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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

An Angel Sign at Church - A Message from Beyond or a Coincidence?

I am a “liberal” Christian woman who believes in God, in Jesus Christ, and in angels and other out-of-this-world spiritual guides and helpers.

There. I said it. I believe in angels.

Oh. Were you stuck on the “I believe in God and in Jesus Christ” thing? Then this is not the blog post for you.  You may want to move on to reading something else.

Here I am, in 2017, believing in God and in angels … and in angel signs.

​I didn’t use to believe in angels much, aside from the whole “your guardian angel will protect you” thing that I was taught growing up in the Catholic faith. The thought of angels being around us all the time is a relatively new awareness for me. And it’s one I am just fine talking about now.

In 2012, when my oldest daughter, Lisa Driver,
 discovered her gift of talking to angels/departed loved ones – yes, like Long Island MediumLisa occasionally talks to dead people – I was curious. (I’m a trained journalist. Curiosity is essential.) The more Lisa researched, trained, and honed her gift, the more she wanted to help others, which led to her writing her first book, Opening Up: How To Develop Your Intuition And Work With Your Angels, I, being a good mom and a book publisher, volunteered to help her publish that book, and I’m proud that I did so because the book has won an award (Winner, Spiritual category, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival) and has helped hundreds of people already.​

Lisa Driver, author of Opening Up
I knew that publishing this book would mean that I, as Lisa’s publisher and mom, would be asked questions about what I believe regarding angels, mediums, after-life etc. So I came to terms with my own changing beliefs.

I am a practising, faithful member of the United Church of Canada. Lisa was raised in this denomination too. As she explains in her book, “I was filled with peace when I heard the minister speak of a loving God who wanted the best for us and for us to love each other. The ministers, youth leaders, and families that attended were so welcoming, open, caring, and full of love. For me, church was (and still is) a place where I could go and feel accepted, faults and all.”

This is my experience with the United Church of Canada as well. Mostly. There have been times when things haven’t been all rosy – we are humans after all – but in general, my denomination and my local church congregation, worship services and committee work fill me with love, peace, and hope. Through pastoral care, prayer, and our work in the world, we help people serve others, embrace and celebrate life, heal, grieve, and be the best people that we can be. We are a caring community. I find my participation in my chosen religion is a fulfilling, wonderful way to live my life.

After reading Lisa’s Opening Up book, I accepted the concept that angels and angel signs are connected to God, or whatever you choose to call the Divine Love that guides us all. Many of my church friends also embrace this concept of angels and angel signs as other parts of their spirituality that they’d wondered about but couldn’t discuss before since it didn’t fall under traditional “church” concepts. It is marvellous for me, as a mother and a constantly evolving human being, to see the growth in myself and others because of these new concepts of connecting with our angels, shown to me by my daughter.

In Lisa’s Opening Up book, she notes that feathers and coins are two of the most common physical signs that people receive from their angels. “While finding a nickel on the street is common, if you find coins in mysterious places or when you are feeling down, know it is your angels getting your attention and trying to put a smile on your face. I had a client who found dimes everywhere – on her bathroom counter, on top of her microwave, even on her bed! She knew these dimes were a sign from her grandma that she was still with my client, watching over her and sending her strength and support. Feathers are a very common sign because of the wings we envision on angels.”

Which brings me to this amazing story…

One Sunday morning in late February 2017 was a very emotional day for me. It was not only my birthday – a day I did not want to celebrate since the recent death of my husband, Al – but it was an important day in our church year too. We held our annual meeting after our worship service, and a motion was made to remove my late husband’s name as a trustee for our church. This is church policy and an important step that I knew had to happen. I wasn’t ready for it emotionally though. Al died in January 2016 after a short battle with colon cancer. He was diagnosed as being terminal only two and a half weeks before he passed away, so I and our family and closest friends were still, in large part, reeling from this sudden death. (Lisa wrote about Al’s illness and death, among other things, in a wonderfully helpful way in her second book, Leap! How To Overcome Doubt, Fear, And Grief & Choose The Path Of Joy, which was awarded Runner-up, Spiritual, 2017 Great Northwest Book Festival, by the way.)

At our church meeting, a friend made the motion, on behalf of his committee, to remove Al’s name as a trustee. This friend fought back tears as he spoke and we all became quiet and emotional, watching this open display of affection and loss.

A few minutes later, a dear friend of mine, Nadine, stood on behalf of the Nominations Committee and put forward my name to be accepted as a trustee. I had volunteered to put my name forward for that position. I wanted to honour Al’s memory and I knew it was a job that was usually not too taxing time-wise and was something I could do, amid my grief, having been an active member of our congregation for more than 30 years. The nomination was accepted and everyone became sombre again after that vote. It touched me deeply.

About 15 minutes later, the meeting ended. Nadine came running up to me and said, “Deana! Look at me!” She grabbed my arms and turned me towards her.

I was confused. Nadine is quiet, rarely gets excited in public, and never yells.

“Look at me!” she strongly repeated.

So I looked at her face. “Look down,” she instructed.

Which I did. And there, on the front of the skirt of her beautiful red dress was a perfectly placed, small white feather.

“Wow,” I said.

“I know!” she said. “I swear, Deana, I stood up to offer your name as the nomination for trustee, and I wasn’t near anything, and I sat down and there on my dress was this feather. It’s like he approves of the nomination.”

I took a photo of this feather. I knew that Lisa would be thrilled by this amazing angel sign, and I wanted to remember it as well.

​Nadine was talking about my late husband, Al, of course, when she said “he”.

We have seen enough nickels and quarters dimes and feathers on our walks and at restaurants and various other places in this last year to know that he is with us, sharing in our daily lives, and that we should not question where they came from. They are signs from Al, my departed loved one, our departed loved one. Still, we are human and we want to figure out where and why.

As another dear friend, Susan, came up to us to visit, I asked Nadine to tell Susan what happened. As Nadine finished her story, she started trying to explain that she had no idea where the feather came from. Susan, being much more understanding of angels for much longer than I have been, interrupted, “Don’t try to explain it. Just accept it for the marvellous miracle that it is.”

So we did that. We smiled, knowing that this was a message for us and that we should accept it gracefully and gratefully.

As I left the church and walked out to my vehicle, I saw a nickel on the ground by the driver’s side door. Another message from my angels. “God is with you. You are not alone.”

It is easy sometimes to pooh-pooh concepts that are different from what you have been taught. In my journalism career, I learned not to dismiss the perspectives of other people, especially if those ideas and approaches were not harmful to others.

My mother passed away from pancreatic cancer a few years before Al died. My father and father-in-law had also passed, and a few months after Al died last year, my mother-in-law passed away. We have lost many dear friends and other family members in recent years. I miss them all and would do anything to have them back in my daily life, but that is not to be. Connecting with angels, with my dear departed loved ones and other loving spirits connected to God, brings me courage and hope to get through my days and, especially, difficult moments. These little angel signs bring a smile to my face and a light to my heart. Sometimes they make me laugh out loud at the oddball timing and placement of the signs. They help me get through the darkest hours. They are a gift from God and I accept them gratefully.

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