It was a hot, clammy day in Austin, Texas, 103 degrees to be exact. As we pulled into the parking lot our driver said, “You’d best take your make-up ladies ‘less you plan on coming back to a dripping pool of lipstick soup.” I’d been asked to speak at a singles women’s event called One and Worthy and invited some of my single girlfriends to join me on this grand adventure. I can still hear the rumblings of great conversations and the buzz around holding onto your worth.
It wasn’t long before I found myself on stage sporting an asparagus fern I’d brought from home. I explained how this dainty, lime green, beautiful, plant-eating herbivore, recently devoured my succulent plants. My point was simple, to illustrate how good plants (kind and loving beliefs about ourselves) can be choked out by bad roots (negative beliefs and shame that take root in our lives).
After I spoke, a woman named LexAnne came up and shared her story of betrayal with me. It was heartbreaking. She told me how she’d fought for her husband and was deeply grieved when her marriage ended in divorce.
“Divorce wasn’t my plan,” she said, “As a single mom I did my best to find a safe place for myself and our three children.” LexAnne moved into a tiny home with a small backyard that housed her patio table and four white wrought iron chairs. It was then LexAnne began telling me how a plant-eating herbivore had taken over her backyard too. “I couldn’t believe it!” she said, “After moving in, I watched this plant wildly begin to take over my tiny yard including wrapping itself around my patio furniture.”
It was then I asked LexAnne, “So, was it an asparagus fern?” She laughed and said, “No, it was a Morning Glory. Here, let me show you the picture.” LexAnne began to swipe through the photos on her iPhone. “Here it is, I found it. See what I mean?”
When I saw this photo, my jaw dropped. I was stunned.
I asked LexAnne, “Have you ever looked up the meaning behind the name Morning Glory?” I grabbed my phone and was pleasantly surprised by the words and phrases I discovered. From the Victorian era the Morning Glory signified ‘love’ and ‘affection.’ In Chinese folklore, the Morning Glory represented ‘a single day for lovers to meet.’1
I began to see what I believed was the initial pieces of a God sighting. A ‘God sighting’ is a message that comes through a series of people, places, photos, words or phrases that when put together shares a specific message to that particular group; and if taken from a bird’s eye view it actually brings a message that resonates with many. I thought it would be fun to share the pieces of the story with you. Buckle up! There’s a powerful message coming. When we share our stories with one another, it strengthens our faith in what we experience and know.
Take a look at the lavish covering of Morning Glories on the chairs. What a powerful display of love and affection. If God had created a greeting card for LexAnne during this time of tremendous uncertainty and transition, it might say something like: “Beloved, I’m here. I see where you are right now. You matter to me. I’ve spoken into creation and spared no expense to show you how much I love you.”
It was then I decided to look up the meaning of the name LexAnne. It means, ‘defender of others.’2 God is our defender, Jehovah Ezer, which in the ancient Hebrew means:
Jehovah Ezer—The Lord Is My Help and Champion
The Hebrew word Ezer describes aspects of God’s character.
“You are my rock and my fortress—my soul’s sanctuary! Therefore, for the sake of Your reputation, be my leader, my guide, my navigator, my commander. Save me from the snare that has been secretly set out for me, for You are my protection.” Ps. 31:3–4a VOICE
And if that wasn’t enough to convince us of God’s presence, intentional message, and love for us today; God selected a graphic artist named Benji earlier this year (April 2018), to design the logo for the One and Worthy conference. This art was created 4 months before the August 25th event date. Compare the One and Worthy artwork with the photo of the Morning Glories shared by LexAnne (on Saturday, August 25, 11:36 a.m.). Do you see the purple flower in the design? Take a peek at LexAnne’s Morning Glories. At the event the tables were draped in purple! Lovely, huh?
God is a God of details and reveled in placing signs love and affection to these women throughout the day. I remember asking the women in the audience a question at the beginning of my talk, “How do you know your worth?” One woman shouted out loud, “When we are loved.”
This ‘fresh word’ from this event is – God as your defender, loves you and has a deep affection for you. God spared no expense to bring an artist, a single mom’s story, a photo of chairs covered by Morning Glories, and their meaning to remind you of your worth and his unending love.
Dr. Sheri and her friends on the One and Worthy speaking team (Kim Cummins, Stacey Sadler, Vanessa Vasquez, and Jennifer Whiteley)