Growing and Thriving Where We are Planted

Quite a few weeks ago when it was still pleasant to be outside I tried to spend as much time as possible enjoying the great weather since I knew that when it disappeared it would be gone for months.  So, during that time period, my husband came home for lunch one day and I suggested we sit on the patio and visit.  We are fortunate to live in one of those neighborhoods that has huge beautiful trees to shade many areas, and our patio gets to enjoy this benefit.  As I was waiting for my husband to come outside to join me, I looked over the few plants and flowers I was able to pot the weekend before. 

I was SO amazed and shocked to see how much my two tomato plants had already grown.  They had already doubled in size!! How does that happen?  It had been only 5 days since I had moved them from their container to a bigger pot.  Immediately after noticing the crazy growth, God dropped in my head so many interesting thoughts on this.  I have to share them with you; Maybe they will benefit you as they have me. 

Those tomato plants were very healthy looking and had obviously grown a lot from the tiny seeds that they started out when I purchased them at the garden store in the days before I planted them.  Who knows if they felt cramped and unhappy in their little box or loved their little home. However, they obviously benefited greatly by being moved out of their little container to the big pot I planted them in and looked SO much better and healthy than they did before.  Even though they weren’t unhealthy looking when I purchased them in their little container at the store. 

How many times are we “healthy-looking” (emotionally, physically and spiritually) and happy where we are– only to find ourselves ripped from our little home we have become comfortable in?  We go kicking and screaming and vow this is a horrible thing happening to us and that God or whomever is making us go through this change has no idea what they are doing.  However, we very quickly (sometimes it may take more than 5 days unlike my tomato plants) find that our new place we have been “planted” is so much better because it allows us to grow and change in ways we didn’t even know we needed or wanted.  We are able to spread out and become who God wants and needs us to be for ourselves and for those He has placed in our life. 

Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.  We are the clay; you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

It reminds me of my oldest daughter and a time we saw this happen with our own eyes.  Several years ago we learned some things about her that were very hard to hear and ripped from our minds plans we had for her.  While everything around us (and with her) was exactly as it had been before learning this diagnosis, our perception of the world and what life looked like to us was completely different.  As we began adjusting to our new normal, we began researching and looking for anything that could help her be all the God created her to be and help her have every leg up that was available to her.  We learned of a camp several states away that was renowned for being a safe-haven for kids just like her.  We prayed and researched and prayed a lot more since we knew no one that had gone to this camp.  We called people all over the country that had sent kids to this camp and only heard positives.  So, we took a leap of faith and signed her up.  It was such a God thing because we all (including my daughter) had incredible peace with leaving her for 2 weeks at a camp we only laid eyes on as we left her there.  We then drove the 10 hours’ home to hope and pray these 2 weeks would be beneficial to her. 

When we arrived on pick-up day to get her, we couldn’t believe our eyes!  Our daughter who never felt like she belonged or was not comfortable with her peers at home was smiling from ear to ear and was known by every.single.person!  Then as we got closer to her, we realized that in the 2 weeks she was at this camp…she had physically grown in height.  (She had been the same size for 3 years during a time that she should have been growing and we had about given up that she would grow anymore.) We couldn’t get over it since we had only left her 2 weeks earlier.  However, we had pictures of her next to us to prove the growth.  That camp was one of the best things we did for our daughter emotionally and physically. 

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Would we have ever sought out and poured hours and LOTS of money in finding and sending her to this camp if we had not gotten this “diagnosis”?  No…. However, as painful as hearing those words and going through those weeks and months afterward we adjusted to our new normal. Being forced out of our “comfortable” or “known” world we were living in was life-giving.  Was every minute and hour pleasant and obvious it was for our good?  NO! However, life has been SO much sweeter on this side of the “diagnosis” for all of us. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (a favorite of mine since my high school days) says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Are you feeling called to move from where you are currently planted where you are very comfortable and seemingly “healthy” to a place even better that God would have for you?  You may never know what it will mean for you and those around you until you allow yourself to be transplanted and grow and bloom where you are planted. You could be just like my tomato plants and grow and prosper in big ways in just 5 short days!