“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
The inspiration for this post has come from the beauties over at The Simply Beloved. Their series this month is “Bloom Fearlessly” and it has created a whole flurry of excitement in my heart, mind & spirit.
When I first saw the name of this series, my immediate thought went to these words that I’m sure many of you have come across:
Bloom where you are planted.
This invitation captured me years ago and I thought I had a good understanding of the significance of these five words. I’ve now taken this further to heart and discovered their implication for how we are called to live our lives.
The word bloom is synonymous with the word grow and most often when we hear about something blooming, it is in reference to flowers: they start as seeds, continue on to become small buds and within those buds a tiny flower forms, protected until it is finally ready to fully bloom into a uniquely beautiful flower.
The word planted insinuates something grounded, put firmly in its place, established. Something that was placed.
So alright, grow where you’re put…
But there’s so much more.
My favorite flower is a snapdragon. Certainly not in line with the commonly favored roses, daisies, sunflowers, tulips etc… I’ve always been drawn to snapdragons because of their unique quality and the way they grow straight up towards the sky all together in a sweet little bunch. When you gently squeeze the sides of the snapdragon, the blooms open up to form a little snapping “dragon’s mouth.” I’ve always loved that little gift they provided me with more so than their beautiful colors. I’ve adored those sweet blooms since I was little, but I have also had this thought in the back of my mind that I should choose one of the other more commonly beautiful flowers as my favorite. But why? Why not just embrace what I’m drawn to and enjoy everything that is has to offer even if it’s not what I believe I should be drawn to.
Many of you that read this may feel as though you’re not where you’d like to be in life. Maybe you are unhappy with your job, don’t like where you’re living, haven’t found the right person or you feel that you aren’t keeping up with the “timetable” that you gave yourself. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of “I’m not where I should be, so I can’t be fully happy until that happens.” But what if you never get to where you should be? What if what you think is the right path for you isn’t what ends up unfolding and the timetable for your life is broken up by circumstances out of your control? Or what if you simply find yourself developing new desires for your life, which begin to lead you in a different direction? Will you become disappointed and frustrated and resentful and never find this happiness you are seeking?
Should you not continue to grow even if you’re not in your perceived rightful place? Should I not love the snapdragon just because it isn’t the perceived appropriate favorite flower?
I think you’ve figured out by now that the answer is no. We are called to grow throughout our life, our entire life, no matter the circumstance we are in and no matter how far off we may be from where we thought we were going. We are asked to dig deep to our roots and discover new things about ourselves. Things that may have begun to develop in response to sometimes difficult, lonely or frustrating situations. It is in those times that we must open up the most. There is no place that we should be. There is only where we are. Our hearts need to bloom in this present moment because the present moment is the most important of all. We must move on from our notions about the things that we have endured or our views about where we should be headed so that we may learn more about our heart right in this present moment. Finding what it desires most and allowing it to continue to grow and lift our views of grace. We must embrace the things that come our way and find new light in them. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can change how you view them.
The scripture at the top of this post as well as the quote I’ve been discussing have both pulled back the veil on what my life should be right now. God is telling me to let go and stop trying to control every little part of my life situation. To stop agonizing over the things that aren’t as I desire. The things that have caused me to perceive that I am failing… To instead, let go of my notion of how my life should look, to move on from the difficulties that have overshadowed the good and to focus instead on what is here right now and what is coming my way. And whatever that is may not be the thing that I am eager to have, but it will be what I need. It will push my heart to open in ways I didn’t know was possible right in this spot that God has planted me in. He has called me to remember that He is the vessel through which I am able to obtain and truly understand happiness. He knows what He’s doing. I trust what He’s doing. So it is my duty to continue to flourish.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Let go and begin to grow. Right now. Right where you are. Don’t give yourself excuses, just do it. Allow your heart to bloom, allow it to see the beauty of the struggle, to dig deep to the lesson that you’re being taught. Find it in yourself to use your precious time wisely rather than using it to dwell on all that has not come to fruition. Bloom… and be fearless.