I woke up one morning and it suddenly felt like spring in my heart and soul. If you’ve been reading along this year, you’ll know it has felt like a hard, deep winter. The reality is that spring does always come, which is such a sweet promise. There is also the reality that after every winter new and different flowers may grow and bloom, and some that were there last spring may not be there this year.
And yet. The wildflower garden of life is full of beauty. Filled to the brim with the loveliest of people and experiences. As I wade through it slowly, palms stretched open, running my fingers through each petal, each branch, I experience the beauty through every sense. The sun hits it in that way that makes everything shine and as the wind blows through it shimmers and looks like the branches are doing the wave. I breathe in the scent and breathe out contentment. It is there that Jesus meets me, in my Mary Magdalene moment, where He reminds me that He is in fact so alive and He is the Creator and Author of all this beauty. And in the wildflower garden of life, space sometimes has to be made so new things can grow. And maybe this season one flower looks best paired with another type, different than what bloomed fragrant last year. There is so much grace and peace in the midst of the wildflowers.
He told Isaiah, “Therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder.” And I feel this ring true for my heart, that after a long time in the dark and the dirt, growth has happened and beauty is blooming all around me.
The image I keep coming back to is the seed, planted deep down in the dark. It is disorienting, when we don’t know what is going on, when we don’t know what is going to grow. I wish that when we are in the dirt we could be more aware of what is going to happen, that something good will come. But until we finally see the light, we are confused and frustrated and often hardhearted. It is an invitation to trust I suppose.
And let’s not forget, the beautiful and scary thing about seasons is that just as quickly as they begin, they can end. Which is hard to know when we are in good seasons, and comforting when we find ourselves in hard ones.
Here is the other thing. Death has to happen so that life can grow. We want to ignore that reality, but we cannot. Without the death of Jesus, the Gospel wouldn’t exist. The resurrection only happened because He first died. We cannot expect anything different for ourselves; for new life to come, we have to experience loss and darkness.
There is space to grieve the things that once grew that don’t anymore; it all does look different. But beauty is beauty, regardless of what once was. It doesn’t have to look the same. What sweet comfort this brings. I’m now in the midst of watching many new things bloom and blossom and I feel overwhelmed by the sweet aroma of it all.
Jesus keeps whispering so sweetly to me, “I am planting new things.” When I look around and don’t see what used to bloom, He whispers it again. Beauty is beauty. Even when it is different than what it used to be. Maybe different isn’t bad, it’s just different.
We sang the song “Beautiful Things” at church recently and it screams all the truths I’ve been feeling:
“Could all that is lost ever be found? Could a garden come up from this ground, at all?” The question.
“All around, hope is springing up from this old ground, out of chaos life is being found in You.”
He is the sweetest, this Jesus. The master Gardener of our souls, uprooting and tilling and planting and bringing beauty with every word and every breath. He is always preparing us for something new. Trust that you will see resurrection in whatever season you are facing.
Are you in the disorienting dark right now? What might be growing? Character is surely tested and formed in these seasons.
Are you in a season of spring? What can you learn from this experience? How can you look back and see growth in hard seasons?