“Bloom Where You Are Planted.”
No matter circumstances or environment you have been placed in, go ahead and reach up, unfurl your petals, continue to grow and blossom and bloom and bring beauty to the world around you.
This is a beautiful phrase, but I don’t know about you… it kinda stresses me out.
Blooming sounds like stretching my petals to the sun, opening up, blossoming, fresh and dewy in the morning mist. Blooming sounds like being fresh-faced, clean and crisp, sun-drenched and glowing, energized and thriving.
I have not felt fresh-faced or dewy in a long time. Maybe I missed that season of womanhood.
No, I live in the reality of haggard, coffee-drenched, sleepy-eyed, barely making it most days. I don’t feel like I’m blooming. And I don’t need MORE pressure to do MORE things and be even BETTER and BRIGHTER when I feel like I’m just doing all I can to make it through.
I can think of other seasons of my life where “blooming” felt far from possible. Deep in my struggle with depression. Heavy with the loss of my father. Overwhelmed with 3-4 jobs while climbing out of debt. Entrenched in the loneliness of the newborn motherhood haze. Drowning in the loneliness of moving so far from family & friends. Drowning in the loneliness of returning home 5 years later.
When life is a desert, blooming is impossible.
At least on our own.
Perhaps the phrase should be changed, or at least understood differently. I don’t know where you are, what desert you are in, or just left, or are headed into, but I firmly believe we can all bloom where we’re planted. We just need to change our understanding of what it means to bloom and the method by which we achieve it.
As a flower blooms, we only see the outer, visual beauty. Just the same, in our own lives, we tend to equate “blooming” with exterior growth and achievement. We tend to view blooming as “having it all together.” Whether we are in the midst of a difficult season of marriage, motherhood, mental illness, moving away, whatever, if a woman has make-up on, hair done, a tidy house and a smile on her face, she is BLOOMING! But in God’s economy, blooming is defined far differently.
Think of Joseph. He bloomed in slavery, in prison, and in prestige. Think of Moses. He bloomed in Egypt and in the actual desert. Think of Daniel. He bloomed in slavery in a foreign land. Think of Ruth. She bloomed as a widow, a friend, and a wife. Each of these people experienced great successes and great hardships. We all do. Their successes were all gifts from God. Their sustenance in hardship was all due to His loving kindness. And so any outward success was all for His glory. They could claim no personal victory or independent achievement in the midst of hardship. The only way they made it through any of it was firmly planted in the Lord.
He watered and nourished them. He brought the blossom and the fruit, even in the dryest of circumstances.
So how do YOU bloom where you’re planted? YOU don’t. You just remain in the Lord. Let Him nourish and water you. Soak in His light and gentle care. Then HE will bring the blossom. And all who witness it will see HIS glory.
-Sigh- That certainly takes the pressure off for me. What about you? I don’t need to worry about blooming, just allowing myself to be fed and nourished and cared for, and eventually the blossom will come.