Thursday, August 27, 2015

God Speaks: In the Crown of Thorns

I've always had attention to detail... I notice things.  I always have.  I see stuff that many people would pass by without a second thought, think about it, think about it some more, and then find deeper meaning.  Always.

Sometimes that quality is not so good - like when it comes to relationships and reading others.

Over the last 5 years, and especially the last 2 months, I have come to learn that I am so much safer as an introvert.  I mean, my heart is.  Maybe if I had thicker skin - or was a little more clueless - or lacked the ability to see through people...  maybe I'd be in some type of ignorant bliss and unaware of how very few people on this earth can be trusted.  But quite frankly, I don't and I'm not - and I have less and less tolerance for fake people as the days go by.

But, sometimes that quality is good - like when I'm trying to survive unbelievable heartache that has no good reason in our understanding.

Seeing how God spoke to me in all the details of my days to remind me that He hadn't forgotten me, that Rachel was loved and ALIVE - not only helped me through the hardest parts of my trial, but also helped me to know He was with me.

And I want to do a series, if you will, on just that... God speaking my language in order to comfort me.  This past month, He has shown me, in a few different ways, just how amazingly He tends to the matters of my heart, even when I am too preoccupied to notice.  Tonight, I want to share with you the progress of my most sentimental plant....

I've blogged a few times about the Crown of Thorns plant I bought while on our family vacation that first August, while still pregnant with Rachel.  I've told you how I was just reading about the crown of thorns that Jesus wore and how it showed us that we serve a God who is aware of our suffering... and then within the hour, I 'stumbled upon' this little plant on a sidewalk sale for $5.  I saw it from a distance and said "that plant reminds me of Rachel" and went over to see it.  I saw the name and couldn't believe it!  I had JUST underlined the words in my I Will Carry You book -  In every thorn in the crown they forced on his head, here is a truth I need to allow to settle on my brow, we serve a God who is aware of our suffering... And it was loud and clear to me that He was aware of *my* suffering having just found out Rachel would die.

I've talked of how that plant seems to be following my grief journey with how it completely falls apart and then builds back up to blooming. Just as I have done a million times on this balance beam of sorrow and joy.  A number of times, I've thought about throwing it away and getting a new one and trying to not care it wasn't the "one" from Rachel's pregnancy.  But I've hung in and watched it at the most ugliest of times - when I'm positive that anyone who saw that thing in my house wondered why I had a dead piece of wood in a pot here - and it has continued to be such an unbelievable picture of exactly where I am on my journey.

This is from an old blog post and easier than finding the picture files in my stash... The top is the day I bought it in August 2010 - the bottom was shortly after Rachel was born.  In this post on 12/29/10, I say it's looking much better than it had been, if that tells you how pretty it got!

Then on 1/21/12 - TWO YEARS later - and my very hardest years of grief - I wrote a post HERE where I talk about how horrible this plant had been doing, but that it was finally starting to flower again.  I posted this photo in complete awe of how well it was doing!  OK, so it has a bloom at the top, but that thing is ugly... unless you've seen it lose everything and realize it's still standing tall anyhow..... then you might appreciate the growth...

I kept the little price tag with name label in it. ♥

This past year, I got tired of having this ugly plant in my living area where it didn't make very nice decor.  I don't like to put plants in my bedroom because we have no bathroom upstairs and it makes it next to impossible to water it.  So I moved this baby up there - pretty much ok with the fact that it might wither away and almost relieved that I wouldn't have to try to nurse it back to life anymore.  Sometimes I get so tired of constantly fighting against death.

I guess it was happy up there because this past winter, it flourished in my room.  I would wake up in the morning and see it starting to grow - bit by bit - green by green - and bud by bud... and I'm not going to lie, this is the only plant I've ever talked to!  LOL.  I would open the shade and let it soak in the sun and ask if it was getting ready to come alive for me again, just when I needed it.

The warm months came and it looked good so I moved it back to my mudroom where it likes the morning sun... and this is what she looks like now...  full, green and with beautiful blooms all the time - all over it!  I also find it very sweet that yellow has always been one of my Rachel colors and this plant has blooms of tiny yellow flowers in groups of 4 - and Rachel was my #4 ♥

Details are never lost on me.  Thank You Lord for speaking my language!

of course, this one is # 0043 in my camera files ♥

The plant was so tall and lanky - and only had ONE stem left, all the rest had died,
so it constantly leaned to the side... so I dug it down lower to keep it from toppling over.
Now two years later, it appears to be growing new buds out of the soil!

I'm not really surprised that this plant would once again follow my journey - but I have to say that I'm so thankful that this feels like a proper representation of where I am at... especially given the fact that I have seen and studied the previous photos of this plant, and read my words that I felt it was a good picture of how I felt then... it's a beautiful reminder to me that while I was just trying to keep from toppling over, God was making me stronger from the roots up... and there is only one thing that can happen when roots go deeper and stronger... the blooms reach higher and wider.

I'm also not surprised at all that God would allow me to be somewhat unimpressed with the change in this plant until I needed His encouragement the most - and then one hard day, just like that, I walked by it and it's beauty and growth became like new to my eyes and I just thanked Him that He has strengthened me and held me up - with patience and kindness - and given me what I need to bloom again.  It is such a relief to feel like I'm not just surviving through my grief anymore.  It's been a LONG 5 years, but I am still standing.

I finished writing this and looked at the clock... 10:27  ♥ Hi Rachel ♥

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We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes