I pruned them at the specified time, carefully watered them long before they had bloomed and waited hopefully. And this summer, by some miracle, fluke or mad gardening skills, they bloomed! Plentiful, beautiful, vibrant blooms!
Then this past week we had our first frost. The drastic overnight effect was shocking. For days, the kids and I couldn't get over it and we'd talk about it every time we walked by. The bushes suddenly appeared so ugly and different. They looked barren, messy...scary even.
Over the next couple days, I found myself less repelled by the grotesqueness of it. I thought about how my life has looked like both the winter and summer version of these bushes but I have a new perspective of the winter version. I see a stark beauty in these brown, naked plants, stripped of all that would make it possible to pretend everything is normal, beautiful.
The pain, uncertainty, daily-ness of cancer has had me seeking for God like I never have. I love this version of the verse: Then [with deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
This time in my life has given me an unprecedented "deep longing" to seek God and his purposes. I have required Him "as a vital necessity" at a level of desperation that I would have never recognized when I was in the season of healthy, full blooms.
When I ask, God invites me into His presence. In my weakest moments (I've had a slew of them in the past year), he brings his truth to my mind, his strength to my weary soul. In seeking him, I've learned more about His heart and I've known his love for me in never-before-experienced ways.
Cancer is hard. Its ugly and messy and scary and leaves no part of life untouched. Yet, because of my experience and the ways God has worked in my heart, the barren, brown, unsightly seasons of our lives now give me pause. And I see beauty there because of the work that God can and will do.
The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul,
every bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7
Hearts that are bleeding raw before God are the ones on their way to coming alive. ~Sarah Hagerty
Thank you for your faithful love and prayers as we do another treatment this week.