I felt the darkness around me, packed in on all sides. I struggled to understand what was happening, why I was there, and in my distrought I cried out for help. Just as soon as I had spoken the atmosphere started changing. Rain began to flow through the sludge and find it's place in my heart. I felt life return to me, and purpose to every part of my being.
It changed me, made me something I never knew I could be.
I started to grow. I reached new heights, and felt the comfort of new depths. And in this state of growing and pushing through, I felt an unfamiliar resistance.
I struggled against it but it would not give way. I tried to grow around it but I knew there was no changing it. And just as soon as I had understood the need for change I was lifted up, shaken off a bit, and replanted.
This place was new and exciting, room for the deepest parts of the newly discovered me. I embraced the struggle of the darkness in this place because I understood my need for it to grow. I would make a home here, experience new life here. It was home. And then as soon as I had stretched and grown myself out as deep as I had wide, that familiar resistance returned. The one that was immovable.
And I looked up, I knew what was coming.
Again I was repotted, again my roots were shaken and my life moved from one place to the next. It took me a minute this next time to readjust and find my place but I had found it. I found comfort in this spot and more strength than I had ever known. I was growing, producing more fruit than I thought possible, and reaching a foundational depth that I had only dreamed of. I was safe. I was secure. I was at home.
And then as unwelcome as a Monday morning, I was being cut back. "Pruning" I heard it being called. It hurt. I wasn't ready. I thought I was making progress but then I looked down to find myself near naked. "It was for my benefit", but I felt no such thing. This thing that was done out of love, came with so much pain. I could barely wrap myself around it.
And then, the unexpected happened.
The immovable resistance returned.
This time it felt different. It felt challenging to the very seed of my beginning. It challenged who I was deep down and what I would produce with my life. I looked up for certainty in the confusion and was lifted from my lowly place.
Shaken two and fro to release the sludge that could so easily hold onto my roots, I found myself now clinging to life in mid air waiting for my next place. This time was not like the others. This time we just waited there, the Planter and I.
It was uncomfortable, it is uncomfortable. My hope and faith are tested more than ever in this suspended waiting room, but here we are. It is not my will, not my way, but after this long of seeing how each pot has grown me, I know that I can trust the hands of the One who holds me.
So, we wait. As the new ground is dug up and prepared for our planting, we wait. The darkness will be here too, but so will new heights and new depths. God has truly expanded my borders and where I would have resisted the process, I now embrace it.
I am, after all, a plant from a pot waiting to find my place to be planted.
This is my story.
- - - - -
But it is not just mine. This is our story.
Because all of us are plants. Yes, I said it. Plants. Put on this earth to bear good fruit. Despite it meaning being put through the ringer of experiences to accomplish it. Storms, droughts, pruning, and re-potting. All of it. Every ugly circumstance helps to shape us and strengthen us to become better, stronger... plants.
Because it is who we are.
Our potential is all wrapped up in that little seed, and whether we take root or rot is up to us. It is up to whether we embrace the process of planting or not. And whether we allow the Planter to move us and shape us.
Are you up for the challenge? I thought I was, then I wished I wasn't... but now I know I can. I am dangling above a thousand possibilities but safe and secure all at the same time.
Because I am just a plant.
Colossians 1:9-14 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Matthew 7:15-20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.