I Had a Run-in with a Bear!

I had a run-in with a bear! And it was a VERY BIG bear. But what I know for sure is that it was a sign from God, giving my hubby and me a message.

I watch for signs all of the time, and have been getting a lot lately as Charlie and I are in a huge transition. We just bought a coffee roasting company called Jumpin Goat Coffee in Helen, Georgia. This is a dream Charlie’s had since we went on our honeymoon in Telluride five years ago after seeing a little coffee shop up in the mountains. Through a lot of twists and turns and surrendering to our hearts, PLUS following God’s signs, a coffee company showed up.  But it meant truly letting go. This kind of change brings a lot of questioning and fears. So as we usually try to do, we asked for signs to appear.

Our hearts said to let everything go and head to Georgia. That meant not only selling our home here in Destin, but also selling 85 acres of land up in Andalusia, Alabama. This piece of land had been on and off the market for about five years and not once has it ever had a nibble. Because Charlie and I really wanted to have some guidance about making this commitment to purchase the company and to move to Helen, we both asked for something really PROFOUND to be revealed. The NEXT DAY a man called wanting to purchase the acreage in Alabama. We closed that deal yesterday! Woo hoo! God is good!

We knew that man calling about the land was God giving us a great big “YES!” to move forward with our plans. We knew without a doubt that we were leaving the old behind and moving to Georgia on a grand adventure. However, until this business venture appeared, we had never spent any time in Helen or the surrounding areas. So, as you can imagine, we had no idea of where we wanted to live.

Charlie and I made a decision to get clear on what was calling us in our hearts. After all, your heart is God guiding you, too. We both knew we wanted something that would inspire us and speak to our souls. We knew we wanted a view and a yard for our dogs. Charlie wanted to be close to the coffee store and the office where we roast. My main concern was not to be too far out from a grocery store or civilization. Plus, I wanted a newer home, as I have a tendency towards allergies to molds that often show up in older homes. And we both wanted to be near the gym. (I like to THINK about going, not that I get to the gym very often! He goes at least four or five times a week.)

We fell in love with the very first home we saw near Helen, on top of Mt. Yonah. When I stepped out of the car and saw the view overlooking the mountains and valleys, I said to myself, “Boy, could I write a book here.” This home just happens to be about three minutes from the Jumpin Goat Coffee store. If you head five minutes in the other direction from the house, you’ll find the grocery store, and about 7-8 minutes beyond that is where the coffee is roasted. Plus, the house is two minutes from the gym. (Maybe I’ll finally have to go!) We loved the home! It met everything we asked for! We knew, however, that we wanted to look around more and educate ourselves on the surrounding area, as well as see what else was on the market. But most importantly, our deepest desire was to surrender to God’s guidance. So we rented a cabin to make this transition and asked to be given a sign again.

Upon our return to our cabin the next day, we discovered that some critters had visited us. Garbage was strewn all over our front porch! “Hmmm,” Charlie and I discussed, “we either had raccoons or a bear visit us.” Interestingly, I had just read an article on black bears in the area earlier that day and it said to make sure all garbage was put away. I thought ours was, as we stored it in a very large trashcan outside the front door.

I “sort of” forgot about the incident until later that night when I took the dogs out to the bathroom. “Sort of” is key here because prior to walking out, I said to Charlie, “Come get me if I scream.”

Well, I wouldn’t call it a high-pitched scream. It was more like a deep-guttural yell. Yep, I ran into a bear! Just thinking about it still sends shivers up and down my back. When I took the dogs out, Milly sniffed her way over to the trees next to the cabin. And then she froze.

Milly caught my eye and, as I followed her line of sight and looked into the trees, I saw something very large staring at me. I’m not sure where the deep guttural voice came from, but my whole body grew larger and quaked as I yelled, “Ge-e-e-et ouuuutttttaaaa here!” I’m not sure if I was talking to the bear or the dogs, but I scrammed like hell!

I shook from head to toe once I got the dogs in the door. Charlie never heard me yell.

The next day I tried to convince myself that I had seen a deer. Nope. That afternoon our neighbor across the street came over to tell us about the 400-pound male bear and its female friend who decided to hang out at our cabin the night before. Then she showed us the picture below!

I’m pretty darn sure the bear standing up next to the railing on the left is the one I saw. The female is the one you can barely see in front of the garbage can. I still shiver a bit thinking about coming face-to-face with these bears. But I know there is something much greater going on here.

North Georgia is Native American Indian country and “yonah” means “bear.” The house we had been asking for guidance about is on Mt. Yonah. Charlie and I both feel we want to be in a home that is for the highest good and that will speak to our souls so that we bring more joy into the world. Those two bears, the male and female, were our sign to make an offer on the house up on that mountain. We’re making it this week. Now we just have to ask for guidance with what kind of offer to make!

Here’s a little interesting side-bar. You’ve probably read some of my stories about my dogs. One of them is Junah. My daughter, Kolbi, named her almost a year ago. Since Junah is a Native American Shepherd, Kolbi strongly considered calling her Elay Yonah, which means Light Bear. I kept trying to encourage Kolbi to call the puppy Yonah, but she chose Junah. Was this a sign calling us to Mt. Yonah many months prior to this journey? You decide.

Signs come in so many shapes and sizes. Even a 400-lb bear can be a message from God. Signs are all around us. The key is to ask for guidance and then step back and pay attention.

If you’ve had a sign show up in your life that got your attention, tell us about it. I love hearing about messages from God and I know our readers do, too! We want to hear from you!

Until next time,

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