Planting Down Hope In Hard Places (On The Importance of Turning Over)

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I am not much of a gardener, but I am a professional “hope-planter”.

The challenge has been most of this getting in the dirt, digging up rocks, preparing soul for living- has been for others-not for me. I do not say this for you to pity me. I say this in knowing the truth about myself.

I love people. I love to give and share my life with others. In these spaces of family and community I have done some of my most deepest and hardest work. I love the possibility we each hold as we hold each other capable and able to be our best selves.

I am particularly interested in the story of those who didn’t get the fair start or the silver spoon. My eyes and heart search quickly for the heart that has the most holes-the most fractions-the most brokenness-because vulnerability is beautiful to me. It is also because in the struggle of others, I have found pieces of me. Pieces of me still worth fighting for. Pieces of resilience, overcoming and victory. And there are also pieces of bitterness, loss and insecurity. Pieces that need to be glued back together and others that seriously -should have been gone a long time ago.

A few years back, my Big Sis Meg came to my home and planted bulbs in the Fall. I thought her gesture was kind but gently tried to pursued her that it wasn’t worth her time and effort. The ground she was preparing to toil had already seen it’s better days. She smiled back with a confidence and certainty that only spiritual big sisters tend to have and kept to the task before her.

You see this was a time in my life when my spirit reflected the season. My mind was full of the gray and the cloudy. Chilled winds of loss and depression had stripped away my confidence and joy. The life I had imagined for myself and my very young family had not yet been realized. The weight of too many bills and too much month had depleted me. The dream of becoming the speaker and author I thought God had called me to be- seemed like a cruel prank-a mean joke.

Watching her passionately hit the hard, flat soil-struck something I thought I had lost deep down inside-it was hope. Witnessing the unearthing of “a thing “you thought was already cemented-already done-be turned over into something still new, still living is the picture of “redemption”.

The new dark soil looked so tender and vulnerable next to the still hardened pieces-yet progress had been made. This is my life. This is our country. The callous and the tender-the dead and the living-the failure and the hope.

It’s been months since I’ve last written. If I were to be honest- two years since I have had a steady rhythm in this space. Yet so much “re”planting, “re”shaping and “re”doing has happened because of and underneath this blog. My place of humble beginnings-my safe place to wrestle and wonder.

This is the story of seasons-this is the story of life. There are big starts and long stops. There are successes and there are failures. There are summers of drought and winters with no snow-yet there is still the turning. There are people who stay and people who go.

For the past 10 years I had my garden mapped out. I set plots to harvest certain things in a certain way. Some dreams have expanded and bloomed others dried up and have faded away.

Disappointments tangled with blessings-crashing stops and indescribable new beginnings-life keeps turning.

Obama to Trump-reconciliation to rejection-hope to rage-Lord keep it all turning. Until the hardened places are made soft again, until the root becomes the flower, until the dream becomes reality. May He keep it turning for you-may he keep it turning for me.








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