Discover more from Summer Camp for your Soul
Encouragement to Bloom
Ever feel like you're in that suspended "about to bloom" state? Or not even close?
This week I was drawn to a flower that was about to bloom. However, it seemed to be suspended in that “about to bloom” state for at least 5 days. As I walked by, I literally said out loud “Bloom, flower bloom!”
I’d like to say that they were words of encouragement, reminding the flower to go for it. Reminding her that she was made to bear fruit and could do it. Reminding her to relax and let go. But if I’m honest, my words were coming from a place of impatience. And likely were reflecting my own impatience with myself at times.
I am writing later in the month than usual. As I sit down to write, I hear the words echoing in my own heart and mind. “Bloom, Lisa, BLOOM!” A part of me that desired immediate creativity had slipped in with a forcefulness and pressure that bottlenecked all creative energy.
Are you experiencing high expectations and pressure to perform and figure “it” out? Do you ever feel like a bloom close to blooming but can’t quite RELAX enough to LET it happen? Like holding on with white knuckles? Digging in your heels and just trying a bit harder. And with every attempt to try harder the pressure b.u.i.l.d.s.
There are so many steps to even get to the blooming stage. To begin with - finding the right soil and a pot with good drainage. Then planting the seed, watering, determining how much sun/shade - repeat the last 2 over and over and over.
As I write this to be a song of encouragement to my readers you are all in different stages.
Many of you on this journey are looking to connect with the song you were created to sing and don’t know what it is or where to begin.
Many know their song but feel a million miles away; living with a longing that seems impossible.
Many of you feel like your song is over (i.e. job ended, empty nest, etc) and not sure if there is another song for you.
All these scenarios come with a tempting pressure. The pressure to FIGURE it out! And with an urgency! BLOOM Already!!!!
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis talks about the tension of trying HARD so that we discover we can’t. But if we don’t try hard, we don’t truly know we can’t. C.S. Lewis was talking about moral law, but I think it applies to our purpose/calling and many other things as well.
The knowing we can’t, on our own, is liberating! So, there is value in this dance!
For me I engage in this dance more frequently than I’d like. But God is kind and gracious, just as parents are with the toddlers when they are learning to walk.
The truth is we must come to the end of ourselves and our trying to “figure out” what we’re supposed to be doing with our life. The silver lining is, as we discover we can’t figure it out, freedom flows right behind the surrender.
FREEDOM FLOWS RIGHT BEHIND THE SURRENDER…
I’d like to give you permission to rest.
Rest in the goodness of God.
Rest in his love for you.
Rest in your brokenness and inability to do xyz.
Offer up your inability as an offering and confession. Celebrate in NOT being able to figure it out on your own and NOT knowing the answer. This very well could be God’s desire, for you to come to him, realizing your need for him.
Growing up, my mom had a sticker on the bathroom mirror. I overlooked it every day especially as a teenager (in my soul, rolling my eyes - sorry mom). I didn’t get it. “Jesus is the Answer,” it said.
If you grew up going to Sunday School, when questions were asked, you started raising your hand before they finished the question. You excitedly knew the answer - “Jesus” or “God” was pretty much the answer to 99% of the questions. I am discovering that as we grow up, now our job is to see HOW Jesus is the answer to our current dilemma. We know he’s the answer, but do we know HOW he is the answer?
Jesus was clear when he said in John 15 that He is the true vine, and we are the branches. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.
We bloom by staying connected to the vine and resting in Him.
REST was my word of the year back in 2020. To me resting is really trust on steroids.
Resting takes trust to the next level. If you’re resting, you ARE trusting so completely that anxiety, anxious thoughts, worries, and concerns are replaced with the peace that passes understanding. When you are resting, you ARE trusting in his provision, his protection, his timing, his authority, his leading, his power and even his motivation.
It’s hard to rest in Him, if I’m using my energy worrying and trying to figure out how I’m gonna bloom (make xyz happen). His power will bottle-neck just before the bloom happens.
So rather than focusing on what you’re trying to figure out, focus instead on words from Jesus in Matt 6:33 (amp).
“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right - the attitude and character of God), and all these things will be given to you also.”
The bloom is coming, my friend.
His timing is perfect. Keep your eyes on Him, following each bread crumb he gives you. I want to encourage you to SEE BEYOND your current circumstances.
I’ll leave you with these final words from C.S. Lewis
“The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.”
Til next time…stay hydrated and connected to the vine!
P.S. Seeds will and can stay dormant for a very long time. It’s never too late to add a little water and light!
Click the Subscribe button to be notified when the next S’MORE is served at the Summer Camp for your Soul!
If you have a friend that you think would appreciate these words, please feel free to share it with them.
Lastly, here are some additional posts from fellow Hope*Writers using the prompt word “ENCOURAGEMENT”:
4 Ways to Encourage Yourself in the Lord by Sharla Hallett
Simple Is Better – Never Underestimate the Power of Encouragement by Dianne Vielhuber
When Encouragement Feels Bad by Amy Cobb
How Can Parents Encourage Emotional Development? By Ashley Olivine