Time to Bloom

I won’t lie – it’s been a long winter. And really, by Wisconsin standards, it hasn’t been that bad. While I have had my share of harrowing commutes through blizzard-like conditions, we’ve never gotten more than six inches of snow at a time. And some of the snowfalls have been kind of pretty,  like this one.

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Through it all, it’s been hard for me to keep my chin up. I was blessed with the opportunity to visit a friend in Texas at the beginning of February, to meet her newly adopted children. Yet when I returned a mountain of snow and bitter cold greeted me. I wanted – no needed – to go back to Texas, to warmth and sunshine. But I pushed on.

Then another mountain buried me.

Girl Scout Cookie Season.

In my fourth year as the troop cookie mom, you’d think it would be easy by now, but it wasn’t. Each year brings new challenges and this year was no different. By the time the last box had been sold, I still felt buried by the weight of all the responsibility.

We all feel it sometimes – like our troubles, our anxieties,  and our fears weigh us down. They push us deep into a hole that can be nearly impossible to climb out of. 

A few weeks ago, when I had myself in a particularly dark place, I came across this quote, shared by a local retreat center’s Facebook page.

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It made me realize something. All of the adversity I have endured in my life (and it’s been a LOT), all of the pain and sadness has been God’s way of planting me. When buried by my loneliness sixteen years ago, spring came and with it the man who would become my husband. Thirteen years ago my self-doubt over being a good mother buried me yet again. But on that glorious summer day when my son was born, I bloomed into motherhood.

Most recently, my doubts as a writer buried me. I didn’t think my manuscript would ever amount to anything. I actually almost lost everything at one point when I couldn’t find my laptop. I spiraled into despair so deep that it took me days to pull myself out of it. (My laptop ended up being in my closet the whole time).

There are many different kinds of seeds. Some are planted deeper than others, but all have the same purpose. In fact, sometimes the seeds that are planted the deepest become the most beautiful of flowers. Tulips and daffodils, for instance, are planted in the fall, at least six to eight inches underground. Then they sit there for five to six months, surrounded by frozen soil, covered with snow and ice until the warmth of spring revives them and they push through the soil to sprout, grow, and finally to bloom.

So must we also be. It might not be easy to remember, especially when you’re surrounded by darkness. But when you feel like the world has buried you, remember, you haven’t been buried. You’ve been planted by the loving God who created you, who is with you throughout every hardship, protecting you with his grace until the time is right.

And then, on that glorious day, you too will bloom.

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Happy Spring!

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