesn't love me," but eventually doubting His very existence. The thing they don't realize—and I include myself on the dark days—is there are love notes from God hidden everywhere. We just have to notice them, find them.
Start with nature. I just spent a week in Capitol Reef. The sheer natural beauty is overwhelming. Everywhere you look there's a gigantic post-it note from God: Here. I created this for you. I made it extra beautiful, just for you, because I love you. Enjoy fully!
Open your scriptures. It doesn't take long before you'll stumble across another figurative post-it note, a verse that strikes you in a new light, or even just a peaceful feeling, reminding you not just intellectually of God's love, but helping you instantly feel that love renewed.
Get on your knees. From the time I was a young girl I remember feeling something different when I said my prayers at night. Something I didn't feel any other time or place. A love note. From God. But you have to get down on your knees to find it, to feel it. Or at least close your eyes and clear your head.
Visit His house. I don't think I've ever felt more precious, more loved, more cherished than when I'm inside the temple. If you pay attention, there's not just a single love note, but streams of love pouring down on you here.
Hold a baby. There is nothing like holding a precious, innocent creature so recently come from heaven to remind you of God's love. Let your gaze sink into the purity of those crystalline eyes and dive straight into that love.
Serve. Do something unselfish (and maybe a little inconvenient) to help somebody out. You'll see a love note reflected back in the gratitude in their eyes. Better yet, you'll feel it wrapped around you like a blanket and pounding in your heart. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)
His post-it notes are everywhere, larger than life, yet so easy to miss if we're looking in the wrong places. The list above is just the beginning. I challenge you to find one, find ten, today. I promise it will make you a whole different kind of happy. You'll find joy.
What about you? Where do you usually find post-it notes from God, figurative reminders of his love? Let me know in the comments.