I waited every spring for the peonies to bloom.
Tracing the edge of an earlier autumn sun, I remember so carefully digging a home for them in the soil.
I waited, anticipating their gracious blooms. My heart was desperate for their beauty. Sometimes we need beauty to remind us that our journey has a purpose, that weeds won’t ultimately betray our pain, and that life will spring forth from the dust.
Each year I tended the soil, removed any weeds from their surroundings. I watched the greenish-red shoots as they shot up from the ground. And yes, the plants grew big, though year after year they yielded no blooms.
It’s as if the night brought no morning, and these heavy labor pains bore no grace, no fulfillment for this awful stirring in my soul.
Something inside me wanted to uproot these delicate, brave stems, to find the soil of validation and comfort for my meager plants to grow. I saw other bushes in the garden swell with blossoms and desired my fragile gifts to unfurl brightly and boldly.
The purposes that God plants in our heart sometimes feel barren and fruitless. It can feel painful to hold onto unseen and often unrealized dreams, to miss the watering of tender soul-roots or the birth of their expected harvest.
I am learning, sometimes slowly, sometimes with an ache in my step and a strain on my brow, to surrender my expectation for the harvest, to reclaim my steps beside the Master. Yielding to His ways, His timing, His process for this cynical and stubborn heart of mine, forces me to remember this sacred pilgrimage is not even in the tiniest way about me.
Just as I can never force or cajole tender blossoms from my peonies, I can never coerce or demand my own vision or destiny for my life.
God knew finding my destiny would pale in comparison to finding His presence. Exercising His joy in each and every moment. Pursuing holy.
God knew finding my destiny would pale in comparison to finding His presence. Exercising His joy in each and every moment. Pursuing holy.Click To Tweet
Henri Nouwen describes, Joy and laughter are the gifts of living in the presence of God and trusting that tomorrow is not worth worrying about.
He knew I’d have the tendency to rush the miraculous, to manage this internal metamorphosis that is transforming me into His image. Perhaps that is why He so loving spoke to me,
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matt 6:25-30, NIV)
He understood the most beautiful of nature’s gifts could not satisfy the eternal cravings in my heart. He gave me the one thing He knew would fill me, heal me, mold me, and complete me. He gave me Himself. Utterly and completely. Arms spread open wide.
Practicing His presence, I’m discovering He is enough. Period.
Sometimes we need to be reminded that the subtle surrender of our ways, our wants, our hopes and dreams, frees us to settle in and enjoy the surroundings.
Sometimes we need to be reminded that the subtle surrender of our ways, our wants, our hopes and dreams, frees us to settle in and enjoy the surroundings. Click To Tweet
And on that lovely, bright, spring morning when I stepped into my garden, I discovered the most brilliant, beautiful peonies had appeared right before my eyes.
When I least expected it. Right on time.
I wait every year for the peonies to bloom.
About This Community
Don’t we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that – a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I’ve discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891
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