Yet again it had made buds and the buds fell off.
Why??? I asked myself is this plant not blooming. My heart was hurting, we were praying about leaving GFA. Each spring (and sometimes even fall) my orchid would bring me joy and and week upon week of blooms. My heart sank, I love flowers and this one plant had uplifted my spirit for years. In this household that squeezes each penny till Lincoln screams, fresh flowers just didn't happen very often. The long gloomy spring continued as I asked myself why is this plant not blooming? I reflected on my spiritual life. "It's like me Lord." I want to bloom but I'm missing something, I felt so stunted.
I bought orchid plant food. I repotted it. The flower stalk started to grow again. I hoped. Sadly I was disappointed, the stalk stunted and died right about the time we were leaving the ministry. My friend took in my plants as my stuff went into storage. My life continued, I learned how deep grief can go. I learned how tragedy grows our spirits, gives us compassion and drives us to our knees in reliance on Him.
I marveled at God's precious grace as he guided us to a new church, to new opportunities to serve him, and new friends that completely "Get Us." My heart is so tender now, I cry at commercials. The years of pride in my "We're the only ones doing it right ministry" is sloughing away and God is showing so many amazing people in the previously disparaged american church. People willing to accept an X-missionary with open arms in such love and grace. The walls around my heart are breaking down and I feel like the Lord has so much to teach me. The moments of happiness and contentment I am experiencing is helping me so much. Finding joy in my garden, the animals God has graced our home with, and just being at peace.
All the striving, the push and messaging to save the lost is fading from an urgency to a normalcy. Yes it's important but I no longer feel like I'm supposed to exhaust myself to reach them. And really I asked myself is striving/suffering/exhausting the right way?
And then I watered my plants.
Did I strive for this blossom? No. I figured the stalk would shrivel and die like every other one had for the past 2 years. I didn't feed it. I didn't exhaust myself for this blossom. I didn't do anything but water it, and once I attached it to the bamboo because hey it might bloom but I doubt it. First Corinthians chapter 3 talks about watering, planting and who ultimately is responsible for the increase. I'll give you a sneak peek.... It's not us!
God is the one who makes things grow.
Each of us has a part, but there is such freedom in knowing I'm not totally responsible for the increase. This chapter has a warning as well, admonishing us to be careful. You can see Paul is chastising us too not get prideful, to be aware of how we build/work for Gods Kingdom. If we do not build rightly it will get burned up, we still get to be saved whoo hoo! even if our work is full of pride and built with non enduring materials.
KP Yohannan stated in so many of his messages to staff (I'm paraphrasing here) "Crowds of people will greet you in heaven saying 'Thank you for sending us missionaries'." I wonder will there be? This encouraged MY pride in the work, I wonder how much of my work was built with straw and how much was built with Grace? Only Death can revel this mystery, I'm willing to wait! but for now I hope to not labor in vanity or pride and be diligent in doing the work God has set for me.