Hope is Already in your Garden

I have lived in Florida 15 years now and Spring here is no where near as definitive as it was where I grew up in Indiana. Up north the temperature changes were much more dramatic and perennials truly behaved as perennials blossoming at almost the exact time as the year before. Still there are similarities. All winter long, behind the scenes, the earth is preparing for an explosion of growth and blossoms. This too is true in life and is best illustrated by a simple lesson etched in my mind from a message I heard.

Years ago, 24 to be exact, I was finishing my sophmore year of college, packing up my belongings for the next school year, and heading off to a weekend retreat to prepare myself for a mission’s trip to South Africa. This retreat was a kind of personal and team-building experience to prepare us for the adventure that lay ahead. Ropes course by day, vespers by night but all I could think about was returning to my 5 siblings and loving parents and the Indiana farmhouse I called home in the middle of a 100 acre cornfield.

Despite my longings and a difference in style among the presenters, there was something that one of the keynote speakers said that has stayed with me forever., “What you need already exists in your garden.” Could that be true? No, I didn’t want to hear it! Still something deep within me resonated. The reverberation did not cease. Twenty four and the answers to my future were already present?

Fast forward and, in only a few short years, I walked down the isle marrying the man whose pursuits I had adamantly resisted for 2 years. The answer WAS in my garden.

Ever since then when I have a longing; maybe a desire for personal healing, a wish for my child, a hope for the future of Peace of Heart Community… there is a voice that whispers, “the answer is already in your garden.” This voice grounds me. It teaches me to be present, to look around at all that surrounds me and to know that this is ENOUGH and in my garden God has given me all of the provision I need.

It is beautiful to dream and hope yet living in this head-space can rob us from present joy and the many realities waiting to blossom. As this Spring is fully upon us, know that trees and shrubs are just waiting to burst into bloom. Their buds have been waiting all winter for this moment. I am almost sure you didn’t notice them waiting but one thing I do know: they were always in your garden!

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