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Bloom Where You Are Planted

I’ve always loved the phrase “bloom where you are planted,” but honestly, until this season, I didn’t really understand what it truly meant. It always sounded like a cute, trendy phrase…but out of nowhere, the Lord planted this little phrase in my mind and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

I was actually on a walk with a friend the other day when the words just came out of my mouth and I said, “I feel like God wants us to bloom right where we are and use us in the unique places (our churches, homes, neighborhoods, etc.) he already has us,” and we both just looked at each other kind of in awe – because it made SO much sense for the season we are all in - with everything going on in our country and world right now.

And then I saw this quote posted by Dr. Tony Evans that just really hit home for me as soon as I read it – “The quickest way for God to be able to get you where He wants you is for Him to be able to use you where He has you.”

I believe the Lord has gifted every single one of us with unique gifts and passions that He wants us to use to serve in His kingdom and bring Him glory right where we are.

“I mean, what if you knew that you are God’s poetry. You were created, because someone else was creative. See, long ago he picked up his eternal paint brush, dipped in his glory, placed you in his story and said, they will live for me.” – Jefferson Bethke

I truly believe that we are called to let God grow us and use us (right where He has already planted us) to encourage and help one another grow (and bloom) into who God has uniquely created each of us to be – image bearers of Christ.

As C.S. Lewis so beautifully puts it, “The more we let God take over, the more truly ourselves we become.”

And just watch a plant grow and see…that process doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes water, it takes sunshine, and most importantly…it takes time. And when you let God nurture and water your own soul, you are so much better able to spread the nurturance and vitality of life to those around you in a lifegiving way that leads to helping others bloom, too.

I think we live in such an instant, fast-paced world that we have lost the art of waiting on the Lord and asking Him to work and move in ways that only He can do. Whether it is a prayer about a job concern, a family issue, hope for change in our world, or a longtime dream that just seems so far off…just because God doesn’t answer it right that second does not mean that He isn’t listening or that He doesn’t care. And it also doesn’t mean that we just sit around and do nothing in the meantime either…because let me tell you, I am a firm believer in putting feet to our prayers! And trust me, I am learning that in this season in so many different ways, but I’m sure you are too.

You see, I believe the Lord intentionally plants little seeds of dreams and hopes deep down inside our hearts and souls because He knows that the patient and humble nurturing, caring for, and growing of those little tiny seeds will, one day, lead to a healthy, blooming flower (and dream) down the road that we will truly thank Him for when it finally comes to fruition. And God-sized dreams like that usually start as the tiniest little glimmers of hope that require the utmost steadfastness and prayer to hold onto when life’s storms come our way.

And aren’t flowers such a beautiful reminder to us all of how a tiny little seed of hope can blossom and bloom into something so much more?

I can think of so many examples of this in my own life, but one in particular is being married to my sweet amazing husband…a man who I had been praying for since I first met the Lord my freshman year of college, and who has surpassed every dream and prayer I had for a husband…making all those years of waiting and longing worth it to the one hundredth degree.

Not to mention, all of the years upon years of prayers written in this special little journal...a living testament to how God truly is listening to our every little prayer.

And another example being this sweet business of mine. What started out as just a hope and an idea on my honeymoon turned into a couple custom orders and now into the full-blown lettering art business that it is now (and such a blessing to our family during this season of both of us being in graduate school). Oh, how He hears our prayers…

We all need each other. Now more than ever. For encouragement. For a kind word. For hope. To build one another up...not tear down.

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”

// 1 Thessalonians 5:11//

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

// Romans 14:19 //

And you know where it starts? Right where God already has us in this very moment. With our own families. In our own homes. In our own churches. In our own workplaces.

God doesn’t call the equipped...he equips the called. Even when we feel inadequate. Even when we “don’t feel ready.” I’ve personally found that that’s usually when he likes to use us most...because when we are weak, HE is strong. And when it’s not about us, it can be all about HIM - which I believe is God’s heart and hope for us as we live for Him during our short time here on earth.

“He must become greater; I must become less. The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.” // John 3:30-31//

It seems backwards, doesn’t it? But that’s just it. Jesus is the barrier-breaking, culture shifting, humble, selfless, servant-hearted King with a whole new kingdom in store- where the first shall be last and the last shall be first. And He sees the hearts of men. Not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. And He is most delighted when we live our lives to make His name known.

Less of me, more of Him. He must become greater, I must become less.

So keep growing in Him, sweet friends. Keep growing, keep blooming, and keep spreading seeds of love, faith and hope....even when you don’t feel appreciated, acknowledged, or noticed. Because, you know what I’ve been reminded again and again by my sweet Jesus? That HE sees it. He sees the heart and HE sees the hidden fruits. And isn’t that what honors Him most? The things done in secret...the prayers behind closed doors...the acts of kindness no one but you and Jesus know about. Interesting, huh? And there is such great JOY to be found in blooming into who God wants us to be.

You see, blooming where we are planted doesn’t always mean blooming in ways that the world or that others around us may see. But truly blooming where God plants us means blooming into the person He has uniquely created each of us to be – a light in the darkness and a vessel for His kingdom. A kingdom from above. A kingdom where all will be made right. And a kingdom where the last shall be first.

Oh Lord Jesus, come. We love you and we long for that day when you will bring heaven to Earth and call us, your sweet children, home. And in the meantime, we will keep growing and blooming into the people you have called and created us to be.

All glory to Him.

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