I was on pinterest, looking for a screensaver for my laptop, when I saw it.
A beautiful floral graphic with the words “Bloom where you are planted” boldly centered in a whimsical font.
As I stopped to consider its meaning and life application, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and thought:
What a load of crap.
Here I am planted in a place and a season, where I have been struggling with depression and wounds from others.
Here I am planted in a place and a season, feeling very specifically like I am being held down from blooming. My giftings and passions have recently been both blatantly insulted and purposely ignored, within the confines of my christian community.
Here I am planted, in a place and a season where my age is ridiculed and looked down upon. Disrespectful remarks about how much younger I am (than whoever I’m talking to) are so exhaustingly frequent, and almost always paired with condescending comments about what a “baby” I am, or narcissistic comments about how old they feel.
I was opening up to a friend about some of the frustrations and hurts that have come from these comments and the hypocrisy paired with that attitude in our community, only to be met with her laughing and repeating some of the exact same patronizing comments that I was talking about to begin with.
It always hurts to risk being vulnerable about pain in what you hope is a safe space, only to learn the hard way that you shared it with the wrong person.
(On the other hand, there is grace for that, especially when we consider how often we’ve been “the wrong person” for someone else’s vulnerability.)
All of these feelings and circumstances have felt piled on top of my heart lately and I have felt weary from the burden of it all.
This is not what it looks like to be blooming.
I have been planted in other seasons in my life where I have bloomed, but this, sadly, isn’t one of those. I wish it were.
I need to hold fast, though, to the hope that while I may not be blooming, I am growing.
Phillippians 1:6 says "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
And Romans 8:28 says "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
I have to read these truths and cling to the hope that God is using all of these circumstances to grow me into someone more like Him, even though I'm not necessarily feeling this growth happening in the moments of grieving.
I have to cling to the truth that He is my creator and giver of gifts, and the disrespect and disapproval of others doesn't change my value or who He has called me to be.
I have to find joy and contentment in where He has planted me right now, even though I have felt picked on and silenced.
I have to "be still", and trust that He will fight for me. (Exodus 14:14)
I have to trust that He has a purpose for all of this.
I have to take seriously the charge to "not let anyone look down on you because you're young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)
I have to fight the bitterness and pride that hurts like these can so easily lead into.
I have to forgive and extend love and grace to the unkind, in the same way love and grace has been extended to me.
I need these truths to become so convinced in my mind and so real my heart, that I can live in the freedom that Jesus offers me in this place and season.
And maybe then is when I'll bloom.