It Gets Muddy Before We Bloom

seedsA little seed, in a packet, content to be with other seeds.  It is a comfortable, safe and happy place.  Once plucked by the farmer, it is planted in a muddy, dirty place.  And as it is watered, it begins to fall apart!  That is a story told by author and speaker, Lysa Terkeurst.  I love this analogy.   I thought, as I’m sure did many others, I am that seed.

 23.   A while back, my husband made a sudden, unforeseen career change due to the unexpected death of his older brother.  After being a CPA for 35 years,  he is farming now.  Yep, that’s right, he’s a farmer — the tractor, the combine, even the suspenders!   The ground he farms is an hour from our home and he commutes now so that our youngest daughter can finish her high school years with her friends, school, and youth group, but eventually it’ll mean a move for us….. back to our roots… back to the place I grew up… back to my hometown.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Some days I think it’ll be okay,  and some days it scares me to death.  But I know in my heart it is the right thing for Jon.  I’m trusting God:  If it is the right thing for him,  it’ll be the right thing for me.

“Number 23” is an excerpt from a list of random things about me — a fun little list that circulated around facebook several years ago.  When I wrote that list, I had just been plucked from the “seed packet”.  Even at that point, knowing change was going to take place, I had no idea of what lie ahead….. the ground was about to get mucky.

When the summer of our transition to the farm arrived, I was already dizzy from a high school graduation and open house party.  Our second daughter was also graduating from nursing school and moving 1000 miles away.  Daughter number three was moving across the country to follow her dream.  And finally, our oldest daughter and her family were moving into a new home as well — thankfully that was a local move.   I was preparing our house for market and had realtors with clients in and out of my house several times during the week.  So much change.  It had become the summer of moves.  The activity had been constant for months.

So on that September day, there had been no time to prepare for the quiet that enveloped me, but the minute the car door slammed and we pulled away from that college dorm, leaving our youngest, daughter number four, on the campus, I felt it.  It covered me.

I thought I knew what was coming.  I thought I was prepared.  But now that the rush of activity was over, I had no home, no children, no community, no job, no church and no friends (it was quite the pity party).  I spent the week on the couch.  The self-pity actually took me by surprise.  Long story short, we had moved into a rental house far away from “the seed packet”. 

I didn’t think all those empty nest stories would apply to me.  After all, we had spaced our girls out; there had been children in our home for 32 years!  Wasn’t it time for “us”?  A time we had looked forward to — not dreaded.  However, pulling out of that university drive felt like a creaky door, slowing closing on my past and all that I knew.  There was nothing waiting for me at the end of this road to “home”.

But I know in my heart it is the right thing for Jon.  I’m trusting God: If it is the right thing for him,  it’ll be the right thing for me.

It has now been 2 years since that long drive home.  It has been muddy.  And there were moments when I felt like I was falling apart.  Once or twice, I regretfully remember, walking through the house screaming, “I WANT MY LIFE BACK”.  I didn’t have a plan.  I didn’t know my purpose.  I kept asking God, “what now?”

First blooms from my own garden.

First blooms from my own garden.

I am slowly finding my way as a farmer’s wife, learning to be content when my husband works 16 hour days six days a week.   I am making new friends that challenge my thinking.  I have become involved in some work that is teaching and stretching me as a leader and mentor.   I am not sure what God has planned, but I hope to blossom into something lovely — not turn into a bitter old weed.   I want to thrive — even if it means getting muddy along the way.  “He is “making this right for me”.  

The farmer has a plan for that little seed.  He knows the seed must come out of the packet, get planted in the dirt and fall apart in order to grow. God has a plan for me… and for you. He has planted me here in this little Amish community.  It is my choice whether I wallow in the mud and whither… or blossom.  Where are you planted?  Are you stuck in the mud?  Don’t give up, take heart and choose to keep growing…a lovely flower may be about to bloom.