Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.Christine Caine
I love daisies…. they’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail
Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ~ Luke 12:27
It was a horrible day, at least for Dillon. He was probably 3 years old and experiencing one of those days where nothing went his way. I would be hard-pressed to remember just what drama was ensuing, but I’m sure whatever it was certainly was affecting his whole world.
I sat him on my lap and in a rare instance of maternal cleverness I asked him to name one thing he could be thankful for that day.
I expected him to say something about his mom or dad, his puppy, or even his brother, although, in retrospect, his brother may have had something to do with his bad day. I did not expect what his three-year-old brain conjured up.
“I’m thankful the flowers grow up instead of down, so I can see the pretty colors.”
A few years later, my mother was battling cancer. I spent time with her, being with her in a way that I’m not sure I had before. We talked about things that were truly important. Memories, dreams, and favorite flowers. Until that time I didn’t even know my mom had a favorite flower. I never had stopped to think if I even had a favorite flower.
At the funeral home, the florist came to meet with us and asked what kind of flowers we wanted and I immediately remembered she told me she loved daisies. Gerber daisies to be exact. I was able to share this information and it was an amazing feeling. Knowing this trivia about my mom was evidence of a deep connection I had that could never be taken away.. not even if she was no longer on this earth.
Today, when I see a daisy, it reminds me of my mom, and not in a sad way. In a way that brings such joy. A way that reminds me of the time we spent together. A way that affirms the connection we still have.
So besides the mention of flowers… what do these 2 stories have in common?
They were both hard times redeemed by flowers.
And yet it goes deeper… literally.
When a seed is planted, it is essentially buried in the dark. Soon that seed will burst open, and a little seedling will push through the soil, eventually blooming into the beauty that you can see. But note, before it blooms it will be in a dark place. It will have to burst open, and it will have to push through.
Butterflies go through a similar process… the transition from the caterpillar is both awesome and terrifying. The caterpillar closes itself up in a dark, lonely place and then it begins to essentially melt. It doesn’t simply sprout beautiful wings… it completely breaks down. But it does come back, a new creation. A lovely creation that no longer merely crawls. Now it can soar.
My mom once said that she didn’t regret her cancer diagnosis. Going through that dark, scary time, whether it was more like being buried or cocooned, changed her. She said it made her realize what was truly important. She said all of her relationships blossomed, especially her relationship with God.
I know what she means. Losing my mom, and then my dad 4 years later… financial hard times, marital problems, and my own cancer diagnosis left me feeling cocooned, buried. But I can honestly say without going through the things I have gone through I wouldn’t be who I am right now. I’m not saying I’m where or even who I am supposed to be, but I know I have pushed through that earth.. I have fought my way out of the cocoon. I am ready to spread my wings, or blossom even. Choose which metaphor you like best.
The point is, hard times will happen. But the very thing that feels like the breaking of you, may actually be the making of you!
And we can see it happening, because like Dillon said… flowers grow up instead of down.