It feels like I’ve been living the last 8 months in my garden. My itty bitty garden. With perpetual mud under my nails and in my hair, this garden has been an unexpected source of joy for me.
It was drizzly and a bit chilly one night last fall as we walked up and down the quiet aisles of the Lowes garden center. You may already know of our current journey dealing with infertility or that I have been struggling with depression over the last year. This day had been a particularly rough day and Dan wanted to get me out of the house. So we wandered. We couldn’t hear much outside of our own conversation and the buzzing of the dim garden center lights and sprinkling on the tin roof. That’s when I spotted her… a camellia bush. It was small with a few whitish blooms. Something about those ruffly flowers and deep evergreen leaves called to me and I had to have her. I couldn’t wait till morning … I took her straight home and into our dark yard and dug her a place to live. By this point the sprinkling had turned into a downpour. I was soggy and cold and desperate. Something about my hands in the mud, the smell of that wet soil, the freedom of being soaked to the bone and not caring one bit… these things, they fed my soul. My pastor mentioned in service one Sunday that we each have a point of worship. Something that connects us to God. For many, it’s through music and song. For years that was mine. At this point I had been feeling so disconnected. So lonely. So worshipless. I didn’t even know how to pray, but I felt something that night that was overwhelming.
I began to frequent the garden center. I bought hundreds of bulbs, something I knew nothing of, but I couldn’t resist! I spent days digging small holes. When I ran out of space to plant more, I began the wait. That tortured wait. Unsure if I had done it right. Unsure if the beautiful blooms on the package would actually exist in my yard. Would they grow? Since last fall I’ve been out every day with my face to the ground waiting for them to peek up through the soil… and then to grow leaves, then buds, then to bloom. This spring our yard was full of breathtakingly beautiful blush, bright pink, peach, yellow and purple blooms! I squeezed summer bulbs in the small spaces between these spring flowers.
The whole process makes my soul fly! To be in the yard with bare feet and hands buried in the soil. To smell the earth and watch it give and take and the magnificent way the rain brings life to it all. This ground tastes my tears when I feel extraordinarily broken and it’s where I dance with overflowing gratitude. I am with God here. He consumes my shambled soul with healing water and makes it swell and grow and beat. I become less heavy. I fall in love. I mend.
These flowers are so much more beautiful than I imagined they would be! They remind me that patience is worth it. God created these blooms to grow slowly and steadily so that when the moment was right they would burst open to expose the beauty that’s been growing inside. I believe that is His way with us as well. Waiting is hard. Whatever you are waiting for: your job, a relationship, a baby… peace. But friends, this is a season of unseen growth. Lean into the unknown and lean into Him while you wait. That is where you will find your comfort and one day you will see the beauty that’s been growing there all along!