This year I planted my first peony bush in our garden. The picture on the plant brochure immediately caught my attention - bold, beautiful, big blooms that glow bright pink and white in the summer sun. I chose this particular one as a visual reminder of God’s redemption after tough seasons and am so excited to see these beautiful blooms in the years to come breathing this promise again and again.
But then this week I realized, my little peony bush may not bloom this year. It’s tight little buds perched at the ends of delicate stems may not open until next season. I keep checking, but they don’t seem like it’s their time yet. You see, my little plant has been through a lot recently. Uprooted, replanted in new soil, unsure of it’s surroundings, and even endured a hailstorm to boot. Even though summer has come and other peonies are blooming all around, these little blooms remain clenched tight.
And so we wait.
I’m reminded that this isn’t so different from our lives. We look around at friends and acquaintances who seem to be blooming and wonder when it will be our turn. When will this anxiety and depression disappear? When will we find a job that provides and discover this elusive thing called “financial freedom”? When will we conceive? When will we be healed? When will we discover peace and contentment? When will this season end? When will it be my turn to bloom?
And so we wait...
I’m the first to admit, I do not like waiting… I’m a futuristic, love to plan, type-A gal who is constantly struggling with contentment and focusing on where I actually am rather than where I’m trying to go. I like control and to know what’s coming ahead. I want the destination without the challenging journey, but truthfully the journey is what makes us unique and brings us closer to our Creator. It’s the hard stuff that points us to our need for deliverance and a Deliverer.
There is so much to learn in the waiting.
These past few years have been hard. They’ve brought me to my knees countless times, so much so that for a while I had even stopped talking with God (and therefore talking with you here too). I’ve looked around at other people who seem to be constantly in bloom and think, “what’s wrong with me?” But that is a lie rooted in shame. And if you have bought into this lie too, let me remind us both of some truth. Nothing is wrong with me or you. We are just taking a little bit longer to bloom because we are weathering the storms of life.
These circumstances that we are facing, no matter what they are, provide an opportunity to dig deep into who we are as daughters of Christ and rest in His Word. The hardships that we face that keep us from blooming this year will yield a bountiful harvest if we do not give up (Psalm 126). I promise you, these days and months and maybe even years of hard you are going through will not be in vain. And you are not fighting through them alone.
*Update to this post here :)