It was a year and a half ago that God showed me this tree at Pine Cove camp. I was on a leadership retreat with my church for the weekend. I woke up early Sunday morning, and I felt like He was whispering to me, “Go outside; I have something I’d like to show you.” Keep in mind, it was early dawn and I could barely see where I was going. I sensed I was to go to this pier overlooking the lake. After time in prayer with God, I kept asking Him, “what do you want me to see Lord?” Finally, when the sun started to rise, He showed me this tree. I took a picture of it, and added the sun rays with a filter in Instagram. I sat there praying, asking God to tell me what He wanted me to know. At that point in time, I felt like He was telling me, “I don’t want you to be like this tree, Raquel. It’s in the middle of the lake, and yet it appears to be dead. Don’t live your life that way….connected to Me (the tree is ‘in’ the water and the water represents God), but feeling dead (having no leaves or fruit). I love you with an UNCONDITIONAL love, so you shouldn’t feel dead inside; you’re still connected to Me.” I really needed to hear that message from Him at that time. I was coming out of a tough season when I really didn’t feel vibrant, fruit-bearing, alive, or close to God. And God wanted me to know that He loved me, and because He loved me, He showed me a picture of what I was feeling. And He didn’t just leave me there to sulk in my feelings of drought. He was so gracious! There were five others on the pier near me. We all ended up gathering together, having an AMAZING time of worship and prayer for one another. It was in this community that I again sensed God’s love for me in a very tangible way. It was a powerful time for me! I didn’t want to forget what my Father was telling me and that experience. I wanted to commemorate this revelation that God had given me. In time, God revealed a way for me to “mark” that experience so that I would always remember His love for me. If you’d like to jump ahead in the story, you can read The Tree of Life Necklace. Otherwise, God wanted to show me another tree before I found the necklace.