“I heard the Lord say, ‘See? Things aren’t supposed to grow here, but they will.” ¹
At the beginning of last summer, I printed out these words and put them in the heavy, flowery frame that sits on the desk in my room. I didn’t believe they were true, but I needed them to be. I had just finished reading Wild and Free and was also in the middle of the most emotionally raw season I’d ever known.
I was starting to feel the weight of the walls I’d built up tall, of my self-constructed defense mechanisms and my shoved-down emotions. I felt it when I couldn’t fall asleep at night. I felt it when I realized I didn’t believe I had anyone to call even if I did want to talk. I felt it when I showed up to work with puffy eyes and the people there wanted to know what was wrong. I assured them I was fine through tears, but people who cry at the front desk of their work are not actually fine and no one has ever gotten better by pretending they already were.
Looking back over this year, I can hardly believe what God did. I’m definitely not an expert on vulnerability, and I’m still tempted to burry my emotions instead of feeling them and facing them. But He is making a way. I’m learning that it’s better to feel things that feel unbearable than it is to pretend they don’t exist, and I’m trusting that Jesus meets us there. It doesn’t seem natural yet, but when things seem too hard, I’m learning to pray honest prayers and reach for the phone. I’m seeing healing and restoration and fruit and full life. I’m seeing good things grow where I believed they never would.
Maybe like I was, you’re hiding behind excuses and defenses and an “I don’t need you, I don’t need anyone” smile. Are you ready to lay them down? To give them to God, believing He is who he says He is? It’s going to hurt, almost unbearably, but it’s also going to make you free. First, you’ll stand there with your heart wide-open and grated, wondering how vulnerable souls don’t crumble under the weight of it. Then that will become the soil of your life, a place rich with honesty and courage, with depth and roots and this unshakable assurance that we’re safe. Safe with with our Jesus and with our people. And there you will grow and stretch and watch God make dead things alive, again and again. You’ll see seasons change and you’ll weather storms and He will sustain you.
“Let’s remember that He is the God who grows things where they’re not supposed to grow, and that our feet are covered in flowers.” ² Our good Father makes things grow even in the ugliest places, even where they aren’t supposed to. Because of that, I’m believing for both of us that there are flowers to be found, that this soil is rich with good things and good news for our wide-open hearts.