I published a book in March and then didn’t put pen to paper until today.
I guess that’s not necessarily 100% accurate…since I started to write on several occasions, and couldn’t ever bring myself to finish. Truth be told, I’ve been a little lost in this season of life. It’s hard for me to write things when I’m not feeling on my “A game.” But, I’ve decided that I may be sitting the bench for awhile, and might as well pick up the dang pen.
I’ve got a lot going on in life. Not much of it is great. I’m going through some personal stuff within my immediate family, my parents (who live 3 houses down) are moving in 9 days, I feel like terminal illness, sickness and death are surrounding me, and my family of 5 made an emotionally hard decision that had us feeling like the Israelites on their 40 year journey in the wilderness—searching desperately for the Promise Land, until recently.
I know for certain I am not alone in these feelings of abandonment, hopelessness, and loss. There are many around me who keep telling me that this month, this week, and even this past year truly just suck. (No, I can think of no better phrase to fit the emotion.)
Yesterday, I decided that, though I didn’t reeeeealy want to, my heart and soul needed some Jesus. Some extra Jesus, really. More than my prayer and Sunday morning worship, ya know. Some of us need that! I decided to join a bible study with a group of ladies I did not know. I was a little nervous. These people don’t know me. They don’t know that I was born without that thing that tells you not to always say what comes to your mind—I think they call it a filter. They don’t know my back story, my current story, or the season that I’m going through. And though it reached an unseasonably warm 94 yesterday, my season of heart and mind is definitely not a splish-splashy summer.
I’m living in the dead of winter.
I must admit, I left so much warmer than I came. Maybe it was the many cups of pumpkin spice coffee that I consumed. Maybe it was the 28 women that I met! Or maybe it was the fact that God met me in a place that he knew I needed to be met. I’m going to bet that it was the latter.
After two and a half hours of fellowship, these women even invited me to lunch, afterwards--and though I was tempted to enjoy dollar tacos, the dreaded grocery shopping and tending to the garden wasn’t going to complete itself. Since gardening is waaaaaay more fun to me than grocery shopping, I headed home.
I got to work cutting okra from plants that are now 12 feet high! It’s actually become a dangerous process! I’ve got quite a scar from a bit of a disaster a few weeks ago. Oh what this Oklahoma gal does for some fried okra! #WorthIt I also picked 22 more green peppers! My freezer is full of these, already. My neighbors’ freezers are also full. It’s starting to become clear that I maaaaay have planted too many pepper plants…
The surprise plant is starting to flower and I’m so excited to see what veggie we will have.
I then did a quick check on the bed that will be my only fall/winter crops. I’m trying my hand at that for the first time with broccoli and carrots. Much to my surprise, the broccoli had sprouted! I hadn’t even checked on those in the last week or so, because I’d been so busy wrestling a giant okra plant. In a way only a gardener could understand, I did a little dance like a child opening a Christmas gift. #NerdAlert
But, as soon as my half gardener dance/half my team just scored a touchdown dance was started, I was instantly moved to tears.
All at once, I hit my knees in a place that I have come to seek and find God so many times in the last couple of years—my precious garden. I knew at once why God brought me to this Bible study because two distinct quotes stood out to me as I knelt on the grass beside my broccoli sprouts.
First, “The soil of EVERY season is fertile ground.”
Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. There is reason and purpose for each of these. I am seeing it in my garden this very year as I have worked in it all year long. I’ve either had to pull weeds, till up soil, sow seeds, watch and wait, or finally get to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
My gosh! Isn’t that what God does over and over again in our lives? He pulls out the crap that we don’t need. And it’s awful! Sometimes we don’t want to let it go. Sometimes we think we so desperately need it. He works us over and enriches us with something better than we were before. He then plants something in us that we may not even know we had, needed, or wanted. And then we wait. And waiting…it’s so hard. It’s downright awful at times. But after the wait—God hits me with the second quote: “Your greatest harvest may come from seeds that you sowed with tears and affliction.”
After the wait…my friends…we get a harvest! I can not promise you when. I can not promise you how. I can not promise you that the sowing and tilling--the pulling of the weeds won’t be the toughest process that you’ve ever gone through…but God promises you that “From the fullness of His GRACE, we have all received one BLESSING after another!”-John 1:16
A harvest is coming. It’s a harvest of blessings that may come after a long season. But there is good news!
The soil of EVERY season is fertile ground.
"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved."- Psalms 46:5
Whitney B. Cromley
Follower of Jesus.