I wrote this a year ago. I do not think it is a coincidence that this is the first article that I have had published. I believe God was showing me that he was doing something in me and and that I needed to trust him. I am thankful to be in a different spot a year later. I have found a community. I am growing. My family is stretching and learning. God has provided in amazing ways. But. I had to go through what you read below to get where I am today. Growth does not come through stagnancy, but through change and trials. Do you find yourself in a dry season, in the midst of a trial? Seek the Sun.
There is a happy shamrock plant that lives next to my kitchen sink. The leaves turn their faces to the window, soaking up the rays of sunshine, happy for another day. I never knew this plant could look so good. There are double the amount of shamrocks since the plant arrived in its sun-soaked spot. It is thriving in this spot so close to where I spend so much time each day. I can’t help but to have noticed, in the midst of peeling carrots and washing dishes, the transformation from spindly, fragile stems of four to strong, robust stems of at least eight and counting.
What changed for this plant?
It was moved to a spot that was better for it. Its former home was a great place but the spot it lived in wasn’t conducive to new growth. There were always just four stems. If a new one grew, one of the others wilted. It was content there because it didn’t know there was anything better. It never would have chosen to move because of this fact.
The journey to the new spot was tough. Bumps. Zero light. No water for days. It was a tough transition in a hot minivan. Now that it is thriving happily, the move makes sense, the path here to this spot is logical; growth and health are happening here.
I’ve never had so much in common with a plant. I’ve been uprooted from a spot that I thought was all I needed. “Look at how good we are doing here! The kids have friends, they like their school, we love our church and we are settled here!” When the word ‘move’ was mentioned I clung to these few things to justify why we should not move. My roots clung tightly to the dirt we were in. I thought we were growing just fine.
A change was necessary but I still would not have chosen this path. I didn’t want to move; it didn’t seem logical to my heart. We packed up five years of memories and said farewell to friends and familiarity. I braced myself for dry, dark days. Those dark days came and have been accompanied by tears and loneliness. Why is this so hard?
I search for the sun today. I stretch and grow as I turn to the sun. Stretching means I must trust and have an open heart. I can choose to seek the warmth of the sun or sit on the couch, pining for what I miss. It’s been three months since we moved and I still feel fragile. Starting over is not a fun journey for me and the road has been bumpy. I am thirsty for friendship and seek the warmth and light that comes from being part of a community. Is the transition phase over yet?
There’s a reason we are here. I believe that. The kids are thriving in their new school. I see new growth. My husband is loving his new job. I see new shoots pushing out of the dirt. I have time to write and a house that I enjoy making a home. The spindly stems are getting stronger, more robust. It’s going to take some time for flowers to appear but I anticipate what those blooms might represent. What will grow because of this spot we’ve been moved to? In five years, what will I say germinated in this phase of my life? How will this move mold me, change me into who I am supposed to be? I can feel my heart and mind embrace these questions and I feel a tinge of renewed hope at the thought of what might be.
Each day I have a decision to make. To choose expectation and turn to the sun or choose despair and ache in the dark. There will be tears either way, this I know. But at least in the sun my tears can be dried and hope can take root. It takes courage to choose the sun.
Fantastic! Love reading your posts as they are reflections of what most of us feel at various seasons of growth and struggle. Love you Bethany and look forward to seeing you and your precious family again!