Growing Through the Dirt

Our culture shies away from the real, the vulnerable, and the deep. We are much better at the pretty, the easy, and the surface level descriptions of our lives. Our focus is more often on the beautiful flower that blooms than on the long process it took while the plant pushed through the dark.

It’s raining currently. The streams of water dripping lightly on the pavement feel like barely anything to us walking beneath the shower. But to the planted seed beneath the soil, the harmless rain shower feels more like a pounding storm–the droplets are now enormous, the pressure of each drop far stronger, and the fear of drowning in a bed of water is now mixed with the fear of the dark from the surrounding soil. Perspectives differ based on circumstances and surroundings. The growing process often involves dirt and water–two things that we misinterpret as darkness and an ongoing storm.

How do we morph with a changing world in hopes of keeping the same life? When we are thrust into the dark and the unknown and don’t know which way to go…how do we grow in a place so compact?

We move forward, and our hurts hug as close as our skin. We walk through fire, hoping relief comes just ahead. We feel hurt with one step and numbness with the other–the tricky balance of living amongst pain. We keep going, many times without even knowing why.

And it’s a battle just to walk. One step here, and the next brings us falling to our knees. We try crawling for a bit before we try walking again. We learn to run the same day something brings us back to crawling. The journey is never straight-forward, always up and down.

It feels cruel, somedays…the way the world keeps turning while you’re still learning to walk. The way it moves on while it leaves you behind. The way time goes on while you’re still learning to live. As if time itself doesn’t see you as the second hand takes off flying around the clock and over your hurt.

And it keeps turning ’round the clock without any care for you.

For your feelings when you’re served the papers.

For your feelings when your life altering test results limit your days.

For your feelings when you’re evicted with nowhere else to take care of your family.

For your feelings when you’ve lost the very person all your time depended on.

Time doesn’t care. It just keeps moving.

We both depend on it moving and resent it moving all in the same day.

And maybe it’s just when your time is stolen along with the life you once knew that you really learn how to spend it. 

Maybe you’re still looking at your seedling of a life and thinking a difference could never be made by you. Maybe the dark still stands as just that…the dark. But if we sit smack dab in the middle of our black tunnels and think…maybe we’ll find more there than we had first thought.

Maybe the darkness sends us searching like crazy for the light, without stopping until we see the goodness of God.

Maybe the swirling storm around us is cleansing us, making us ready for our new creation He’s building.

Maybe our broken bodies, marriages, relationships, and lives are being used to show others that Christ’s light can shine through the cracks.

And maybe time spent alone in our pain is showing us who we really are–who He’s made us to be.

Time passes at the same rate…slow to some, too fast to others. Regardless, time teaches us the brevity and value of life. It teaches us that the amount of time given isn’t what matters, but what we do and Who we show in our time is.

During our trials we might think our journey can never lead to a new creation of ourselves and our circumstances–a blooming of sorts. But what God intends for good, no darkness can stop, which is why the flower seed always is placed in the dark of the dirt, but never stays there. 

Don’t ignore the depths of the dark for they produce what is real and lasting.

The dirt provides nutrients during our growth period, a sustenance in the dark. The water cleanses us from impurities and insecurities.

And in the end we’re left with the petals placed by God alone on a flower that’s finally bloomed.

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