The other day I was cleaning out my children’s stuffies to find bears to add to our Huggabear inventory for children in need during the upcoming holiday season. I found several beautiful bears in excellent condition and tossed them in a box, but as I tossed one special bear, I heard what I believe was the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me. It wasn’t an audible voice speaking like as a person does, it was like a statement that came into my mind that said, “You can’t give that one, it is the transition bear.”
Transition bear? What did that mean?
I had to stop and think why something like that would come to my mind.
I sat down and held the bear, staring at its cuddly, cute face to try and figure it out.
The memory of the bear was crystal clear.
When Aven was about 17 months old, I resigned my position as a music director of a church I had served in for many years. This was a decision that was one of the hardest I’ve ever made because I had attended that church my entire life as did my mother before me. I knew that God had instructed me in a dream that it was time to go quietly, and so I obeyed and left.
The last work that I did at this church was a Christmas program, a ministry performance that lasted for three days. At the end of the performance, I had a cast/crew party at the home of two dear friends, Dan, and Donna Maye, for all the volunteers who labored so hard for so many days and late hours for the program. I wanted to come together, share one more meal, allow me to give my thanks, say goodbye and have one more memorable moment of love and joy with them.
Before the party, I had gone shopping to look for a gift for all of the choir members and the children of the group. I came across some lovely white winter themed bears wearing snowflake covered hats and scarves, some wore pink and some wore blue. I knew they were perfect for the kids so I bought them, bagged them up and the last thing that I did at this party, after giving my choir members their gifts, I gave the children the bears, including my daughter Aven whose bear I was holding in my arms.
It was then that it hit me, and I had chills.
I ended my ministry work with the church by giving children bears, which was also the beginning of my new work that I would do for children. Founding our nonprofit organization The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. and creating The Huggabears book series was the very next ministry work I would do. The ministry that I have been doing ever since and hope to do for the rest of my life.
I was thrilled to discover this! I thanked God for revealing this beautiful message to me. I hugged Aven’s sweet snow bear and placed him on my bed so that I will see it every day and never forget what God did for me in transitioning me from my former work to my new one. A work that I cherish with all of my heart and always want to do.
Although I have never regretted the decision to leave the church, as I knew it was the Lord’s will for our family, it was a difficult and painful decision, which at the time I didn’t understand.
I thought upon the scripture John 13:7 “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
God’s timing is always perfect and so is His wisdom. He’s always right. At that time I didn’t understand what was happening or why, but now I do and I couldn’t be more grateful. I praise God for the work that I was able to do at the church and I praise God for the work that I am now doing. I know that our family is walking upon the road that God planned for us, and for the rest of the days that we travel that road, we will be giving children bears!