So, it’s January 11th and I finally have my word for the year (Happy Belated New Year!).
I think I’ve actually had it since the first day of the year, I just hadn’t fully realized it yet.
Throughout the day, when I’m sitting at my desk at home or at work, I tend to doodle a lot on scraps of paper. Most of the time, these little scribbles are nothing more than just that, scribbles. But, since the 1st of January, I kept mindlessly doodling the same thing over and over: A flower, with the roots showing under the ground, and the phrase, “Grow where God plants You.”
After drawing/writing this for the fourth or fifth time, I finally decided to think about it a little bit more and do some research to see if I could find a Bible verse connected to this phrase.
As is the norm in my life now days, I went straight to the source of all knowledge and need: Pinterest (Amiright?!).
And there, I found it. This beautiful little verse sandwiched into a big, meaty chapter:
“And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail
What a beautiful, ideal image. Even in scorched places, you shall be like a watered garden.
Now, let me share why this meant so much to me in the moment, and why it means even more now that I have studied it more.
For the the last year or so I have been struggling, and I mean really struggling, in a few different areas of life and emotion, but specifically with feeling disconnected and like I have no sense or place of belonging anywhere. I have truly felt like I have been living in a scorched place.
A lot of things have led to me this place, including finding a new church home in a different city, my only family moving eight hours away, and losing some friends (I won’t get into the details of the other things because, well, that would just take WAY too long, and you’re here to read a blog post, not a diary entry).
Anyway, I have been praying about this consistently, talking to my husband and my brother, asking them to help me pray for answers and direction.
But, through my recent findings and study, God has been showing me that I haven’t been praying for His answers, I have been praying for Him to simply follow along with my answers.
I’ve always wanted to move away, to a new town, to a new state, maybe even to a new country. And I have had it made up in my mind that that is the only solution and reason for my disconnection and discontentment–I’m discontent because God is about to answer my prayers to move away. Finally!
Then, once I’m there, everything will change. I will have the connection for which I long. Tyler and I will be happier. We will find our purpose and fulfill our calling. We will be able to start over and be who we are now, without anyone ever having to know who we were then–the version of ourselves that we don’t like to think, let alone talk about.
Things always seem so much better in that infamous places called ‘There,’ don’t they?
Through an unskilled doodle and those five little words, “Grow where God plants you,” God led me to a place where He could open my eyes and my heart.
Yes, one day, Tyler and I believe that God will answer our prayers to move. But, until then, He has us here for a reason. If there were no reason, then we wouldn’t be here. I firmly believe that. Because I firmly believe God.
I know that God has an exact purpose for every place and season of our lives. I know that God has an exact purpose for having me HERE, exactly where I am, right now. And I really don’t want to waste this time that He has given me just waiting for the next thing. Until I learn what I’m supposed to in this season, there may never even be a next thing.
So, after ALL of that rambling and thought-jumping, my word for 2017 is:
In 2017, I aspire to be planted.
Planted in the Presence of God.
Planted in God’s Word.
Planted in my Church.
Planted in Community.
Planted in Faith that God knows exactly what He is doing.
Planted so that roots can grow, increasing strength and producing fruit.
Planted in learning to grow here, instead of trying to go there.
Planted – Content, Fulfilled, Connected, Growing.
Psalm 1:3: He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Jer. 17:8: He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”