It happens over and over again. I make a decision or goal or what have you and doubt creeps in. I begin to obsess, look ahead, fill my brain with thoughts of negativity. It drowns my hope.
So this time was not so different. I’d been struggling with my writing. I have a piece that is not yet completely formulated in my mind and I cannot get the right words to paper to express myself. It is something that happens sometimes. I know this.
And yesterday I decided: I must stop. Put this article to rest. Come back to it later, when I am in a better frame of mind. And so I did.
But not really. While mentally I shelved my work, physically I carried my emotions about it in my body all day long. There was anger at not being able to finish it, fear that I’m not good enough to write it, doubt over my ability to ever get it completed and published. It is an important piece; I want to get the words out.
It affected my entire day. I was moody, frustrated, wanted to eat. WOW! It was early evening before I finally realized what was happening. I was amazed that one part of me, the writing part, could actually make the rest of me so cranky. We are truly but the sum of our parts.
The next day I chose to do something about it. During my morning meditations, I prayed about it. Not in my normal way. Not through structured prayer where I thank God for my blessings, ask for forgiveness and pray for others. No instead, I put my prayer journal down and simply spoke to God.
Alone in my office, I conversed with the Lord. I humbled myself before him. I acknowledged and thanked him for working in me, changing me, drawing me closer to understanding myself. And I apologized. Told him how sorry I was that I’ve been unable to trust him more. How sorry I was that once again I gave into to the fear and doubt. I’m ashamed that even as I try, I seem unable to give myself over to him completely. And that’s when it happened.
This image washed over my brain. I saw a tiny seedling buried deep in the ground. The vision was so vivid and somehow seeing it gave me…Peace. I found it ironic and told God so. You see Lord, I am like this tiny seed I’m picturing. Lying deep within the dirt, I want to bloom. I’m trying to bloom. I want to break through to the surface, but it’s a long way up there God. I’m just not there yet. You’ll have to be patient with me Lord. Because sometimes I have trouble believing I will ever bloom.
The image caused my thoughts to wander. How does that ever happen? The tiny seed has so far to go. He must sit in the cold hard dirt and wait. Just wait! He is completely dependent on factors outside of himself; he cannot grow without them. He must wait for sun, wait for rain, wait for nourishment from the soil. He must wait until he has grown big enough, strong enough. Then, he must wait for the just right moment before he can burst through the ground’s surface.
Once he’s accomplished that, well even then it’s still not over! The tiny bloom must slowly work on growing. He must rise up toward the sun and wait until his flower is finished, ready to slowly unwind it’s petals. Show itself to the world. And again, he can’t do it on his own. He must wait and trust. Wait and trust. Wait and trust before he can ever bloom.
And then it hit me. Hit me hard. This image wasn’t something I came up with, it wasn’t a picture my subconscious conjured up in order that I could tell God how I felt. No, it was quite the opposite.
This vision was a gift. An answer. It was God. God was reminding me that I am like a tiny seed. I must wait. I must rely on factors outside of my control. I must trust. Only then can I grow and bloom. I need not apologize to God, I need not be ashamed, he understands how it works. I’m the one who needs to be patient with myself, and with the process.
Every spring seedlings burst forth from the ground. They grow to be tall. Strong. Beautiful. If I can just trust, then I will too.
This is what I love about God. He is creative. He is funny. He answers my prayers. But never in a way I would expect. No, God has better ways. Always. If only I can trust him. If only I will trust him.
And so I will. One day at a time. And I will falter. Often. But when I do, I’ll look out my window and remember that everything I see; the grass, the trees, the flowers, they all began as a tiny seed in the soil.