2023 – Looking back on blooming and looking ahead to flourishing.

The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived.

Isahah 35:7

Last year, my word of the year was Bloom.

And like so many of my words of the year, it didn’t mean what I assumed it would mean.

I mean, bloom seems fairly obvious… and I don’t know that anyone could say I bloomed this past year. I did bloom into a grandmother, and that was everything.. but I still don’t think that was what that word meant.

I didn’t post here consistently or publish any new Bible plans. I didn’t learn a new skill or become quite healthy. Actually, quite the opposite. My cancer treatments in 2021 left me with some ongoing challenges that I’m working on overcoming. I did bloom a few extra pounds, but again, I don’t think that was the point of the word.

As I tried to understand, I saw seeds.

Seeds pretty much look alike. I mean, they are different shapes and sizes and vary in color but if I had a handful of seeds, I wouldn’t have a clue what I was growing until the bloom bloomed.

And for the longest while, I think that has been pretty comfortable. Looking pretty much like everyone else. Following the status quo.

But this year, I began to seek God more. I began to question things. And by that, I don’t mean that I questioned God. I questioned all the years of teaching. I was raised Southern Baptist and I attended a college that was heavy on the Prosperity Gospel message. That never did sit well with me, and as humans began to prove themselves more and more, well, human, I developed to question the American Church. It seems so different than that first-century church which should be our model, right? I began to find that other cultures and countries worship God in such different ways and I began to wonder what in my faith was truly faith, and what was man-made doctrine passed down as truth through the ages. Things that the first-century church never taught or even could have imagined.

There are so many blog posts to be written on that last paragraph alone, and perhaps I will write them, but let me just say that through this journey, I feel that I have in fact bloomed.

I think that taking a deep dive into the scriptures and what they actually said in their original language mixed with the culture in which they were written as well as the audience they were written to has colored my petals a little. Maybe set me apart from all the other seeds I was planted with.

It is quite an uncomfortable place that this conformist has found herself in. Even writing this post has me concerned, wondering who will read it and be concerned. I carefully choose my words so that no one can read this and think I’ve tagged out of Christianity all together. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have just set out on a journey to find what true Christianity is. I want to follow Christ.. not man.

And that’s how last year’s blooming went.

This year, I couldn’t shake the word “flourish”. Please understand, as I’ve already mentioned, I’m not a prosperity gospel kind of gal, so I don’t in any way imagine that I will flourish in any temporal way. No new cars, no huge bank accounts. I just figured it would mean more blooming. And as I am hungry to learn, I’m ok with that thought. To be honest, I only had a vague idea of what flourish meant so I looked it up.

flourish – (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

For me personally, I will seek out that growing healthy in a vigorous way as I work on recovering from my radiation adventures in 2021. But, I also know that a huge part of being a Christian, that has been missed in some of the teachings I grew up with, is IT IS NOT ABOUT ME!

So my hope, my prayer, is that I can help create an environment where others can grow and develop in healthy, vigorous ways. Where the thirsty, find living water, and those that have been in dry places can bloom too.

Maybe I’ll even start creating that environment on this blog…which means I plan to be posting a little more regularly.

See you soon!

2 comments on “2023 – Looking back on blooming and looking ahead to flourishing.”

  1. Thank you, thank you for this post! I visited your site today after completing your beautiful study “Jairus and the Bleeding Woman” on the YouVersion Bible App, and this post was the first thing I read. It resonates with me profoundly, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing your thoughts. Also, while I can understand your worry that your message might cause some readers concern, please know that, for me, it is a source of much-needed reassurance. I’ve also struggled greatly over the past few years with the issues, questions, and concerns you describe, and those struggles have often felt very solitary. I am blessed by your honesty and courage.

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know! I’ve been wrestling with all the things I want to share and your comment helps me a lot! It means so much that you thought enough to reach out!

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