I had posted back in August about a plant I found while we were on vacation in Maine… If you don’t remember it, check the August post (listed on right side of blog) It was called “Bittersweet Crown of Thorns” after the name of the plant that I bought in Rachel’s honor. That was one of the many times throughout this journey that God has brought details together in such a way that I could not doubt his presence - and I SO needed it right then.
The plant was beautiful, with tiny yellow flowers on it - but had these huge thorns underneath all it’s beauty that I didn’t notice until I got up close. It was so symbolic of my journey with Rachel… such beauty, such pain… just like the crown of thorns that Jesus wore.
A few weeks after I wrote that post, my friend Anne who had lost her daughter Rose to anencephaly the year before, sent me another plant like it in the mail. This one had red flowers and was so full and pretty. I told her on the phone how I was worried I was going to kill it since I’m not really so great with plants. (I’m a wanna-be plant person.) The one I had bought on vacation was dying slowly and I couldn’t seem to fix it. All you could see at this point was it’s thorns. All the leaves had fallen off, along with the flowers.
1 week before Rachel was born, the red one starting wilting, too. When I came home from the hospital, each day I was pulling another 15-20 dead leaves off this plant. It’s flowers were all gone. It’s thorns were sticking out and that was all you could see. I was so upset… these were supposed to have their best blooms in the winter… they were supposed to bring a smile to my face in remembrance of Rachel… and they were failing miserably. Unfortunately, this was again symbolic of where I was at in my journey with Rachel… The beauty had faded and the pain of the thorns was all I could see. She was gone, my little flower and all I had left was my crown of thorns, the pain.
On Christmas eve as I prepared my heart to endure Christmas without my baby, I noticed my plants… Now I ask you, is God not amazing?? He knows I watch these plants like a hawk… He knows if he speaks to me in this way, I’ll hear him. He knows me and he meets me where I’m at. It’s unreal. I took one look at my plants and I knew…
God is going to heal my heart. The crown of thorns I’m surrounded by WILL turn into beauty. He will heal me from the inside out. This plant has been nothing but bare thorns for weeks - the hardest weeks of my entire life. The thorns in my journey with Rachel have been there all along, there’s no denying that. But they have never been the focus. They have been underneath the beauty. In the weeks after her death, no matter how hard I tried I was not going to be able to avoid them - nor would that be healthy for me to do or aid me in my healing. I have had to face them and even feel their prick. I have also had to keep watering them, even though they looked as though it was no use.
And now, as I put one foot in front of the other, my healing begins. It’s going to be a slow process, but my God is amazing. He will make leaves grow and flowers bloom until you have to look really closely to see the thorns.
|This is it now. It's been bare for so long (worse than this!!) and now has big leaves coming out the top. I think when God is done, it will be even more beautiful than before. Again, symbolic of my journey with Rachel|