Spring is coming.

I was having coffee with a dear friend who is currently in college. We were meeting for our usual “catch up” and sharing with no agenda. We have been doing this for almost 5 years now! And I can’t tell you how much I love it.

So as we were talking, I had a timeline moment :: when you’re thinking back on a stage in your own life where you can relate to someone else’s experience and then you fast forward to the present and realize how much grace God has truly given and how much closer you are to realizing God’s purpose for your life? Just like that. This is that timeline.

God’s calling to write for Him was a seed that he planted when I was much younger. The desire rose within me soon after coming to true repentant faith around the age of 15.  I remember writing poems and songs, and the value of words began to gain more weight in my soul. My senior year of high school I was dual enrolled at Hope College in order to take writing classes – best gift my parents could give me: encouraging and enabling me to become a better writer. I look back and know with confidence that my English 111 class “The Defining Gesture” had an eternal purpose for me. The professor taught me how to self-edit. How to write it all out, and then rip it all apart. How to find the hidden gems within the rough draft, and then carefully reconstruct a piece.

God call

And yet it took many more years for the soil of my heart to be healthy enough to write anything that would be a ministry to others. I tried many times to write for myself, and it always felt empty. I knew there was a seed within me, the desire and drive to write – but when would it ever grow? Growing restless, I would give up on writing during dry seasons in my 20’s, yet God was faithfully working on the soil of my heart. The deeper layers of who I am in Christ. My heart soil had to be dug up and turned up. To be weeded and de-thorned. So, I waited. And watered. And struggled and wrestled. And languished in the dry sun waiting. Through season after season of not enough fruit to make my life feel like it was good enough, I didn’t realize that roots were growing down deep, roots in Christ. All I had eyes for was above the ground. I wanted instant fruit from one time soil tending efforts. But oh, how this process, 15 years and still going strong, has been useful in my life.

weeded

All the years that I mourned for the death of one seed, thinking that if it had not grown yet then I must have done something that caused me to lose God’s favor. I studied the one spot in the soil where I knew that seed was planted. I didn’t realize that the Spirit was at the same time working throughout my whole heart. Planting more and more seeds than just the one I liked the most. God lead me through many seasons of life. Summer, learning to rest in His warmth. Fall, learning to let things, people, and hopes pass. Winter, learning to live by faith when everything around me seems dead. Spring, learning that new life always comes after the cold. Dark. Night of life.

Now, in this season {heart season : spring} I stand back and see the first new shoots of life bursting forth from that soil that I thought was never going to produce. I’m surprised by joy as I turn and see a whole garden He is cultivating in my heart. Not just one plant, but many. I just stand in awe. The Gardener knows better than I, and He has fruit planned that is far better than I could ever imagine. And I’m humbled because I don’t know or understand the plans He has for me, but I trust that they are plans for hope and a future.

fruit

So my seed, my calling, came with a vision. A hope, that when I misunderstood it and set my sights on the instant gratification of being all God wanted me to be, was dashed. But a hope that is now restored because even though it wasn’t easily seen or discerned at the time, He was building {and continues to build} my hope in Him. Showing me that I should never put my trust in a seed, but always in the Gardener.

And my dear friend? Well, she may be living in a season of waiting for fruit. I know the feeling well. And even though I can’t bring her through all of life’s seasons and fast forward her soil to show her future fruit, I can teach her to do the humble and faithful work that got me to this place of rest and trust. Of always looking for new growth. Spring is coming.

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