I’ve learned a couple things since last November when I wrote the blog post about flowers blooming in the desert. You see, I had read an article about this phenomenon in a Chilean desert. Here is what it said, “The Atacama region was punished, but also blessed by the phenomenon of a flourishing desert, something that happens only after the rains, this time brought about by El Niño and climate change.”
A huge storm had happened which brought very rich, fertile soil to the desert sand and with that storm and soil came beautiful flowers…something the desert does not see often. Flowers blooming after the storm, it’s a beautiful parallel isn’t it?
I had shared that our family was weathering a storm at the time and I couldn’t wait to see some flowers blooming. In fact, I ended the post saying this: While the monsoon has let up some and I have had the chance to catch my breath, the flowers have not quite bloomed. But you know what? I have no doubt they will!! Because #mydadsbigger!!
Here is what the Lord has taught me the past few weeks:
You cannot make a flower bloom before its time. Recently my daughter Macey, grandson Cohen and I planted several types of seeds in an indoor seed starting kit. We followed the directions, placing the seeds just so, putting water in the watering tray beneath the seeds and placing the lid on top for warmth and humidity; creating the perfect environment for the seeds to change into buds which will grow into Sunflowers, Gourds and Larkspur. And then have left them to do what they will naturally do. I’m happy to announce we have lots of seeds sprouting!
Here’s the deal: I didn’t sit in the rocker for hours beside the seeds and watch for a sprout to pop through. I didn’t “will” the seed up through the soil. I couldn’t make it happen any faster if I closed my eyes and wished it so. I couldn’t shout it out. It would sprout and it will bloom in its God given time.
You all, I became obsessed with wanting to see one particular flower bloom from the remnants of this storm we went through. It was all I thought about. I rocked beside it for hours. I willed. I wished. And yes, shouted a few times. And nothin’.
Just like the seeds above, I will create an environment of growth by soaking this particular seed in love, watering it with grace AND truth, and covering it in prayer every single day. And then I will leave this seed in the hands of my Father to do what He does best…help her sprout into the beautiful flower she was meant to be.
I will continue to serve the Lord. There were a few days (maybe even weeks) that I wanted to cry Uncle! The enemy was breathing his rancid breath down my neck so bad and putting such doubts in my head that I almost quit. Oh, I don’t mean quit believing in God but stop serving Him. I was so tired and wanted to do whatever it took get a respite. I started to believe that if I just stopped serving, stopped writing, stopped praying, stopped anything that had to do with the Lord, it would get better. He even had me convinced that if my Dad truly loved me He wouldn’t be putting me through this. Yep, that snake in the grass pulled the Dad card! But the devil is a big, fat liar. And his lies drove me right back INTO the arms of my great big Daddy who can squish that slithering serpents whispering lies with one sweep of His mighty arm.
So not only is the sparkle in my eye back, but I’m fully armored up with mighty warrior girlfriends and guy friends who know how to fight the good fight and win!!
My obsession with one flower was causing me to miss literal fields of flowers blooming in this desert of mine. The Lord has been so gracious to me over the past 6 months; I just needed to look up from watching the dirt for this particular sprout to see them. There have been countless prayers, texts, calls, lunches, tears, hugs, laughter, silliness, scolding (in a good way), wine (and whine), wisdom, advice, love, and caring from so many…whether you know exactly what is going on or not! All individual flowers that have made absolutely gorgeous bouquets.
I would get a text from a friend that said, “Not sure what’s going on but know that I prayed for you today.” or “Thinking about you today” or “Let’s do lunch soon!”
So many flowers blooming.
Then there was this one: I was having lunch with a friend who is walking through a similar situation as mine. As we were talking I said how I felt bad because we were having to walk this messy path. And how it was great to have someone there with me but that neither could pull the other out because we were both in the same dang pit. And how it would be great if we had someone who was a little farther along in a similar journey. No prayer mind you; just a thought out loud. She agreed and we finished lunch. This was on a Wednesday. On that Friday we were working together on something at the church and just “happened” to meet someone who is 11 years ahead of us walking the same path. She spoke truth and encouragement and joy and love and grace into both of us. All we could do is sit with tears streaming down our cheeks knowing we had just witnessed the goodness and grace of a God and Father who loves us dearly.
Talk about a bouquet of the sweetest smelling flowers ever!
Thank you if you’re still reading. I know I’ve exceeded my 500 words. Maybe I missed writing more than I thought! J I HAVE to share this last one with you.
February 14th, 2016. We are sitting in church getting ready to take communion. We did it a little different and got up to take it instead of taking it while seated. My oldest daughter Macey and her hubby Tyler stepped out for a second and as I was coming back to my seat when she grabs my hand and says, “Momma, I want to go to the prayer room. I want to be baptized.”
Oh. My. Soul.
I had been praying for this sweet daughter of mine ever since she came home at Christmas her freshman year of college and announced that she no longer believed in “your God” and was deciding if she was agnostic or atheist. Six years of wondering and wandering and giving her a safe place to ask questions and questioning our own parenting and praying and praying some more. My baby girl came home. I tear up every time I think about it.
This was an entire field of the most gorgeous purple lavender one can image.
God is so very gracious.
And so, that flower that I’m waiting on to bloom? It will. In God’s time. And while I wait, I will nurture the seed with grace and truth, love and prayer. I will serve the Lord and I will look around at all the other flowers blooming while in this desert. And I will be grateful for you.
Writing while fighting from the trenches!