This year, He has begun to really answer that prayer. I am so excited about each morning spent in my garden and even more excited about the lessons I am learning from it as I seek His presence there.
The most recent lesson I learned in my garden comes from the phases of a flowers life. Take this sunflower pictured above. For days, almost weeks it was on the verge of blooming. I awoke each morning excited to see if it would open today... and each morning it was beautiful and green, but not fully open.
And I loved my "almost sunflower" at each stage... beauty was never once withheld as a descriptor of this flower.
Then it occurred to me that this flower was a metaphor for me... in God's garden.
I was once just a seed... and he watched over me.. watered me, fed me.. and kept the squirrels and birds away from me. I grew and grew.. taller and taller. Each day he was excited to find me still in his garden... and he marveled at MY BEAUTY every step of the way.
So why do I think I will only be beautiful when I've fully bloomed open?????
I look at this "almost sunflower" and I think it is beautiful right now.
And then, when it begins to open up.. I still think it's beautiful. Just because it changes doesn't take away from its beauty.
And I knew in my heart of hearts that this was me now. Beginning to bloom... more beautiful than I was before... but it hasn't detracted from from my beauty before either. I've yet to fully open up... exposing all of my petals and my heart to the sun... but I'm on the way! God watches me expectantly and excited each day cheering me along and enjoying me IN THE MOMENT.
And he also knows just what I'll be like when I'm fully open, and fully exposed and warmed by HIS SON.
After soaking in this awareness and accepting the feelings of love that washed over me with this metaphor... the enemy tried to sneak in and remind me that flowers don't live forever... eventually they fade and die.
and the Lord said...
Your garden is simply an example, my perfection is revealed in your life, in the love that I pour out- and in the SON no fading or dying will ever come to pass. There will be no more death and dying! My plans for YOUR bloom are for everlasting life!